In the words of Beyonce: if you like it then you should put a ring on it. Wedding rings are the best symbols of your commitment to your partner and their commitment to you. Naturally, wedding rings should already be on your wedding checklist for the things you need to prepare.
But in a Philippine setting, what does a wedding ring mean? Are there special Filipino traditions you should know? How much should the price of a wedding ring be? And where am I supposed to wear the ring after we’re married?
All these questions (and more) answered in this guide to wedding rings in the Philippines.
What Do Wedding Rings Mean?
A wedding ring (or wedding band) simply indicates to others that a person is married. When a person sees you wearing your wedding ring, it signifies to them that you are in a committed relationship with another and they should act accordingly.
The practice of wearing wedding rings can reportedly trace back to Ancient Egypt, where spouses were depicted exchanging rings of braided twine. This is said to be a symbol of their eternal love as Egyptians believed circles to be a sign of eternity.
The Romans and Greeks also practiced wearing wedding rings as part of a woman’s dowry and later a sign of a woman’s fidelity to her husband. This practice went on to pass to the Christians, the rest of Europe, and then the rest of the world. Originally, only a woman would wear both engagement and wedding rings, but by the 1900s, both spouses would exchange rings.
Although some cultures do not practice exchanging wedding rings, this is a common wedding practice in the Philippines due to our predominantly Catholic religion.
Which Finger Does My Wedding Ring Go On?
Ideally, your ring should be on the fourth finger of your left hand. The Egyptians believed that this finger had a special vein later known as the “Vena amoris” or literally the “vein of love,” which was connected directly to the heart. This, however, was later revealed to be untrue.
In a traditional Philippine wedding, a bride and groom exchange wedding rings during a Catholic wedding. The ring is placed on each other’s fourth finger on their left hand. For those who are left-handed, however, they may opt to wear the ring on their right hand so that it doesn’t get in the way of your daily activities.
Am I Allowed to Take Off My Wedding Ring?
Wedding rings are mostly symbolic, so there’s no reason to keep your ring on 24/7. After your wedding, you can take off your ring when you’re going to bed, taking a shower, or doing chores where you could risk tarnishing your ring.
You are expected, however, to always wear your wedding ring outside your home unless it’s necessary for you to take it off (e.g. your job poses risks if your ring snags or if you’re working out). Not wearing your wedding ring is seen as inappropriate because it gives others the idea that you’re trying to look like a single person.
When a person wears a ring, it’s a passive way of saying that they are in a committed relationship and are not romantically interested in anyone else. By wearing a ring that others can see, it’s like telling them to not give you romantic advances because your heart is with someone else. So, if you’re in a social setting without a ring, people may assume the worst and think you’re seeking other romantic relationships.
Should Your Wedding Rings Match?
Traditionally, you and your partner’s rings should match. But this rule isn’t set in stone, so, if you and your partner have different ring preferences, there should be no reason to have non-matching wedding bands.
Some couples find matching or similar wedding rings to be endearing and a stronger symbol of their relationship. But another trend is for grooms to have simple wedding bands while brides have previous stones or elaborate engraving on a ring made with the same material as their partner.
How Should Women Wear Their Wedding and Engagement Ring?
Women traditionally have both wedding and engagement rings. On your wedding day, wear your engagement ring on the fourth finger on your right hand. This will allow your groom to slip the wedding ring on your left hand.
Because wedding rings are traditionally plain, so some women opt to wear both their engagement and wedding ring. By tradition, according to The Knot, your wedding ring should be closer to your hand. So, after the wedding, put on your wedding ring on the fourth finger of your left hand followed by your engagement ring.
How Much Are Wedding Rings in the Philippines?
The price for a pair of wedding rings can vary for a lot of reasons:
- Source of rings (e.g. luxury jewelry stores, mid-range jewelry stores, consignment stores, pawnshops, etc.)
- Material (gold, platinum, silver, titanium; plated rings are also cheaper because they can tarnish more easily)
- Stones (plain bands are cheaper than rings with precious stones embedded)
- Custom engravings
The average wedding ring pair costs P15,000, though you may be able to find a pair cheaper in the market. You can also opt to have a jeweler customize your wedding rings, but this is more expensive than buying one that is already made.
If you’re trying to stick to a small-budget wedding, this is one of the things you shouldn’t cheapen out on.
For example, a silver-plated ring is cheaper than a genuine silver ring because majority of the former’s composition consists of cheaper metals and are coated with a thin outer layer of silver. Eventually, the cheap metal will oxidize from the inside, expanding and causing the outer silver to crack.
This means that after a number of years your silver-plated ring will lose its shine and color. Genuine silver wedding rings, on the other hand, consist of at least 92.5% silver, giving it durable and longer-lasting properties.
Wedding rings are one of those traditions that have stood the test of time. While there’s nothing wrong with budgeting for a wedding, wedding rings are one of those things you really have to buy in good quality so that you and your partner can wear your rings for the rest of your lives.