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Can You Get Married Without a Wedding Ring?

Published Tuesday, Apr. 2nd, 2024

A young couple hold hands outdoors in the sun.
Photo: zaetsevgeniy / Adobe Stock

Can you get married without exchanging wedding rings? Absolutely, yes! 


In fact, many couples get married without exchanging wedding rings. This choice is becoming more popular among young couples who want to save money for other expenses, such as a honeymoon or family vacation. 


Some couples exchange other gifts during their wedding ceremony instead, such as lockets, bracelets, or other meaningful objects. Couples sometimes exchange gifts that represent their shared interests, like special cameras, golf clubs, or swords.


One couple with a small farm in Georgia even exchanged pygmy goats on their wedding day, to celebrate their shared love of the adorable animals! 


Related: “With This… Goat? I Thee Wed” : A wedding with baby pygmy goats!


But wedding gift exchanges aren’t necessary, either…


Some couples exchange nothing but written wedding vows or simple ‘I do’s – sweet and effortless!  The Handfasting ritual is also a popular choice, and doesn't require any expensive gift giving.



So what IS required to get married? 


To be legally married, you will need to apply for a marriage license. You should apply for your marriage license in the state or county where you want to hold your ceremony. 


On your wedding day, an authorized wedding officiant will confirm your desire to marry, sign your license, and pronounce you married. You don’t need to have a traditional wedding – many modern couples choose a straightforward ‘signing ceremony’ instead. 


Looking for the perfect wedding officiant? Ask a friend or relative to get ordained online to officiate your wedding!



Once your license is completed and filed with the clerk’s office – that’s it! You're married! 


Find out more by clicking the links below: 






Did you know? Exchanging wedding rings is a popular unity ritual, but there are many other unity rituals to choose from! You might choose a unity candle lighting ceremony, a sand blending ceremony, or tree planting ceremony.


Traditions like braiding a ‘cord of three strands,’ traditional handfasting ceremony, or ‘jumping the broom’ ceremony also leave couples with a sweet keepsake to remind them of their wedding day and the bonds of marriage. 


You can include multiple unity rituals in your wedding ceremony, or none at all – it’s up to you! 



Browse Unity Ritual Ideas & Inspiration



Jessica Levey
Jessica Levey

Lead Staff Writer & Illustrator

Jessica loves exploring the history and magic of ritual, the connections between people and places, and sharing true stories about love and commitment. She's an advocate for marriage equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and individuality, and is an ordained Minister with AMM. When she’s not writing or illustrating for AMM, she enjoys city hikes, fantasy novels, comics, and traveling.

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