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. painauchocolat Bee
    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.

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

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

  3. 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!

  4. hippo Bee
    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/

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. hippo Bee
    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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