Ring Warming Revisited

I mentioned way back when that we were thinking about doing a ring warming as part of our ceremony, but I didn’t have all the details worked out. Now that the end is drawing closer, I thought I’d share how we’re planning on doing it. First things first… if you weren’t on Weddingbee back then, or you have no idea what a ring warming ceremony is, check out this post, then come back.

So, when we met with our officiant, we explained the concept of a ring warming ceremony and told him that the rings are typically passed at the start of the ceremony, so that by the time it came to exchange rings they had passed through the hands of all of our guests. While our officiant thought it was a really neat addition to the ceremony, he felt really strongly about the passing of the rings being a distraction from the other parts of the ceremony. He said that it would be human nature for people to be looking around to see where the rings were, to be thinking about what they wanted to be thinking about when the rings came, and to generally be more focused on the rings than the ceremony. Interesting. Every time I’ve heard about a ring warming, it was done in this same way, so why the big deal? Our officiant told us that our guests should be focused on us as a couple and not on anything else and emphasized that he really didn’t want to pass the rings while other things were happening. Hmph. We were at a standstill.

Then, our officiant suggested that we do the ring warming at the very beginning of the ceremony as a stand-alone event, just prior to the processional. Interesting… Tell me more, Mr. Officiant! He said that it might work to do the ring warming right after King Hippo’s mother was seated (Mama Hippo is walking me down the aisle, so she won’t be seated yet). He could come out and explain the ring warming to the guests, then the rings could be passed through the guests while music is played. We guessed that it would take no more than two full songs (7 minutes-ish) to have the rings go through our 100 guests, with the rings split up—King Hippo’s ring going through half the guests; my rings going through half the guests. Once the rings have made their way through all the guests, then the groomsmen and groom would come out and the processional would begin. I wasn’t 100% sure about this plan at first. I mean, would it be weird for guests to just have to sit and listen to a song or two while they wait for the real ceremony to begin? Once guests have held the rings and passed them on, wouldn’t they be bored? I reluctantly agreed to his plan and then let the idea simmer for a couple of months.

Then… I fell in love with it. Here’s why:

  1. I know when I go to a wedding, I’m usually sitting at the church or wherever for 10 to 15 minutes or so before the ceremony starts, just waiting. Since our guests will be cruising the art gallery and enjoying a glass of wine, I figure they won’t be sitting until right before the ceremony starts. Giving guests some time to settle in to their seats and flip through the program isn’t that big of a deal and maybe even preferable.
  2. How many times have you been to a wedding that started a few minutes late? Not really that big of a deal, right? And since guests will have a program to look at and rings to wait for, I figure it’ll work out just fine.
  3. I found these two amazing songs that I think will mellow the mood from “tour the gallery and look at some art” to “let’s get ready to cry ’cause the Hippos are in love!” I just love the songs, and I’m planning to print the lyrics in the program, giving guests another thing to look at while they sit and wait.

I have two of the ladies from my house party designated as ring keepers that will help facilitate the passing by taking the ring from row to row, kind of like the ushers do with a church offering.

So… that’s it. That’s what we’re doing, and I’m hoping it turns out in real life as amazing and touching and unique as it is in my head. We will see…in just over two weeks. Eek!

Anyone done a ring warming ceremony that has some tips to share?


Mrs. Hippo

New York City/Dallas, TX
Wedding Date:
March 2011
One Shell Of A Wedding! : Time To Get Ready
Invitation Assembly, Part II

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  1. Member
    Denali 296 posts, Helper bee @ 9:29 am

    I am completely in love with the idea of a ring-warming. Such a beautiful concept! I really want to incorporate it into our ceremony as well. I was just talking to my fiance about this, and he said “I don’t want any ringworms in our ceremony.” Ah, this is the many I am marrying.

  2. Member
    toshella 730 posts, Busy bee @ 9:42 am

    This sounds so cool! I’ll have to bring it up to my fiance when we start meeting with officiants. Best of luck, and let us know how it goes!

  3. Member
    sarahd07 485 posts, Helper bee @ 9:44 am

    Love the idea! It’s going to beautiful. On a side note; Ryan Adams’ version of Wonderwall is one of my favorite songs…excellent choice! :)

  4. Member
    njmeetsbx 1668 posts, Bumble bee @ 9:46 am

    Love the idea of the ring warming ceremony but with 145 guests I’m not sure if we can make it work. We’ll see. Let us know how it goes.

  5. tartlet Member
    tartlet 3227 posts, Sugar bee @ 9:53 am

    I like your game plan for the ring-warming ceremony! It’s going to be wonderful. :)

  6. elephant Member
    elephant 6339 posts, Bee Keeper @ 10:00 am

    I think the plan to do it in the time right before the processional is a great idea. I wondered about it being a distraction during the ceremony.

  7. Member
    TiffyNicole 67 posts, Worker bee @ 10:10 am

    I love this idea… I’m stealing it :) hope everything turns out perfect for your wedding!!

