Making Our Ceremony Unique

Now that our Save the Dates are finally out, I’ve been thinking about the actual ceremony. I’ve been to a ton of weddings and because of that, I have even more of a desire to make ours unique. If this had only been the second or third (or even eighth) wedding I’ve been to, I might not realize how similar they can be. But it’s not. So I know. With the exception of a color scheme and some decorations, weddings can often feel very cookie-cutter. Sure, the feelings you have about the people getting married are different, but the overall structure is pretty much the same. Now don’t get me wrong, I am all for tradition. If you are having a super traditional wedding and that fits who you are, that’s completely, 100% awesome. But King Hippo and I aren’t ultra traditional people, so I’m trying to think of small ways to infuse some non-traditional accents into our wedding so that our guests walk away actually remembering their time with us. A wedding “experience” is kind of what I’m going for here.

I’ve read about a Ring Warming Ceremony, and I’m thinking this just might be the element I’m looking for to not only make the ceremony unique, but to incorporate our guests into the day.

ringwar
Source

I found this description of a Ring Warming Ceremony on The Offbeat Bride:

The concept is simple: Near the beginning of your ceremony, have your officiant let your guests know that your rings will be making their way through the assembled guests, with an invitation for each guest to hold the ring, say a silent prayer/blessing for your marriage, and then pass it to the next guest. Then the officiant can pass out the rings, and continue on with the ceremony until it’s time for you and your partner to present the rings to each other.

Obviously, there are limitations to a ring warming: it wouldn’t work well for super large weddings, and if you’re having a big wedding you may want to have someone watching the progress of the rings and keeping them moving in a timely manner through your guests.

Some people worry about rings getting dropped during the ceremony – if you like, you can affix them to a pillow or book or some other symbolic item for the passing.

I pretty much love this idea. I think it will be new for most (if not all) of our guests, and I especially like the idea of having our friends and family involved in the ceremony instead of just being observers. Logistically, my biggest concern is the timing. We will likely have between 100 and 120 guests, and I have absolutely no idea how long it would take to pass the rings among them. We could split the rings up (my ring passed on one side of the aisle, King Hippo’s passed on the other) in order to speed up the process, but I kind of like the idea of the rings being passed together. Hmmmm…I definitely want to figure this out.

Has anyone done (or seen) a ring warming ceremony at a large wedding? How did it go?

BLOGGER

Mrs. Hippo

Location:
New York City/Dallas, TX
Wedding Date:
March 2011
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comments

  1. Member
    afuturemrsl 730 posts, Busy bee @ 6:45 pm

    Oh wow. That sounds amazing. I would love to hear if people have used it at large weddings too. What a great way to incorporate loved ones!

  2. Member
    nikkiw 7 posts, Newbee @ 7:03 pm

    I love this idea!! I’m sure you’re guests will enjoy it too. Here are a couple thoughts that first come to mind…
    Germs… you wouldn’t want one person giving you, your *brand new* husband, and all your guests the flu. Maybe you could find a way to lightly encourage hand sanitizer. Or, at least use the pillow idea!

  3. Member
    ashford23 32 posts, Newbee @ 7:49 pm

    I saw this at a fairly, small intimate wedding. Maybe had like 40-50 guests. The rings were together in a lace/mesh little bag (like you’d use for little candies to take home or for bird seed/rice to throw.
    I love this idea too. We have 80 guests and do not have sides, so I wonder if we’d be able to do it in a reasonable amt of time. Our ceremony is fairly short, so that’s what I’d be worried about.

  4. Guest Icon Guest
    Amy, Guest @ 7:54 pm

    We did a ring warming ceremony at our wedding in July. There were 220 people in attendance. What we did because of the amount of time it would take, was to do the ring warming in the front entrance of the church. So as everyone entered, they warmed our rings, took a program, and then found their seats.
    Worked great, and the photos of people warming our rings are some of my favourites. We did attach them to a ring dish with some ribbon, just to keep them together- it made them easier to hold onto (my ring is quite thin), and keep track of.

  5. Member
    afuturemrsl 730 posts, Busy bee @ 8:24 pm

    @Amy: Omg I love it love it love it! Thank you for sharing that.

  6. Member
    MsBunting 229 posts, Helper bee @ 8:28 pm

    I’ve also heard of just passing them through the family in the first couple rows.

  7. Member
    trailmix 6663 posts, Bee Keeper @ 8:49 pm

    I love this idea and I don’t think 120 people is too large to make it happen!

  8. Member
    ginnyc 556 posts, Busy bee @ 8:58 pm

    I love this idea! It’s like how anniversary medallions are passed around at twelve step meetings!

    Not that your wedding should be like a twelve step meeting, but the spiritual principle of sharing good intentions is great!

  9. Member
    TheBigDay 6 posts, Newbee @ 9:17 pm

    I love this idea!

  10. Member
    bunnylovesbear 2248 posts, Buzzing bee @ 9:35 pm

    @Amy: I’d love to hear more about how you organized this at the front of the church. Did you have a sign explaining what to do? Was there someone “on duty” with the rings to explain? We’re expecting the same amount of guests, so I think it would be really helpful to hear how you made it work!

  11. Member
    mssmiley 349 posts, Helper bee @ 10:08 pm

    @Amy: i love this idea too!!! can you post some of your pics???

  12. Member
    mrspaetz 3812 posts, Honey bee @ 10:09 pm

    We did this at our wedding where we had 40 guests, so everyone got to touch/hold the rings as they were passed around. Our bestman was in charge of passing them and retrieving them while the 3 other readings were being read.

