The Rings Exchange
This is where the couple exchange their wedding rings.
- As the wedding officiant, you will probably be relied upon to facilitate the rings exchange in a number of ways.
- You may begin the rings exchange with a few words, such as, "The couple would now like to exchange their wedding rings".
- The rings exchange may also involve other people in the wedding party, such as the best man, maid of honor, or flower girl. In such cases, the person acting in this capacity is referred to as the "Ring Bearer".
- Before the ceremony, clearly establish how the rings exchange is meant to take place, who is involved, etc. Plan this part down to the smallest detail, such as “the best man should step forward and hand the box with the rings to the officiant.”
- The couple exchange their wedding rings.
- The rings exchange is not a required part of a wedding ceremony. That being said, it is included in the vast majority of weddings.
- The rings exchange is a relatively modern wedding tradition. In some cultures there is no ring exchange. In modern times, some people elect to forego the ring exchange for myriad reasons, from refusing to support the diamond industry to creating their own traditions. For instance, a common alternative to the ring exchange is the Handfasting ritual.
If the rings exchange includes a lot of words, it is helpful to deliver the lines a few words at a time in the “repeat after me” fashion to make it easier for the couple to repeat. That’s because the couple will also be focused on the act of placing the rings and looking into each other's eyes. Your job is to make sure they say the right words at the right time.
EXAMPLE RINGS EXCHANGE
[Officiant to the Couple]
"The rings you are about to place on each other's fingers are symbols of your love. They will remind you of the eternal love that you have for one another."
[Officiant to Partner A]
"Idris Elba, please place the ring that you have in your hands on Matt Damon's finger and repeat after me."
"As this ring encircles your finger… From this moment forward... So will my love forever encircle you... You will never walk alone... My heart will be your shelter... My arms will be your home... We will walk through life as partners & best friends... I promise to do my best to love, cherish and accept you... Just the way you are... I give you my heart until the end of time... I have no greater gift to give."
(Partner A repeats words to Partner B then places the ring on their finger.)
[Officiant to Partner B]
"Now, Matt Damon, please place the ring that you hold on Idris Elba's finger and repeat after me."
(Partner B repeats words to Partner A then places the ring on their finger.)
"As this ring encircles your finger... from this moment forward... so will my love forever encircle you... You will never walk alone... My heart will be your shelter... My arms will be your home... We will walk through life as partners & best friends... I promise to do my best to love, cherish and accept you... just the way you are... I give you my heart until the end of time... I have no greater gift to give."