How to Wear Your Wedding Bands: A Complete Guide on Top vs. Bottom Placement

Deciding whether to wear your wedding band above or below your engagement ring is an important choice for any newly engaged couple.

While there are no hard rules, tradition and practicality can help guide your decision.

Should You Wear Your Wedding Band Above or Below Your Engagement Ring?

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Most couples opt to wear the wedding band below the engagement ring, closer to the heart. This traditional stacking order highlights the significance of the engagement ring in a relationship. It also prevents the wedding band from rubbing against and damaging the engagement ring’s settings over time. Some choose to flip the order, prioritizing the wedding band as a symbol of their marriage. This is an especially popular choice for those with simpler engagement rings or who got engaged quickly. While there are practical considerations, do what feels right for you and your relationship. Wearing your rings in a way that makes you happiest is what matters most.

The Tradition of Wearing Your Wedding Band Below

Wearing your wedding band below your engagement ring has been the customary practice for generations. This tradition likely originated in the Middle Ages, when marriage was more about business than romance. The engagement ring represented a more valuable “down payment” on the marriage. The simple metal wedding band sealed the deal. Today, while marriages are still grounded in love, many honor this historic stacking order. Putting the wedding band closer to your heart can also symbolize its significance as the ultimate seal of commitment. If tradition is meaningful to you, wearing your wedding ring below may be the perfect choice.

Reasons to Wear Your Band Above Your Engagement Ring

While the traditional order is wedding band below, some couples decide to flip the script. Wearing your wedding band above your engagement ring can be the right choice for several reasons.

If you had a short engagement or inexpensive ring, you may want your wedding band to be the focal point. The simplicity and permanence of the wedding band makes it a powerful representation of commitment. For those with active lifestyles, a plain band is less prone to damage and easier to wear day-to-day. A simple, smooth wedding band above also allows the intricate details of the engagement ring to shine.

Some also prefer the wedding band on top for symbolic reasons. Having your marriage commitment physically closest to your heart can feel more meaningful for your relationship. At the end of the day, choose which feels right for you. Don’t worry about sticking to tradition if you’d prefer showcasing your wedding band atop your engagement ring.

Choosing What’s Most Comfortable for Your Lifestyle

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When deciding whether to wear your wedding band above or below your engagement ring, comfort should be a top consideration. The rings you choose to symbolize your marriage should fit your daily life.

Those with active jobs or hobbies may prefer the simplicity and security of a smooth wedding band on top. A plain band snags less on clothing or equipment and can better withstand regular wear and tear. It also provides a protective barrier to secure the prongs and settings of a more elaborate engagement ring underneath.

If your engagement ring has a tall or oddly shaped setting, having your wedding band below can prevent the two from uncomfortably rubbing together. Consider the shapes and sizes of both rings when stacking to maximize comfort. Choose what allows you to move through your regular activities without distraction.

At the end of the day, pick the order that makes the most sense for your lifestyle. Let comfort guide you in deciding whether your wedding band looks best on top or bottom.

Tips for Stacking Your Rings and Preventing Damage

Once you’ve decided on the ideal order for wearing your wedding set, focus on keeping the rings in great shape for years to come.

Select a wedding band that complements the design of your engagement ring. A plain, rounded band can protect a solitaire diamond, while a band with cutouts can showcase the details of a vintage-style ring. Consider width as well – a wider band provides more support underneath.

Routinely clean and inspect your rings to make sure prongs are secure and stones are not loose. Visit your jeweler at least once a year for a professional cleaning and checkup. They can also check that your rings still fit well together.

When exercising or doing housework, consider temporarily removing your rings and storing them safely. Soap and chemicals can erode metals and loosen stones over time.

Invest in a ring box or tray to keep your rings together when not wearing them. Velvet-lined boxes prevent scratches and tarnishing.

With some forethought about care and maintenance, your perfectly stacked wedding set can stay stunning for many anniversaries to come.

Ideas for Alternative Wearing Styles

While traditionally the wedding band is worn below the engagement ring, some modern brides are getting creative with how they style their sets.

Consider wearing your wedding band on your right hand, with your engagement ring remaining on the left. This allows both rings to be showcased.

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You could also get a second, simpler wedding band to stack above your engagement ring, with your original band below. A thin pave or plain metal band works well here.

If you have an active job or hobby, wearing your engagement ring on a necklace can keep it safe while still displaying it. Slip your band on your finger during work, then put your engagement ring back on after.

Mix up your look by sometimes wearing just one ring at a time. Your engagement ring makes a statement for date nights, while your band exudes understated elegance for the office.

At the end of the day, do what puts the biggest smile on your face when you look down at your hand. Your rings represent your unique love story.

How to Care for Your Rings Based on Wearing Style

Caring for your wedding rings ensures they last a lifetime. Proper maintenance depends on your wearing habits.

If you wear both bands daily, clean them weekly with mild soap and water. Monthly deep cleaning with an ultrasonic cleaner removes grime from tiny crevices. Annually visit a jeweler for professional polishing to restore shine.

For those who wear just one ring or alternate between the two, schedule cleanings based on how often each gets worn. Give the ring on your finger weekly cleanings. Deep clean and polish the ring in your jewelry box every 6 months.

Don’t wear your rings constantly? Clean them thoroughly before and after each use. Rotate them frequently to evenly distribute wear. Store in a ring box or jewelry organizer to prevent scratching.

No matter your style, remove rings before gardening, exercising, cleaning or other hands-on tasks. Resist the urge to fidget or click the bands together. Follow these care tips and your rings will stay dazzling for many anniversaries to come.

Advice for Men on Wearing Wedding Bands

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For many grooms, a wedding band is the first piece of jewelry they’ve worn daily. Adjusting to this new accessory takes some finesse.

First, find a comfortable fit. Too loose and the ring may slip off. Too tight can cause discomfort. Opt for a width that suits your hand size and style.

Second, choose a durable metal and design. Tungsten, titanium, and platinum stand up well to an active lifestyle. Consider a beveled edge for added comfort. Engravings add personal flair but can trap grime.

Lastly, remove your ring before strenuous work. This protects both your hand and the band from damage. Develop a habit of placing it in one spot to avoid losing it.

Transitioning to wearing a wedding band takes practice. With time, it will feel natural on your hand. Follow these tips and soon you’ll be sporting that ring with comfort and pride.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which goes first engagement and wedding ring?

The engagement ring is traditionally worn on the left ring finger first, followed by the wedding band which goes on top, closer to the heart. Some choose to only wear their wedding band after marriage.

What is the correct way to wear your wedding ring?

The wedding ring is worn on the left ring finger, below the engagement ring if you have one. The wedding ring sits closest to the heart.

Why does the wedding ring go at the bottom?

The wedding band goes on the bottom, closest to the heart, as a symbol that your spouse is the closest to your heart. The engagement ring goes on top.

Do you wear your wedding ring on top of engagement?

No, the wedding ring is worn underneath the engagement ring, closer to the heart. The wedding band sits at the bottom, with the engagement ring stacked on top of it.


The engagement ring is traditionally worn on the left ring finger first. After marriage, the wedding band is worn on the same finger but lower down, closest to the heart. The wedding ring goes on the bottom underneath the engagement ring, to symbolize your spouse being the closest to your heart. When wearing both an engagement ring and wedding band, the wedding ring always goes on the bottom, with the engagement ring stacked on top. This highlights the key points around wearing your wedding band on top or bottom in relation to the engagement ring, and that the wedding ring goes closest to the heart.

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