  8. Member
    tdizzle 268 posts, Helper bee @ 10:30 am

    I was going to do the ring warming as well and our pastor told us the exact same thing! I ended up scratching the idea. :-(

  9. Member
    Totes Magotes 87 posts, Worker bee @ 10:31 am

    Love it, Miss H! Curious as to how many people you have attending the wedding? We really want to do a ring-warming as well, but are thinking with 160ish it might be too much…

  10. misssparkler Member
    misssparkler 488 posts, Helper bee @ 10:48 am

    Miss Hippo, I think I just fell in love with you for posting a Ryan Adams jam. Absolute favorite artist of all time.

    We really wanted to do a ring warming, but thought it was out of the question with 250 guests. This might work as a solution to our problem! It has me thinking outside the box at least! Thanks for sharing :)

  11. Member
    sugarpea 5195 posts, Bee Keeper @ 11:12 am

    I love this idea so much! We’re definitely incorporating it into the ceremony, like you’re saying we’ll probably have ours right before the whole ceremony starts, that way we won’t run out of time and people won’t be distracted (:

  12. Member
    amariem25 3753 posts, Honey bee @ 11:19 am

    how are you going to get the guests from touring the gallery to their seats? i think it might be kind of hard to get everyone to sit down on time for the ring warming if they are up and about looking at artwork. i hope you have persistent ushers.

  13. ostrich Member
    ostrich 2402 posts, Buzzing bee @ 11:28 am

    Love, Love, Love Wonderwall – the original Oasis version AND Ryan Adams’s version. perfect choice, Miss H. :)

  14. hippo Member
    hippo 1012 posts, Bumble bee @ 11:39 am

    @Totes Magotes: We have right at 100 folks. We are splitting the rings up to save some time.

  15. Member
    Crown 578 posts, Busy bee @ 12:18 pm

    I love this idea. As an officiant myself, I am completely open to whatever a couple wants to bring meaning to their ceremony and make it their own. I will make note of this before-the-ceremony-begins idea and will pass it along. Best wishes on your upcoming nuptials, Miss Hippo!

  16. Member
    MissMellow 350 posts, Helper bee @ 12:44 pm

    That sounds so awesome! I don’t think I’ll be able to swing it because we’ll have between 150-200 guests…but maybe??…

  17. Member
    Future Frett 295 posts, Helper bee @ 1:05 pm

    I just realized that you are getting married THIS MONTH… congrats! Please make sure that you update us in your recaps with how this version of the ring warming went/how long it takes… I am thinking of doing the same.

  18. Member
    Kinsey123 69 posts, Worker bee @ 1:05 pm

    I’m also doing a ring warming and this sounds like a way better way to do it! Plus then we can work more music into the ceremony, which I love. My only question is how to decide how long the rings will take to pass around? I have about 70 guests. By my calculation you’re estimating about 4 seconds per guest. I just struggle with the fear that someone will camp out holding the ring for like a minute! Obviously crazy, but hey…that’s what weddings do (to me at least).

  19. Member
    Kinsey123 69 posts, Worker bee @ 1:06 pm

    @Kinsey123: aaaand I just noticed your second comment. So, that changes my math. Good thinking!

  20. Guest Icon Guest
    TitaniumSpork, Guest @ 1:14 pm

    What a great idea. I can’t wait to hear how it works. I really want a ring warming but am not sure how to best incorporate it. Your idea might be just the ticket.

  21. painauchocolat Member
    painauchocolat 2298 posts, Buzzing bee @ 2:09 pm

    What a clever solution. Passing this on to Mr. P and our officiant for restructuring the ceremony.

  22. husky Member
    husky 1750 posts, Buzzing bee @ 2:45 pm

    I love this solution, and I also love the songs!

  23. Member
    mrspaetz 3812 posts, Honey bee @ 3:37 pm

    We had a ring-warming, and I don’t think people were overly distracted. It took place during the readings, where my groom and I were paying attention to our readers anyway. Having us look at the readers helped direct our guests to listen, I think.

    We had it done right before our vows, and our Best Man was in charge of taking it from the last person / whomever the rings were with at the end of the readings, and bringing them to us. It worked wonderfully!

  24. hippo Member
    hippo 1012 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:26 pm

    @amariem25: Check out this post here: http://www.weddingbee.com/2010/12/02/custom-personalized-wine-tags/

  25. Member
    Mrs.Schaffer 2 posts, Wannabee @ 7:27 pm

    We too are doing a ring warming ceremony and our officiant said the same thing about the rings being a distraction during the ceremony. I will have to talk to my FI about this option. Oh and I love Ryan Adams version of Wonderwall. It will be played a some point during our wedding:) Thanks

  26. Guest Icon Guest
    twingled, Guest @ 4:18 pm

    Love the idea of ring warming..Most of our ceremony will be nontraditional.. including readings, vows etc. Since we’ll have 50 people tops if it’d work to use this right before the ring ceremony and play All for Love by Bryan Adams along with it. But not sure what we would do in the 5 min. that the music played. Any suggestions? I want to incorporate this song into our ceremony and this was the only way I could think of.

  27. hippo Member
    hippo 1012 posts, Bumble bee @ 4:22 pm

    @twingled: I think it would totally work to play the song and pass the rings during that five minutes. Perhaps you introduce the ring warming, pass the rings to the song and then do one reading right after the song but before the exchange of rings just in case someone holds on to the rings for a bit to give you some more time? Like I said, it totally worked timing wise for us with just the one song. GOOD LUCK!

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