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Promise Rings For Couples as symbols What does the ring exchange mean?

Rings were exchanged at weddings since the beginning of time. Wedding rings, which had a different meaning in the past, are now seen as a symbol of the love, loyalty and commitment in the context of a relationship. This article will tell you everything you need about wedding rings and their meaning. It also explains the customs surrounding the exchange of rings.

Wedding rings as a symbol - an overview of the history

In the past there was only one ring presented at marriage to the bride. This was done to indicate that the woman belonged to a family or a man. The ring was often used to indicate that the man received the woman's dowry. The ring, which was only the woman was given, was typically made of iron.

In 855, the practice of exchanging rings was reversed. Pope Nicholas I declared that the ring was an Christian symbol for eternal love and marriage. The couple who was to marry put the ring on each other's fingers during the wedding ceremony, and they promised their eternal love and fidelity to God.

Since the 13th century to the latest wedding rings have been a vital part of a marriage. Since then, the wedding band has been a symbol of love and loyalty within a wedding. Wedding rings traditionally were only exchanged at weddings at the church. The newlyweds have been placing rings on one another's hands at the registry office for many years.

Why is the ring a symbol of marriage?

The infinity of marriage is symbolized by the single ring that has its unbroken curve. The two intertwined rings on the other hand, represent the deep bond between the two married people, which can only be broken in the event that one of the rings were destroyed. The two-in-one ring is often used as a symbol or a logo for everything connected to the wedding.

The exchange of rings The exchange of rings: customs and superstition

There are a few customs that exist regarding the exchange of rings, however, there is also a certain superstition. Get to know the most well-known of them below.

Which hand is the ring worn?

The answer to this question varies from one country to another. In Germany, it is typically worn on the right hand, in other countries like Italy or the USA it is more common on the left hand.

The ancient Romans also wore the wedding rings on the left hand because they believed that a so-called vein of love could be traced from the left ring finger directly to the heart. Each couple that is married will decide where they'd like to wear their wedding rings.

Wearing the same rings

One tradition that's not widely known is that of wearing the same wedding rings. According to this tradition, the newlyweds should wear the same rings when possible, made of the same wedding ring material, with the same style, etc. The only thing that can differ is the sizing. This is seen as an indicator of agreement within the family as well as the bond that couples create on the day of the wedding.

The first test of marriage is to find a common style and design of wedding ring. This means that one's individual preferences and tastes are put aside in the interest of the relationship and the decisions are made in the spirit of 'we'.

Don't wear anyone else's wedding rings

Another tradition states that wedding rings must always be brand new and never worn by anyone else. Superstition says that wearing someone else's wedding ring could bring bad love luck to the couple. The same is true for wedding rings should never be given to other people. It is said that if one permits a friend to wear one's wedding ring, one's partner will cheat one day.

Meaning of putting on the rings

The act of putting rings on is said to reveal the future of the marriage. It is said that if the ring slides over the finger of the woman easily and effortlessly, then the man is in control. If it stays in middle of the ring, then the woman is in control.

The wedding ring is lost

Another superstition states that the wedding ring shouldn't be thrown away or lost, because it could spell bad luck or even the impending end of the marriage.

The ring exchange is a part of religious rites

There are different ways of exchanging rings depending on religion. Find out more about this below.

Wedding rings in Christianity

The two intertwined rings symbolize marriage in many Christian church writings. The only way to break the marriage was if either ring was broken. This is symbolic of 'until death do us part'. When vows are made the rings are typically blessed, which is followed by the exchange of rings. The bride and groom are then be blessed.

Wedding rings in Judaism

In the traditional Jewish wedding ceremony, the bride is presented with the so-called wedding ring from her husband under the chuppah or wedding canopy. The custom is that it must be plain, and without engravings or stones. The bride can't place a ring underneath the chuppah, which is placed on the wedding ring of the groom.

After the wedding the bride can receive a ring adorned by her husband. The bride can also present the ring as a present to her partner.

Wedding rings in Islam

In Islam, the actual wedding ceremony is usually quite simple. It is not uncommon for just two people get married and for two witnesses to be present in front of the imam to announce their free intention to marry. The celebrations that follow are important to many couples, and can last for several days.

Muslim couples also place rings on their fingers to signify their wedding. According to the Koran men are not allowed to wear gold. Wedding rings are more likely to be made from materials like titanium, palladium or platinum.


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