You have your wedding day all planned venue, photographer, florists and of course us the registrars. But the one thing that is usually left till the end or may have not have budgeted for is the wedding rings. For most the wedding ring is a symbol and lasting memory of the commitment you make to one another. I don’t know about others (maybe I’m a softie) but I often find myself looking down at my rings and it makes me think of my husband. Quite often a ring can mean so much more. It is passed on through generations as a keepsake to remember loved ones. Wedding rings are quite often tied to bouquets in memory of family or worn on a chain round a neck. So, choosing your ring must be up there as a priority.
The exchange of rings is tradition dating back to Egyptian times where they were given to women only. They were usually twisted or braided reeds. They also used bone, ivory and metals, the more precious the material showed your wealth. Romans gave their women rings as a claim of ownership (not very romantic). However, they did introduce the idea of engraving them which nowadays is usually a date. Around 860 Christians then starting using a ring in a marriage ceremony and these were usually very ornate and then becoming the simpler plain band we know today in the 13th century.
A wedding ring symbolises eternity with no beginning and no end. Tradition is the ring is worn on the fourth finger of the left hand. Many reasons for why this is the case but the most popular thought is that this is where a vein runs to your heart. The engagement ring is usually removed for the wedding ceremony so the wedding ring is on first and closest to the heart. The engagement ring is then worn on top. Tradition is then an eternity ring is worn on top of that after 10 years of marriage or after the birth of your first child, yes please more bling!!
Before I was a registrar, I managed a jewellery shop and loved the personal reasons why customers were purchasing their pieces. I was always amazed how last-minute customers were buying their rings and wedding jewellery. I would love talking to them whilst picking their rings about the day and for may it was a purchase done as a couple. Now I am lucky enough to be part of that day.
Things to think about:
STYLE: There are so many more materials now for weddings rings other than the traditional gold and platinum. They all vary in price but all with the same desired look. You must plan and budget as you may find you need to have a ring made to fit around your engagement ring which could take weeks or if you have big hands rings may have to be ordered in. Remember this ring is going to hopefully going be on your finger for forever so it needs to good quality. If you have a hands-on job you may prefer a more robust metal such as titanium. Diamonds are not always a girl’s best friend especially if you are caring for people or have young children as they scratch. If you wash your hands a lot, water can sit under the stones and if not dried properly can make the skin sore. However, they do look pretty!!
BOX: At the ceremony try and put the rings in one box if you can. Its easier for the best man/woman to look after in their pocket/hand and looks nice for photos. If using a cushion just tie them on with a loop/slip knot. Then scissors won’t be needed at that important moment in the ceremony. If you have children it is always nice to include them in the presenting of the rings.
CARE: Give them a clean with a cloth every now again. Diamonds can be cleaned carefully with a very soft toothbrush and washing liquid. White gold will need to be Rhodium plated to make it whiter again. Gold and platinum bands can be polished by most jewellers free of charge just go in and ask. Its amazing how having a shiny ring can make you feel good and bring back memories.
Rings are not a legal requirement in a ceremony and may not be something that you want. If you are going to exchange rings, think of them as part of your marriage. You have it forever and is a lifelong promise. It may annoy you sometimes but you just have to look at it and it should fill you with love!