An extremely personal way to include your guests in your wedding ceremony is a ring warming ceremony as the wording conveys the meaning of your ceremony to your guests and extends your invitation for them to participate. Inviting everyone to hold your rings and bless them is a very powerful feeling for your guests and a memorable way for them to be connected with you and your wedding.
How it works:
Near the beginning of your wedding ceremony (usually after the welcome when everyone is seated), your celebrant introduces the ring warming to your guests. The ring warming wording explains that your rings will be passed around the guests. and invites each guest to participate.
Each guest holds the wedding rings and silently wishes you both good luck in your marriage, places their blessing on your rings or offers words of encouragement and love to you. In the ring warming ceremony your wedding rings are “warmed” forever by your guests. Guests impart the well wishes, prayers and their love for you onto your wedding rings.
Tips for Passing the Rings:
Avoid lost, dropped, or rolling rings
- Place them in small organza bag or a box (one box for both works best.)
- Tie the rings together with a piece of ribbon
- Place them on a pillow –a ring bearer’s pillow works great for passing the rings
Place a small tag on/with the rings explaining what guests should do (you would be surprised how many people forget between when they receive instructions, and when the rings are passed to them.) Something like this will help:
- Share Your Love and Pass It On
- Please silently bless/wish us luck and pass our rings on to the next guest. Signed (Bride) and Groom)
- Please warm our rings with the love in your heart.
Bonus Idea – Including Mum
One of my favourite additions to the ring warming ceremony is including your mothers.
After the rings have passed among guests, have them returned to your Mothers. The Mother of the Groom will hold the bride’s ring; the Mother of the Bride will hold the groom’s ring. For the ring exchange, the mothers stand and present the ring to their child. This is a special way of welcoming the new bride/groom to the family.
The rings can also be returned to the best man if you prefer to keep this tradition in your ceremony.
There are practical limitations:
There is simply not enough time to pass the rings to everyone at a large wedding (usually over 50 guests). You can address this by:
- limiting the ring warming to family and the bridal party, or
- having the guests warm your rings as they enter the ceremony area and reference it during your ring exchange.
For larger weddings, you may opt to have your ring warming as guests enter the ceremony area.
Place the rings on a table at the entrance to the ceremony.
Rings can be in a box, a beautiful dish, affixed to a pillow or similar object or even tied with ribbons and hanging so that guests can see and touch them as they enter. (It is best to have them secured so they will not roll away if dropped.)
Place a small sign on the table briefly explaining the ring warming ceremony and inviting guests to participate.
You may want a ring attendant present at the ring warming table as this ceremony is seldom seen at weddings. Your attendant may need familiarize guests with the ceremony and answer any questions. The attendant can also facilitate the movement of guests into the ceremony. (This job is not for a ring bearer.)
The rings will be passed as the celebrant continues with the wedding until the time for the ring exchange.
Sample wording read by your celebrant to introduce the warming of the rings:
During this ceremony, Groom and Bride’s name will exchange rings. They have entrusted the keeping of their rings with ? These rings are the visible signs of their commitment to one another. As this ceremony proceeds we ask that you take part in the warming of the rings.
? will now pass these rings and I ask that you hold them for a moment, warm them with your love, wishing them health and happiness and all that is good in life. Then pass them on to the next person. I ask that you voice a silent wish or prayer for this couple, for their marriage and their future together. When these rings come back to Bride and Grooms name they will contain, in their precious metal, that which is more precious, that which is more priceless; your love, hope and pledge of support for this union.
After the vows:
May I have the rings please? These rings, now warmed by those you love the most will forever show the world you are encircled by love and blessings of family and friends and that the two of you are now of one heart. Words are powerful, but fleeting and the sound of them is soon gone. Therefore, the wedding ring becomes the enduring symbol of the promises we have just heard. The ring is round, like the repeated cycles of the year, spring, summer, autumn, winter and spring again, for a marriage we must weather all seasons.
Why do we exchange rings?