cultural differences 12: wedding rings

April 20, 2010

I once got a marriage proposal from a reader from the US 🙂

She asked me about German traditions concerning wedding rings, and I found out that they are a bit different from wedding rings in the US.

Germans wear their wedding rings on the right ring finger, not on the left hand. If you wear a ring on the left hand, it might mean you’re engaged – although a lot of people nowadays wear rings on the right or left hand that have no meaning at all.

In Germany, it was tradition to wear a ring on your left hand while you were engaged. On the day of the wedding, you transferred the ring to the right ring finger. Many people still do it this way, but some younger people buy a separate engagement ring.

A typical German wedding ring is quite plain – no big diamonds or anything.

Guess that proposing reader is lucky she won’t have to splurge on a big “rock.” 🙂



  1. You forgot to share with us your response to the marriage proposal! 🙂

  2. I never gave a final response. I can’t decide until I have proof that she can cook and is good with animals. 🙂

  3. Jae, here in Australia we have two rings both worn on the left ring finger. I was interested but unaware of how you do it in Germany, that would certainly save some money.

  4. People in some parts of Germany (Swabia) are accused of being very tight-fisted when it comes to money 🙂

    I know some Germans who wear a second ring with their wedding band too. So, in Australia, are the two rings put on the ring finger during the wedding ceremony?

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