Do you know why some European countries place their wedding rings on their right hand?
Oh, great question, too. I always wondered why some countries wear it on the left, but never looked it up. I’ll just copy something here:
“Before medical science discovered how the circulatory system functioned, people believed that a vein ran directly from the 4th finger on the left hand to the heart. Because of this, they chose the descriptive name vena amoris (vein of love). Based upon this, contemporary experts in the field of matrimonial etiquette wrote that it would only be fitting that the wedding ring be worn on this finger. By wearing it on the 4th finger of the left hand, a married couple symbolically declares their eternal love for each other.
In Western cultures, a wedding ring is traditionally worn on the ring finger. This developed from the Roman “anulus pronubis” when the man gave a ring to the woman at the betrothal ceremony. Blessing the wedding ring and putting it on the bride’s finger dates from the 11th century. In medieval Europe, the Christian wedding ceremony placed the ring in sequence on the thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers of the left hand. The ring was then left on the ring finger.
In a few European countries, the ring is worn on the left hand prior to marriage, then transferred to the right during the ceremony. For example, a Greek Orthodox bride wears the ring on the left, then moves it to the right hand after the wedding. In England, the 1549 Prayer Book declared “the ring shall be placed on the left hand”. By the 17th and 18th centuries the ring could be found on any finger after the ceremony — even on the thumb.”
In some countries such as Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, Colombia, Denmark, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, India, Latvia, Lithuania, Peru, the Netherlands [if not Catholic], Norway, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Ukraine, and Venezuela the wedding ring is worn on the ring finger of the right hand.
In other countries, such as Australia, Botswana, Canada, Czech Rep, Croatia, Egypt, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Mexico, New Zealand, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, and the USA it is generally worn on the ring finger of the left hand.
In Brazil, Turkey, Lebanon, and Syria, the ring is worn on the right hand until the actual wedding day, when it is moved to the left hand.