Men Haven’t Always Worn Wedding Rings

A generation or two ago, a man choosing not to wear a wedding ring would barely have drawn comment. While the wearing of wedding rings by brides can be traced back to ancient Egypt, it’s only in the latter part of the last century that the majority of bridegrooms began doing the same thing. World War II is considered to have heralded a seismic shift, as soldiers fighting overseas chose to wear wedding rings as a comforting reminder of their wives back home. In the mid-20th century, men started being expected to wear wedding rings, primarily to indicate that they are “off the market.” The rise in popularity of men’s wedding rings has been part of a wider boom in jewelry worn by men, which traces back to the ‘60s and ‘70s and the arrival of men’s fashion neck chains and bracelets. Who can forget the gaggle of gold chains Mr. T. proudly wore on the action-adventure series The A-Team? Perhaps men and women both wearing wedding rings is a sign of more equality, something that ties them together in the same way. What will likely never be equal is the attention on the bride and groom on their wedding day.