On my wedding day, February 1998. Was I ever so young?
In honor of William and Kate’s wedding on Friday (which I do believe I will get up early for), I’d like to share a wedding day snapshot of myself, as well as some wedding band facts I learned when researching rings for an article I wrote a few years ago for the Park Slope Reader, a neighborhood magazine. The article was titled “Wrapped Around Your Finger” and focused on tips by Brooklyn jewelry designers on getting the wedding band that’s right for you. The facts presented here were a sidebar called “Wedding Rings in History.”
I’ve read that William has elected not to wear a wedding band. It’s not like he needs it to identify himself as married; after tomorrow he is going to be the most famous husband in the world for awhile.
My husband and I have simple gold bands purchased from a shop in the Diamond District in Manhattan—always an experience, shopping there. You can get a good deal but it’s not nearly as romantic as shopping at Tiffany.
A few wedding ring facts:
-The Egyptians believed the circle, with no beginning or end, signified eternity and they twisted reeds and hemp into the first wedding rings. They wore them on the third finger of the left hand, in the belief that the vein there traveled straight to the heart. This legend was adopted by both the Greeks and the Romans and the vein in this finger became known as “vena amoris,” the “vein of love.”
-Mary, Duchess of Burgundy, became the first woman to receive a diamond engagement ring. Knowing there were many suitors for her hand, Archduke Maximilian of Austria acted on the advice of his counselors and presented her with the diamond ring they believed would impress her. It worked, Mary and Maximilian wed on August 18, 1477. By the 1600s, diamond engagement rings were in vogue all over Europe.
-In early America, Puritans felt adornment such as jewelry was immoral, so men gave their brides thimbles as tokens of love. Some women cut off the top part of the thimble, creating a makeshift wedding ring.
-Men’s wedding rings became popular in World War II. With the soldiers’ long deployments overseas, bands became both symbols of their marriages and a reminder of the wives waiting for them back home.
Do you wear a wedding band? If so, what kind?