When Did Men Start Wearing Wedding Rings? The Tell-All
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As a guy, you (maybe) know the basics when it comes to getting married: You propose to your partner with an engagement ring; they, hopefully, say yes, saving you from embarrassment; the two of you find a venue and set a date; you pick out your couples wedding bands; eventually you get married. Then comes sealing the deal, honeymooning, getting a house, starting a family, raising kids, sending your kids to college, hitting retirement age, savoring your last years, and then death.
Okay, maybe we got ahead of ourselves — we’re looking too far ahead. You probably have some questions relative to your upcoming wedding. You might want to know what will happen the day of, but you’ll probably have another question: What will my wedding ring look like?
C’mon! We all know what women want: They want the beautiful engagement ring and the heavenly wedding ring to go along with it. Society knows it to be the norm — you need to wow them with their rings. But what does the man get? How do you know what wedding ring is right for you?
Some guys might have another question: Why do I have to wear a ring in the first place?
We get it. Wedding rings and rings are traditionally thought of in the feminine tradition: worn by the female as a symbol of ownership, showing she had a husband who possessed her. So, what’s the purpose of male wedding rings? And when did that tradition begin?
When did men start wearing wedding rings?
The first appearance of male wedding rings is hard to place. The wedding ring holds different weight and symbolism from culture to culture. But there are a few places we can start:
Ancient scrolls show it was an Egyptian wedding tradition — over 3,000 years ago — for men to share wedding rings with their wives. However, they weren’t as durable as the kind we wear nowadays, as couples were trading rings made of twigs and plants at their ceremony. Moreover, they weren’t wearing the rings around their fingers; rather, they would wear them as bands around their upper arms and legs.
History changed with Rome, though. Men would give their wives an iron wedding band as a public symbol of ownership. However, the later Renaissance saw a change, with more romantic traditions becoming the norm. Suddenly, couples would occasionally share rings made of light metal that would feature engravings of phrases, Bible verses, names, and more.
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The World Wars complicate things.
Many centuries later, the World Wars complicated many things — to put that lightly. One thing they dramatically changed was the modern wedding ring. Whereas dog tags became popular starting in World War I, to actively identify injured and deceased soldiers, men began wearing wedding rings during World War II as a symbol of love back home.
Compared to carrying a photo of their wife or girlfriend in their chest pocket, American soldiers began wearing wedding rings while shipping off to Europe or the Asiatic theater. It gave men something to fight for: When under heavy fire, they could look down at their hand and see they had a reason to get home safely. By the time of the Korean War, the male wedding band had spread across American society, becoming the norm for men wanting to proudly show the affection they felt for their partners.
The Style of the Modern Man
Nowadays, wedding rings for men have become commonplace, and their significance in the wedding ceremony cannot be overstated. After sharing their vows, the wedded couple will each place the wedding ring on their spouse’s finger, making the marriage official.
But the ring is no longer just the standard soft silver or plain gold wedding band. For many men, the wedding ring has become as much a fashion symbol as a symbol for the love they have for their partner. Men now have many different choices at their disposal, whether it is a handcrafted wooden ring, a wedding band with dinosaur bone, or a rose gold men’s wedding band. The sheer number of options available to you is incredible. Whatever your style, whether gutter punk, gym rat, or business professional, there’s a ring suitable to your style.
Shop All Our Men's Wedding Rings
Interested in finding the perfect ring for you? It’s waiting to be found! Shop by style from the Manly Bands’ collection and find the ring that will look and feel natural on your finger, both indicative of your style and the love you feel for your partner. Begin your search today and find the ring you’ll never want to take off.