For thousands of years lovers have exchanged a wedding ring as tokens of their vows……
Of course there is no legal imperative to use rings in your ceremony, but it is a custom that most couples still hold dear for their wedding day. For a ring is a gift you wear forever as a reminder of your wedding day, and the promises you gave to each other.
Your wedding ring
So you’ve been shopping for wedding rings, trying things on, thinking about what exactly you would like to wear into the future. But then there is the ceremony, when the ring will be placed on your hand for the first time.
This is something you may not have thought much about. This is where your celebrant comes into the picture.
Let’s take a step back and consider the history of the wedding ring.
Where did the wedding ring come from?
According to some historians, the first recorded marriage rings date back to the days when early man tied plaited circlets around the Bride’s wrists and ankles to keep her spirit from running away. Approximately 3,000 BC, Egyptians originated the phrase “without beginning, without end” in describing the significance of the wedding ring. These rings were made of woven hemp which constantly wore out and needed replacement.
A gold ring
It was the Romans who originally used iron, gold is now used as a symbol of all that is pure. Diamonds were first used by Italians, who believed that it was created from the flames of love. In some European cultures, the wedding ring is worn on the right hand. In other cultures, an engagement ring is worn on the left hand, and the wedding ring is worn on the right hand.
Of course you need not say anything at all. Sometimes it is what you do that is as important as what you say.
But you may like to say a little something. It does not need to be a long message. You have just exchanged vows, the moment which would usually encapsulate your promise. So for the rings exchange need not be wordy.
Here are some examples of something to say whilst slipping the ring on your love’s finger:
- With this ring I thee wed.
- I give you this ring as a visible and constant symbol of my promise to be with you as long as I live.
- I give you this ring as a symbol of my love for you. Let it be a reminder that I am always by your side and that I will always be a faithful partner to you.
- I give you this ring as a symbol of my love, my faith in our strength together, and my covenant to learn and grow with you
- Let this ring be a symbol of my promises to you and a reminder of my devotion to you. I am honored to call you my (wife/husband).
- I give this ring as my gift to you. Wear it and think of me and know that I love you.
- This ring is a circle with no end, just like my love for you.Wear this ring and recall my promise to you today.
- As you cherish this ring, so I cherish you.
Say it with a poem
Another delightful solution is to choose someone to read the poem, “These are the Hands…” No one seems to know the original author, and it has appeared in several versions. It is also easy to personalise to your own situation. For example, substitute, young for mature, or care for cherish, or the present tense for the past tense for a longer relationship/engagement or for a renewal of vows….. etc.
These are the hands, author unknown
These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love,
that hold yours on your wedding day.
These are the hands that will work along side yours as you build your future together.
These are the hands that will passionately love you and care for you throughout the years.
These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief torments your mind and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other.
These are the hands that will give you strength when you struggle, and support and encouragement to chase down your dreams.
These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children, and help keep your family together as one.
These are the hands that will, countless times, wipe the tears from yours eyes, tears of sorrow, and tears of joy.
And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled with age, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch—- a touch from these hands.