If you are anything like me, you grew up dreaming about life as a married woman: your house, your kids, your husband, your dog(s). I watched endless hours of wedding shows like Say Yes to the Dress, Four Weddings, A Wedding Story, Bridezillas, etc. I would critique and analyze these girls, make mental notes of what I liked and didn't like, and silently plan this outlandishly extravagant wedding, knowing that I would never really be able to bring myself to spend thousands of dollars on a dress I'd wear once, for a couple of hours. I'm just not that girl.
I loved the rings though. I would spend an embarrassingly long amount of time shopping for wedding rings, pinning ones I loved, and shamelessly emailing them to my then-boyfriend, in the hopes that he would pick up on my not-so-subtle hints.
Obviously, he did pick up what I was laying down (as they say) and proposed on Christmas morning 2008. I love my ring. It's perfect and not at all what I had picked for myself. It's everything I could have every wanted and I still catch myself just looking at it and admiring how pretty it is and thinking "damn, he did good." I've never been big on expensive things, I'd rather use the money for bigger things (house, car, babies, vacation, etc) so I was glad when the ring wasn't outlandish like the ones I'd seen on TV so many times. It's a half carat, and for me, that's perfect. I honestly thought it was too much at first, but it really is gorgeous.
Wedding band shopping proved difficult. Not at first, of course. At first, I found the perfect band on our first trip to the mall. We bought it 9 months before the wedding, and I would sneak and put it on when he was at work because I just loved looking at them together. About 3 months into our marriage, I realized something very upsetting: I was allergic to my wedding band.
For those of you who don't have any allergies, count yourself lucky. I'm allergic to a few things, the most frustrating of which is nickel. The day I realized I was allergic to my wedding band was one of the most frustrating and disappointing days of my life. I'd had the ring for a year at that point, and Zales was quick to tell me that they couldn't help me and it's my fault I'm allergic (I'm never shopping there again) after skirting and attempting to deny that they mixed their yellow gold with nickel to make it white. Gold doesn't naturally come in white, jewelers mix it with a silver colored metal to make it "white" gold. The problem is that nickel allergies are pretty common. Nickel is cheap and Zales sucks.
On to the next thing: Questing for a new, equally perfect wedding band to replace the formerly perfect one. This would turn into a 3 year journey, involving 6 rings before finally finding the one I have now and love at JCPenny.
While on this journey, I was told by no less than 3 different jewelry sales women that I'm wearing mine "wrong" as if there is some official "right" way to wear one's jewelry. I would always politely say "Thanks, but I like to wear them in the order I got them", "Our wedding sealed our engagement", or "My husband preferred this way, and I tend to agree with him".
It's been 4 years now since finding my new perfect ring and I like to play with how I wear them. When I was pregnant, my fingers got so swollen that I couldn't wear my engagement ring, but my wedding band still fit (oddly, despite the fact that they are the same size) so I wore it solo for a few months. My thought was always "I know I'm married. I'm quick to tell people about my husband so I'm clearly not trying to be sneaky.Who cares which way is the 'right' way? It's my finger!"
Recently, I decided to do a little poll, consulting about a hundred women in various moms groups on Facebook, my Facebook page, and my Twitter feed and came up with these results:
Several women commented that B was the "right" way because the wedding band is meant to be closer to your heart, symbolizing that the marriage is more important than the money (AKA engagement ring).
Some women countered that A was the "right" way because it's the order in which he gave them to her, or (like I said already) the wedding seals the engagement.
More than I expected voted for C, stating that their wedding band came first, then their engagement ring, then their anniversary ring to match the wedding band. Anniversary rings are new to me. I honestly never thought about that. Once I get my wedding band, I always just thought that finger was done getting rings.
Here's what I've learned from all of this research, shopping, and discussion with other wives:
There is no right way to wear your wedding rings.
The truth is that you are the one who is going to be seeing your rings on a daily basis, so only you can decide which way looks best to you. Your rings. Your body. Your choice.
Don't let anyone tell you that your way is "wrong" just because it's different from theirs or from the norm. There. Is. No. Right. Way.
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Writer and Contributor for the Motherhood Community