A wedding ring or band is a metal band, generally made of gold is worn on hand to indicate the marital status of the wearer. In most cultures, wedding rings are worn on the left hand ring finger. In some cultures, the ring is worn on the right hand.
The custom of wearing wedding rings has spread far and wide from the original location. It was a custom in Europe and was worn only by women for a while. It has become a norm since beginning of 20th century. Wedding ring is the gift given to woman after the engagement. The first is an engagement ring which is given at a betrothal.
In some churches like the eastern orthodox or catholic Christian, the rings are exchanged at the engagement and not the wedding. It consists of 2 rings – an engagement ring and the wedding band that is given either by a priest after blessing, or the best man. In America, the custom of giving a ring with diamonds or other precious stones started in the 1930s. It is usually given by the man to his fiancee after proposing marriage. At the wedding a plainer band is put on the ring finger. These days it is the norm to have the engagement and wedding rings match. Some people choose to have the rings fused together to make one ring after the wedding.
In quite a few traditions, the best man and the maid of honor keep track of the ring till the vows are taken. It is presented at the ceremony to the bride and groom on a special pillow. The wedding rings are meant to symbolise the couple’s eternal love and commitment to each other. People are now opting for metals like platinum or white gold in their wedding bands.