The truth about the ‘exchange of rings’

The exchange of rings is probably THE most well known, and popular ‘symbolic action’ during a wedding ceremony…

…But (truth #1) did you know that it doesn’t form part of the legal ceremony? It’s purely a gesture, or symbol, to reflect your joining together as a couple.

The symbolic meaning of the ring has morphed and changed over time and so, despite it’s murky history, exchanging rings is still one of the most popular symbolisms used in wedding ceremonies today.

So where did the tradition of exchanging rings come from and what does it mean?

Well, to understand the story behind it all, we have to go back to a time when (truth #2) marriage was considered to be a business transaction between the groom and the bride’s father! The sign of a successful ‘deal’ was a ring being accepted by the bride herself – this constituted her acceptance and meant that ‘full payment’ (or dowry) was made ‘on delivery’ i.e when the bride showed up on the day of the wedding.

(If you’d like to find out more about symbolic actions like the exchange of rings, head over to the main blog page or watch the Youtube channel.

What about the ‘ring finger?’

Traditionally, in most western cultures, the wedding (and engagement) rings are worn on the third finger, left hand. This Is because in Roman times, it was thought that the vein in this finger linked directly to the heart. However, in countries such as Germany and India and in the far east,  tradition means the third finger, right hand is used, where ideas of love and relationships, creativity, beauty, and romance are linked.

Why are wedding rings traditionally made of gold?

Remember that business contract, way back when? (truth #3) Gold rings were often used because it is a precious metal and highly valuable- just like it is today. And it’s thought to be where the saying ‘as good as gold’ may have come from – meaning the promises made by the Groom and Bride’s father were as good as the quality and value of gold.

These days, of course, the metal used in your wedding ring is entirely up to you! Popular modern choices are gold, silver, platinum or titanium. And you can have them individually designed and handcrafted too.

Get in touch for a free, no-obligation chat to find out what the possibilities could be and how we can create traditions that truly reflect your personality and style!

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