The Ring Warming: No Sweaty Palms Required
Sep 10, 2009
Traditions & Etiquette
I’m kind of excited that we’re at a point in wedding history where we may be seeing a new tradition being born. The ring warming is a beautiful new touch that more and more couples have been adding to their weddings, and my fiancé and I will be incorporating it into our otherwise traditional ceremony.
I think this one has staying power. It’s charming, it’s inclusive, it can be a part of both religious and secular weddings, and the only expense it adds to your wedding is a piece of cloth.
The ring warming happens just before the bride and groom exchange rings. The rings, usually folded into a pretty piece of cloth or held snugly in a ring bag, are passed among the guests. Each briefly holds the rings and makes a wish for the marriage.
So far I’ve only seen them at very small, nontraditional weddings in which guest participation is very much the norm. If you have a small guest list, you may want to have each guest give a wish out loud, but for a medium-sized wedding you may want to have each guest give a silent wish to save time. Silent wishes can also allow people to participate without feeling put on the spot to say something brilliant.
A ring-warming can still fit into a large wedding. You might just have each of your attendants give a wish, or use it as a way to allow close friends who aren’t attendants to participate.
For ours, we’re switching it up by having each of our grandparents hold the rings and make a wish. We feel like it’s a great way to make them an honored part of our wedding and maybe get a piece of their long-marriage luck.
And it’s that very adaptability that makes the ring warming so great. One couple I know each has parents who have happily remarried and great relationships with their stepparents. That adds up to eight parents at the wedding. A ring warming is a great way to acknowledge each of them as important parts of the couple’s lives and make sure everyone feels loved and included.
Ring warmings are still unusual, so make sure that any guests who are asked to participate know what’s expected of them – whether they should give a silent wish or speak out loud, and whether they should prepare a few words or just speak spontaneously.
Other than that, adapt it to your wedding’s unique needs as you see fit.
And have fun knowing that when your grandkids get married, you can tell them that you had a ring warming before ring warmings were cool.