Take this ring keep it to yourself: why we skipped the ring exchange

Guest post by Hell Pollard
The Rings

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.”

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.

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