Take this ring keep it to yourself: why we skipped the ring exchange #Ceremony Advice#ceremony#feminism#ring May 13 2014 | Guest post by Hell Pollard Thanks to kestrel1983 for uploading this to our Flickr pool. Sure, we got married in a dorm common room, had touches of Halloween decorations everywhere, and used a Celtic Loving Cup Ceremony. But the thing that I believe is the most interesting part about our wedding is that we didn't exchange rings during the ceremony… we each put our rings on ourselves. When we started thinking about writing our own ceremony, both my husband Clayton and I felt that there was something that wasn't really feeling right for us about putting a ring on each other's finger. It could be that we're punks, it could be that we're feminists, it could be for a bunch of different reasons. But even the idea of us saying "please take this ring" instead of "with this ring, I thee wed" or something like that, was just not feeling right for us. So I thought that instead of exchanging rings, we could just put the ring on ourselves. I like the idea that it would symbolize that we entered this relationship as individuals, and that rather than the other person putting a ring on to bind us to those promises, we freely bind ourselves to them. We wound up deciding to go ahead and do exactly that! We co-wrote a set of vows, and then crafted special wording for the ring part in the ceremony. We wanted to be sure to include a line to sort of explain to our guests what we were doing, and why, so that nobody in the audience would be lost. During our ceremony, this ring portion came last. We did the Celtic Loving Cup Ceremony, then I said our vows, then picked up the ring and said "I place this ring on my finger as a symbol of my devotion to you and as a symbol of the vows I make to you this day" as I put the ring on my own finger. He said the exact same vows back to me, as he put his own ring on his finger. We were worried about how that portion of the ceremony would be viewed by our guests. But afterwards, the few comments that we got from people were just "we loved that part of the ceremony." Related Post 10 gender neutral and feminist-friendly wedding readings for your rad wedding ceremony When searching for weddings readings for your LGBT wedding, feminist wedding, or just a wedding where you want to embrace gender neutral terms, it can... Read more I think that this is really great option for people who aren't that into some of the symbolism/potential meanings behind the ring exchange. I know that I had not seen this, so I hope that this post inspires some more people to consider this option — or just make them aware that this is even option! And don't worry, your guests won't freak out. Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo Hell Pollard A senior in her final month of college, she is more focused on post-grad life than ever before, but wishes she just had more time to play in the sunshine or curl up with a book beside her partner. PREVIOUS Try this instant cure for the wedding blues NEXT Say ALOHA to budget-friendly, LGBT-friendly, and all-around friendly Hawaiian wedding photographer Creatrix Photography Show/Hide comments [ 15 ] This is amazing, and something I never considered! I've always found the ring part of any ceremony very awkward. This is wonderful. I absolutely love the symbolism of entering into the marriage, and binding ourselves to the promise or devotion. Very powerful 🙂 4 agree Reply I love this idea! I may have to think of this in our wedding vows! Reply I'm going to have to talk to my partner about this. I really love the idea of maintaining that this decision was made by two equals – it goes with everything we've maintained since day one of our relationship: that being partners does not mean you give up your individuality, even when you marry. 6 agree Reply That's such an interesting perspective! I feel like for me the ring exchange is not so much another person binding you as much as you're giving a token of your oaths to your partner for them to carry around with them all the time, and vice-versa. Although my dad and I think a lot of men in that generation didn't wear rings, so it was more of a one-way street, which I find a little sad. Anyway, interesting 🙂 11 agree Reply I agree – your partner putting a ring on you doesn't bind you, it binds them. Maybe like clicking the "I accept" button on a software user agreement, only instead of pressing a button you place a ring and you actually know what you're promising and you really do accept it 😛 1 agrees Reply I like that this is more like making a promise to yourself than another person. Sometimes they mean more and are harder to break. 1 agrees Reply THIS is FANTASTIC. I may steal this… will have to talk to the dude and see what he thinks. 3 agree Reply I was sure I remembered something like this in a Norse/Viking wedding here on OBB, so I found it (in the comments) http://offbeatbride.com/2011/07/alabama-viking-wedding: Oath Ring These were used to consecrate the wedding vows strengthen the link between the concept of the unbroken circle of the ring and the unbreakable nature of the vow. Why are they putting on their own wedding rings? The wedding ring is a symbol of a binding oath. The Norse believed that an oath could not be placed on a person, therefore the Bride and Groom are placing the symbol of their oath on their own finger. It seems to be in how you view the symbol of the ring – whether it is a token of a promise made to another or to oneself. 9 agree Reply In many Jewish ceremonies one partner will put the ring on the index finger of the second partner. Then second partner will say something about how they come to the marriage of their own free will while moving the ring to their ring finger. Then it is done the same way for the first partner. A similar idea, but different process. 5 agree Reply Yes, I remember reading something (probably here on OBB – where I seem to hear about most great ideas?) about one partner handing the other partner a ring saying, "I GIVE you this ring as a sign of my faithfulness, etc," and the receiver taking the ring and putting it on saying, "I ACCEPT this ring as a commitment to love you, etc." I thought it was beautiful. I love how OBB makes me re-examine my thoughts about why we do things – wedding or otherwise – and how to make them more meaningful. 15 agree Reply OOH I love that, too 🙂 2 agree Reply Has anyone seen a sample ceremony script of this? I've heard something similar at a jewish wedding I attended, but can't seem to find anything on it. Reply oh brilliant, wish I had thought of that Oh well, we made the same points with our words 🙂 Reply I love this idea. Will potentially be using it for our wedding. Thanks for the post. 🙂 1 agrees Reply Love the ring idea! I was just thinking today that I wanted to do something different with the whole ring thing when FI and I get married. This will be the second – and LAST – marriage for both of us and I hate the thought of saying the same vows we said to other people being said for our ceremony. And I hate that due to the nature of my fiance's job he won't be able to even wear his ring. What to do? Obviously we'll write our own vows but now my head is spinning with alternate ring ideas! Reply Leave a Reply to Shayna Robbins Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Sign me up for your offbeat awesomeness newsletter! No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy. Biz owners & wedding bloggers Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. Our comments are not the place to pimp your website. If you want to promote your stuff on Offbeat Bride, join us as an advertiser instead.