Ring Warming Wedding Ceremony
As wedding ceremonies become more meaningful and personalized, various rituals are becoming more popular for couples who want their guests to feel included in their ceremony. One of my favorite wedding rituals is the ring warming. The name alone makes me smile It may be that a ring warming ceremony is the perfect solution.
The concept is simple: near the beginning of your ceremony, have your officiant let your guests know that your rings will be making their way through the assembled guests, with an invitation for each guest to hold the ring, say a silent prayer/blessing/wish for your marriage, and then pass it to the next guest. Then the officiant can pass out the rings, and continue on with the ceremony until it’s time for you and your partner to present the rings to each other.
During a ring warming, the couple’s wedding rings are passed among their guests, who are asked to say a prayer, blessing, or make a special wish for the couple over the rings while holding them. This intimate exchange injects all of the loving energy of the couple’s friends and family into the rings that they’ll be wearing for a lifetime. I love it! It makes for a very inclusive element of the ceremony and further connects the couple with their loved ones in attendance. Imagine how it must feel…your partner places the ring on your finger…and you feel a warm wave of love rush over you as you realize that each and every guest has blessed this ring for you. What a wonderful feeling!
A ring-warming is a very new idea that I ran across during the course of our wedding planning. Since it is so new, there wasn’t a lot of information about the logistics of such a ceremony, so we had to base what we’re going to do on the few references we were able to find online.
One bride put the following text in the programs to explain the ring-warming:
“A ring-warming is a relatively new tradition included in wedding ceremonies. Just before we exchange wedding rings, the rings will be passed to each of our guests. Each guest will briefly hold the rings and silently “warm” them with his or her blessing, prayers, and wishes for our marriage. When it is time for us to exchange rings, the rings will have been warmed by the love and support of our family and friends.”
Just before the ring exchange, two of the groomsmen can help pass the rings fom row to row, as ushers do during a church offertory. This should help speed along the process of passing the rings to each and every guest. You could add a special piece of music for the Ring Warming too.
Now, before you freak out and say, “but what if someone loses our rings?!?!” let me first say that ring warmings, as described above, may not be suited for larger weddings. They do work best for smaller groups, as there is less chance of them being lost, and a smaller group doesn’t allow for it to go on for too long. There’s also the location to consider…if you’re having a beach wedding and everyone is standing in the sand, you may not want to have your rings passed around…you’ll probably be sweating with anxiety and visions of your treasured (and probably expensive) rings falling into the sand, only to be found weeks later by a treasure hunter with a metal detector or a toddler making sand castles 😉 So they do work best for smaller weddings, but if this really appeals to you for inclusion in your larger ceremony…all hope isn’t lost! A solution for this is to attach/tie the wedding rings to a pillow or book or some other symbolic such as a ring bowl from Paloma’s Nest to which you could have the rings securely attached for the passing.
Your guests will appreciate the opportunity to give something to the two of you in such a personal way as during your wedding ceremony.
Option 2) Instead of passing the rings among all of your guests, the Officant can hold the rings and ask the guests to join her/him in blessing them. This still invites the loving collective energy of your guests, but cuts down on the time and avoids any potential risks of lost or damaged rings. There are many other ways that this ritual can be adjusted to suit your needs, so be sure to discuss your thoughts with your officiant if you’d like this ritual included in your wedding ceremony.