Always On Right Hand
Countries that wear wedding rings on the right hand may live in Eastern or Southeastern Europe. This may include Cyprus, Georgia, and sections of the Caucasus area and Siberia and the Russian Far East. Other right-hand wedding band wearers include people from Latvia, Austria, Poland, Norway, Spain and Portugal.
First On Right, Then On Left
Lebanon, Syria and Turkey denote countries that wear the ring on the right hand only up until the wedding day. Then, they switch it to the left hand, and this tradition also prevails in Brazil and Romania.
Ireland has a unique tradition of wearing a Claddagh, which when turn a certain way, denotes a marriage commitment. They might wear it on either hand, but they more than likely will switch it to the left hand after engagement or marriage.
They choose one of four different positions for the ring to signify four different relationship statuses: Being single or used as a sign of friendship, being in a relationship, being engaged, or being married.
One On Right, One On Left
In Sri Lanka, the bride wears the wedding ring on the left hand, and the groom wears it on the right. This especially occurs among the Sinhalese and Tamil people residing here.
Some couples of either Jewish or Muslim origin might each wear a ring on the opposite hand as the other. In Taiwan, the man wears the ring on the left hand, while the woman wears it on the right – the opposite of how they do it in Sri Lanka.
In Religious Circles
Besides Orthodox Christians, some Jewish temples may hold the tradition of wearing a wedding ring on the right hand. Note, however, that it’s not always on the same finger.
For instance, some Jewish brides wear a wedding ring on the middle finger or the thumb, but others might have it on the index finger. Orthodox Jewish men typically don’t wear wedding rings at all.
Wedding ring wearing doesn’t usually occur within Islamic cultures. However, they do often use it as a sign of betrothal, which is the state between engagement and marriage. In India, they also usually apply them for engagement and not marriage.
For Roman Catholics, the tradition calls for wearing the engagement ring on the right hand, then they wear the wedding ring on the left hand. Protestants have similar traditions. It’s the Greek Orthodox brides, however, who typically switch it from one hand to the other.