The wedding ring exchange is one of the most important parts of the ceremony. You may find yourself having questions about how it all works, and why we even do it. Let's go over some wedding ring frequently asked questions so that you can be prepared for this critical part of your ceremony.
how does the ring exchange work in a wedding?
Per tradition, the wedding ring should go first on your left ring finger, below the engagement ring. This means the wedding ring is closer to your heart. It is up to you how you decide to do this transition. You can place your engagement ring on your left ring finger and have the wedding band placed over it; then switch the positions after the ceremony. Or, you can keep your engagement ring on your right ring finger during the ceremony, then move it to the left ring finger (on top of the wedding band) after the ceremony.
When it is time to place the ring on the groom's finger, put it on his left ring finger just as he does for you. Follow the pastor or ordained minister's cues on when this should take place.
why do we exchange rings at a wedding?
The exchanging of wedding rings is a tradition that goes back thousands of years. Many believe that this tradition originated from the ancient Egyptians. They wore their wedding ring on their left ring finger because they felt the vein in that finger leads directly to your heart. And let's face it, the heart is where we hold all of our love. This is why the ring exchange is such a special part of the ceremony. Consider it a symbol of love and lifelong commitment.
do you exchange rings at a courthouse wedding?
Do you plan on having a courthouse wedding? There are a couple of reasons why some couples decide to go this route.
The first reason could be cost-related. Perhaps a grand, formal wedding falls outside of your budget, which is perfectly fine. You just want to tie the knot without breaking the bank. In this case, you would probably do the ring exchange at the courthouse considering there will be no additional formal ceremony to do so.
However, some people opt to do a courthouse wedding because they want to go ahead and make it legally official before going the formal wedding route. If you are planning on having a more formal wedding down the road, then you can absolutely hold off on the ring exchange until then. The wedding ring exchange doesn't necessarily make it legal, it's just more of a tradition. So whether you decide to go ahead and do it then, or wait until the formal wedding is completely up to you.
what to exchange instead of wedding rings?
While the symbolic nature of the traditional ring exchange appeals to many people, you may not see the appeal. This could also be due to budget restraints. You do not need to have fancy rings to solidify your marriage. There are other alternatives that you could choose to give a token of your commitment to the person you hold dear to your heart.
You could always write a copy of your vows to keep in each other's wallet. Your vows are basically the promise and commitment that you make to your spouse. Having a copy of those close to you at all times can be equally as fulfilling as fancy rings.
Perhaps you are uncomfortable with constantly carrying around something worth so much value for fear of losing it. Matching tattoos on your ring finger could be a great alternative. This is a permanent, cost-efficient solution that won't just fall off while doing laundry or playing golf.
If you are tying the knot, you are most likely looking at moving in together if you haven't already done so. Make a trip together to purchase a piece of decor or wall art for your first home or apartment as a married couple and put it on display at your reception.
It is perfectly fine to start your life together in a more practical manner. You can choose things like engraved silverware or bracelets to symbolize your marriage and commitment to one another. Then, in the future, you can always purchase wedding bands when your budget allows.
Wedding ring exchange script examples:
If you should decide to go the with the traditional ring exchange route, the next thing you will need to consider is the wording (or script) that the two of you will use during this special part of the ceremony. We have compiled a few examples from Wedding Forward that should help with this part of planning your wedding.
- "The fitting of this ring with its unending circle symbolizes my everlasting love for you. The placing of this ring on your finger is the fulfillment of my dreams, to have you as my friend, my love, my husband/wife, to live as one forever."
- "With this ring, I give you my heart... from this day forward. You shall not walk alone. My heart will be your shelter, And my arms will be your home.
Maybe you want to go the more humorous route?
- "I give you this ring as a symbol of love for you,. Let it be a reminder that I am always by your side, even when you snore, and I will always be a faithful partner to you."
- "Do you, with this ring, take [NAME] to be your Husband/Wife, to have and to hold from this day forward for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish until death or zombies do you part? Me: I do."
If you are having a non-denominational ceremony, these are two examples of wedding ring exchange scripts to consider:
- "I promise to love, respect and honor you. I will always be there for you, beside you. Let this ring be a symbol of our love, may it represent today, our tomorrows, our future and our past. As I have given you my hands to hold, so I give you my life to keep."
- "I [NAME], give you this ring, this band of gold, to love you always to have and to hold. I give you my love, precious and true, you know that my heart is only for you."
do not let the ring define you:
Whether you choose to go the traditional route and purchase rings as your token of commitment, or decide to keep it simple and find other ways to show tokens of your marriage, the ring should not define your marriage. If a fancy wedding band simply isn't in your budget or just isn't important to you, that is perfectly fine!
Consider all of these things when thinking out the wedding ring exchange and decide what works best for you and your soon-to-be-spouse. The wedding ring exchange isn't a rule set in stone to get married. It is simply a tradition.