Engagement Rings and Same-Sex Weddings
Wedding purists as well as the newly-engaged often ask the same question: “Who wears the engagement ring in a same-sex marriage?” The answer is, most simply put, “whoever wants to.” The combinations are flexible and the most important factors are your personal beliefs and comfort level.
At a time before widespread marriage equality and legal recognition, engagement rings were less common. This can be attributed not only to a difference in perception of an engaged same-sex couple, but also the fact that there were simply fewer engagements. Now, there are options to fit every relationship, and more are released every season. It’s a great time to be engaged!
Statistically, more couples are choosing rings for both partners today than in the past. Some choose identical rings, while others select completely unique symbols of their impending union. If one partner proposes, he or she might purchase the first ring. Later, the other partner may present a ring, and may even propose again.
Rings don’t have to accompany a formal proposal, either. Some couples simply decide together that they plan to marry. On agreement, they may go to a reputable jeweler together, select, and purchase engagement rings. Of course, they don’t have to stop there. Many LGBT couples purchase not only engagement rings, but wedding bands as well.
The dynamics of same-sex couples are diverse, and there are plenty who will conform to the “one-engagement-ring” tradition. Until very recently, in a sign of defiance against the lack of access to legal marriage, some gay or lesbian partners would wear their “commitment” rings on their middle finger instead of their ring finger, or on their right hand instead of left, and there are still brides and grooms who prefer these placements. However, many choose the more widespread custom of wearing their engagement rings on the ring finger of their left hand.
Even among heterosexual couples, there are plenty of people who do not wear engagement rings (or wedding rings), for a number of reasons. Some do not appreciate the symbolism, and others have practical considerations and don’t want to take their rings on and off all day. Still others fear what some couples have experienced – an engagement ring naturally draws attention, and then questions. In a business situation, or a tense social one, you may not want to correct a client or judgmental associate about the gender of your intended. If the discomfort is greater than the gratification of publicly acknowledging your relationship, feel free to forego the engagement rings. It is your relationship and no one else should determine what you do with it.
There is an option for every couple when it comes to engagement rings – which one suits your personal love story best?
Photo courtesy of Hitched! Wedding Co.
S. Walker is a freelance writer for GayWeddings.com.