Exchanging wedding rings

For thousands of years lovers have exchanged rings as a token 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.  For a ring is a gift you wear forever as a reminder of your wedding day, and the promises you gave to each other.

Shakespeare wrote, “Now join your hands, and with your hands your hearts.” It is believed that the hands are a connection to the heart, and a hand blessing symbolically brings two hearts together.

Something to say

So what does one say when giving the ring? 

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 one 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.

Ring Warming

How about a handfasting ritual or a ring warming.

Ask me, I’ll tell you how.

Or nothing

Of course you need not say anything at all. Sometimes it is what you do that is as important as what you say.