    I’ll be happy to provide more details to anymore who’s interested. Just send me a message! :)

  13. Member
    stripes 1063 posts, Bumble bee @ 11:50 pm

    We just did this last week! And it was awesome! Super super awesome! It was really powerful to see our friends/family with our rings and I’ve heard from friends seated near my mom that her blessing made them bawl like babies! Anyhow, with 80 guests and a pretty short ceremony our rings made it back just in time to land on our fingers! I highly recommend it!!

  14. Member
    bRooklynRocks 4048 posts, Honey bee @ 11:58 pm

    Sounds like a good idea. Very unique. I’ve never seen it done before. Well, I know you said you are expecting about 100-120 guests for the wedding but is that for the reception or the ceremony and reception? IMO, not all guests make it for the ceremony so you may have less people show up and if like a pp said, you can use your best man to keep it moving :)

  15. Member
    glasses 2749 posts, Sugar bee @ 1:41 am

    The ring warming ceremony sounds more and more appealing to me. I think you could easily get the ring warming ceremony done if you passed the rings out at the beginning of the ceremony, granted your ceremony is at least 15 minutes long!

  16. Member
    codydidwhat 132 posts, Blushing bee @ 2:05 am

    My friends did this for their wedding and it was beautiful. They had another friend play a violin piece as a musical interlude while the rings were being passed – the only problem was that one person held them for way longer than everyone else did, so the whole thing ended up taking longer than they’d anticipated. That’s the only downside I’d say. I love this idea though, but I think if we were to do it we’d just pass them along the front row of people.

  17. Member
    jessica8982 122 posts, Blushing bee @ 6:31 am

    I plan on doing this too .. I was thinking of only passing it around the first row., so out immediate families to make sure it’s back on time

  18. Member
    melisslp 5995 posts, Bee Keeper @ 7:57 am

    We included the ring warming in our ceremony as well. We chose to have our rings passed between the wedding party and immediate family only (namely for time sake). Other guests were given the opportunity to say a prayer/blessing while the rings were being passed. It was a lovely part of our ceremony!

    P.S. Just make certain you have a plan as to the sequence so that there is no confusion.

  19. Member
    melisslp 5995 posts, Bee Keeper @ 8:07 am

    I wanted to post pics of our ring-warming ceremony, but I do not see the button to add photos under the blog section. If anyone wants to see a couple pics, just message me.

  20. Member
    Sleepy_Miranda 34 posts, Newbee @ 9:59 am

    I loved our ring warming! Every time I look at my wedding ring I think of all of the wonderful people who held it in their hands!!

    We did our ring warming during the ceremony with 110 guests. We tied our rings to the ring bearer pillow and then passed that around, I had a friend watch the progress, and it worked out wonderfully! We explained the process early in the ceremony, and did our ring exchange at the end, and the whole process must have taken under 25 minutes because we had no problems when we needed our rings.

  21. Member
    fitzly 574 posts, Busy bee @ 11:49 am

    We are doing this by passing the rings through a ribbon threaded through the guests.

  22. Member
    hippo 1012 posts, Bumble bee @ 12:08 pm

    @Mrs. Stripes: Oh, Stripes! That’s so good to hear! We will have a pretty short ceremony too, so if you made it through 80 guests, that’s good news.

    @Sleepy_Miranda: Our ceremony won’t be 25 minutes long, but you’re giving me hope! If we split the rings up onto two sides, then we should certainly be able to get through it.

    O.k…. I THINK THIS MIGHT WORK!!!

  23. Member
    elephant 6339 posts, Bee Keeper @ 4:48 pm

    This sounds like such a special element to the wedding. I also like the idea of having it done before, if you have a very large wedding.

  24. Member
    lioness 819 posts, Busy bee @ 8:01 pm

    I love love love this idea! Not sure if we can pull it off with 125 guests, but I’d LOVE to see it done as a guest!

  25. Member
    fancysarah 27 posts, Newbee @ 1:44 am

    ooohh, love this – may have to include this last minute!!

  26. Member
    Miss White Pearl 199 posts, Blushing bee @ 10:41 am

    miss hippo, i’ve never heard of this and i’m so head over heels for it!! man, weddingbee rocks my socks more every single day!

    and, also, just FYI, i have a large number of guests attending and before i even finished reading your post (as i was trying to think the logistics through for my own ceremony), i thought a ring on either side of the aisle would be a terrific idea. the thought of everyone praying over those significant items and them coming together for one great wish for the future is beyond beautiful to me.

  27. Member
    CelebrantVenus 2 posts, Wannabee @ 3:38 am

    @Miss Hippo: LOVE that you’re using this ritual, and love how you’re turning people on to it, even more! btw i officiated a ceremony + ring warming with approx. 75 guests, and it took about +10 minutes for the ring warming itself… i suppose it may depend on the direction one gives to one’s guests, e.g. ‘pass the rings’ vs. ‘instill your energy and best wishes (etc.) for/to the couple’.

    @fitzlyLOVE your variation. :o] thanks!

    @Sleepy_Miranda: wow!

  28. Guest Icon Guest
    Ring Bowls To Love | Weddingbee, Guest @ 3:45 pm

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  29. Member
    eimaj111683 62 posts, Worker bee @ 7:45 pm

    I really want to do this; i’ve chosen to use my sister and her husband’s favor bag for our Mesh bag..She has no clue yet, and I think it will add a personal touch. I am expecting 100 or less, So I’m guessing as long as it’s done before our actual vows and such we’ll be alright. I am very interested in hearing more, so if you have done this at your ceremony please send details.

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    [...] briefly considered a ring-warming ceremony, but decided I would be too nervous with our rings being passed around among 80 of our nearest and [...]

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