A wedding ring or wedding band consists of a precious metal ring, usually worn on the base of the left ring finger – the fourth finger (with the thumb counted as the first finger) of the left hand. Such a ring symbolizes marriage: a spouse wears it to indicate a marital commitment to fidelity. The European custom of wearing such a ring has spread widely beyond Europe.
In the United Kingdom and the United States in past generations, women wore wedding bands much more commonly than men did. Today, both partners often wear wedding rings, but where occupations or professions forbid or discourage the wearing of jewelry (as in the cases of actors, security , military pilots and electrical workers), either marriage partner may not wear a ring. In addition, people often remove wedding rings for comfort or safety. Others may object to the idea of precious metals, or dislike the idea of declaring their legal status through jewelry. Either partner may also wear a wedding ring on a chain around the neck, thus conveying the socially equivalent message to wearing it on a finger.
One interpretation states that the woman wears the wedding ring below the engagement ring, thus making it closer to the heart. Another practice holds that the woman should wear the wedding ring above the engagement ring, thus sealing the atmosphere of the engagement into the marriage. Still others prefer that the wedding ring should be worn alone.