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Matching Couple Rings as symbols: What does the ring exchange mean?

Since the beginning of time rings were exchanged in marriage ceremonies. Although they had a slightly different meaning wedding rings are seen as a symbol of devotion, loyalty, and love in a partnership. This article will provide everything you need to know about wedding rings and the meaning behind them. It will also explain the customs that surround the exchange of rings.

Wedding rings as a symbol - an introduction to the history of wedding rings

In ancient times, only one ring was given at marriage - to the woman. It was a sign that the woman belonged to a family or to one of the men. The ring was frequently used to show that a man received the woman's inheritance. This ring was usually made from iron and only given to the woman.

In 855 AD, there was a change in trend in the area of rings being exchanged: Pope Nicholas I gave the wedding ring a new meaning - it was declared to be an Christian symbol of love, infinity and marriage. The couple who was to marry put a ring on each other's fingers during the wedding ceremony and pledged the other a lifetime of love and fidelity before God.

The wedding ring is an essential part of marriages at least since the 13th century. Since the time of the wedding ring, it has symbolized loyalty and love in the wedding. While wedding rings were traditionally only exchanged at church weddings newlyweds have been wearing rings on each other's fingers at the registry office.

Why is the ring the symbol of marriage?

The single rings, with its sweeping curve, symbolizes the infinity of the marriage. Two rings intertwined instead, represent the deep bond that exists between the couple who are married, that can only be broken by destroying one of the rings. The two intertwined rings are typically used as a symbol or logo for everything connected to the wedding.

The exchange of rings Customs and superstitions

There are certain customs that relate to the exchange of rings but also a little superstition. Find out the most famous ones below.

Which hand is the ring that is worn?

The answer to this question varies between different countries. In Germany the wedding ring is worn on the right hand. In other countries like Italy or the USA the ring is usually worn on the left.

The ancient Romans also wore their wedding rings on the left hand, because they believed the so-called vein of love led from the left ring finger directly to the heart. Every couple who is married will decide where they will wear their rings.

Wearing the same rings

A custom that is perhaps not so well known is wearing the same wedding rings. According to this custom newlyweds must wear identical rings, if it is possible, made from the same material, design, etc. The size may obviously differ. This is seen as a symbol of agreement within the family as well as the union that couples develop beginning with the day of their wedding.

The first step in determining whether a marriage is valid is to find a common style and design of wedding ring. This means that personal preferences and desires are put aside in favour of the partnership and all decisions are made in the spirit of 'we'.

Don't wear anyone else's wedding rings

According to another tradition wedding rings must be new and not worn by anyone else. The belief is that wearing another person's wedding ring can bring bad love luck to the couple. This is also true when it comes to giving away wedding rings. One is told that if an acquaintance wears one's wedding ring, the bride will cheat.

The purpose of putting rings on

The act of putting rings on is believed to reveal the future of the wedding. It is believed that if the ring slips over the finger of the woman easily and the man is in the control. If it remains in middle of the ring, the woman is in control.

The wedding ring is lost

Another belief is that the wedding band should never be lost or dropped, because it could lead to bad luck or the end of a marriage.

Religious traditions behind the ring exchange

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

Wedding rings in Christianity

In a number of Christian church writings, the two intertwined ring symbols are used to represent the union. The only way to break the connection was if one of the rings were broken. This is symbolic of 'until death do us part'. The rings are blessed prior to the vows and then exchanged immediately after. The bride and groom are then blessed.

Wedding rings in Judaism

In a traditional Jewish wedding the bride receives the so-called wedding ring from her husband under the chuppah, a wedding canopy. Tradition dictates that it has to be plain, with no stone, engraving or other details. The bride can't put a ring under the chuppah, which is placed on the wedding ring of the groom.

After the wedding ceremony, the bride can receive a ring with embellishments from her newlywed husband and she is also permitted to gift a ring to her partner.

Wedding rings in Islam

In Islam, the actual wedding ceremony is usually very simple. It is not uncommon for just two people get married and have two witnesses appear before the imam to declare their wedding vows. The celebrations afterwards, however, are very important for a lot of couples and typically last several days.

Muslim couples also place rings on their fingers to commemorate their wedding. According to the Koran the Koran, men aren't permitted to wear gold. Wedding rings are more likely to consist of palladium, titanium, or platinum.


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