The Wedding Ring as a symbol of everlasting love and the perpetual bond that joins a man and a woman in marriage, has a long, interesting and intriguing history.
Since its appearance in Egypt nearly 5,000 years ago, the wedding ring has represented several facets of the traditional wedding vows.
The ancient Egyptian civilization grow up along the fertile flood plains of the river Nile. This river was the source of prosperity and life to the Pharaoh's people, and from plants growing on it's river bank were the first wedding ring fashioned. The wedding ring is a circle, symbolizing the cycle and eternity of love.
The first wedding ring was usually made out of a plant material, most often hemp, grass or reeds, and lasted only a year or so before replacement was necessary. Back then it was only a symbol of love and commitment and not a status symbol at all.
The wedding ring was worn on the fourth finger of the left hand, as is a custom today, due to a belief that a vein in this appendage ran through the body and directly to the heart. This wedding ring idea was enthusiastically embraced by the Romans and many other European cultures, who worn rings made of iron and gold. During the reign of George I of England, the wedding ring was often worn on the thumb. Louisa of Prussia, wore the wedding ring on the little finger of the right hand, while an old Russian custom made the bride and groom to wear the wedding ring on the fourth finger.
Another widespread myth which still persists in some cultures is the idea that the wedding ring must fit absolutely perfectly, or otherwise it would be detrimental to the entire union. It was believed that a wedding ring which was too tight would hint at an oppressive marriage that would be riddled with jealously, control and suspicion, while the wedding ring that was too loose would lead to carelessness and perhaps even infidelity for the newlywed pair.