It’s the moment right before you seal the deal and say “I do.” In a way, exchanging rings is the penultimate step to the rest of your lives.
So, what are you going to say to your partner when you exchange rings?
You could go the traditional route and simply repeat what your officiant offers, or you could be a bit more creative in your giving of rings.
If you’re completely stumped, don’t worry. We have some great ideas to make your ring exchange wording extra special.
In This Article
Quick History of the Ring Exchange
Where did this whole, “I give you this ring…” exactly start? The act of exchanging rings dates back to ancient times with the Egyptians, who turned out to be quite romantic people. They used the ring as an emblem of the relationship, but also of their love for each other.
It’s estimated the Egyptians started giving each other rings around 3000 BC. At first, those rings were made of reeds or hemp, which ultimately fell apart, creating a market for stronger rings made of antlers, bone and leather.
Similar to today, the wedding ring quickly became a status symbol, with the better material signifying more wealth and, we’re hoping, more love.
From there, couples began using the ring as a sign of their marriage and that tradition has continued to present times.
Do My Partner and I Have to Do a Ring Exchange?
The exchange of wedding bands is certainly a long-time tradition, but it’s certainly not a tradition you need to follow.
In fact, some men don’t care for wearing jewelry and opt to not get a ring at all. Sometimes, the wife reciprocates those feelings, especially if she already received an engagement ring.
If that’s the case, you could simply jump to your vows, or give an item that’s more symbolic to your relationship, like a flower or a candle. Some couples have also opted to give a letter at this point in the ceremony.
Short & Simple Ring Exchange Wording
If you want to abide by tradition, you’re going to need the right words to say when the time comes to exchange vows with your partner.
As you’re about to read, you can go in many different directions. We recommend first jotting down things you think you want to say to your partner when it comes time to exchange wedding bands at your wedding ceremony. Let this be a stream of consciousness and then go back and refine accordingly.
If you’re still not 100% satisfied with that language, use some of our suggestions below — from religious wording to more modern ideas.
Religious Ring Exchange Wording
For those getting married in a church, you may prefer to use ring exchange language that’s synonymous with your religion.
Roman Catholics, for example, would say something like this:
“… take this ring as a sign of my love and fidelity. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
Each religion will have its own spin on this exchange wording. Other examples include:
“This ring I give you, in token and pledge of our constant faith and abiding love.”
“With this ring, I pledge my love and faithfulness to you and promise to honor our marriage every day of my life.”
Most religious ring exchange wording tends to include the word faith and some variation of the word commitment.
For a more secular wording, you can simply say, “Wear this ring as a reminder of the vows you have just taken.”
Non-Denominational Ring Exchange Wording
While you can certainly alter more religious-focused wording and still satisfy the intent of the religion, non-denominational vows give you more liberty and flexibility in what you can say.
This is where we hear the more traditional words, “With this ring, I thee wed, and with it, I bestow upon thee all the treasures of my mind, heart, and hands.”
Other options include:
“I give you this ring as a symbol of my everlasting love for you.”
“This ring is symbolic of my never-ending commitment, love and devotion to you.”
Token of My Love
“This ring is a token of my love. I offer you all that I have, all that I am, and all that I will be.”
Promises to You
“Let this ring always be a reminder of my promises to you and the unwavering bond between us.”
I Vow to Love
“With this ring, I vow to love and honor you from this moment forward.”
“This ring is a symbol of my eternal love. May our everlasting friendship reign forevermore.”
“I give you this ring as a sign of my faithful devotion. I will always love you, cherish you, and honor the vows spoken here today.”
“I give you this ring to wear to represent our unbreakable bond. It is a reminder of my eternal faith and unwavering dedication. I love you.”
Ring as a Symbol
“Take this ring as a symbol of my vow to you. I will be your faithful partner in marriage.”
Join My Life
“With this ring, I join my life to yours as your (husband/wife).”
Of course, you can use and alter any parts of these more traditional wording.
Modern Ring Exchange Wording
Some brides and grooms prefer to use more modern ring exchange wording. If that’s what you and your partner want, here are some great modern alternatives to “I give you this ring.”
A New Path
“With this ring, we create a new path on our adventure together. I love you, always and forever, as my best friend.”
“This ring is a reminder of today and all of our hopes and dreams for the future.”
Love of My Life
“You are the love of my life. This ring is a symbol of our lifelong commitment to each other.”
An Everlasting Gift
“I give you this ring as a gift and sign of my love that lasts forever. Know that I’m always with you, behind you, and by your side.”
“Let this ring I give you be a daily reminder and symbol of my love that you’re always in my heart.”
As you can see, the more modern approaches to a ring exchange can truly be anything that’s in your heart. Use the examples above as a starting off point to craft a message that’s most important to you and your future spouse.
Remember, treat the ring as a symbol of how you feel about your future husband or wife. So, if you bought a ring that’s extremely beautiful, maybe you remind your soon-to-be spouse that it’s as beautiful as their smile or their eyes. The more personalized your ring vows are, the better the ceremony will be.
Fun Ring Exchange Wording
The more formal ring exchange wording isn’t for everyone. If you and your future spouse are having a more laid back wedding, it’s perfectly fine to also use more casual ring exchange wording for the ring ceremony.
Here are some more casual (and fun!) alternatives to the traditional exchange of rings:
- “You’re the love of my life and my best friend. And this ring makes it official!”
- “I give you this ring because I love you and, well, that’s what couples do at a wedding ceremony.”
- “This ring is a symbol of my love. Let’s hope it fits.”
- “Use this ring as a sign of my love to you.”
- “Here’s a ring to take this fling to the next level with you as my husband/wife.”
Frequently Asked Questions About Ring Exchange Wording
What Happens After the Wedding Ring Exchange?
After the ring exchange, your officiant will then lead you through your wedding vows. This is the part where you seal the deal! After expressing your love for your partner, both of you will then answer with a resounding, “I do!”
Should We Practice our Wedding Ring Exchange?
If your ring exchange wording is a little more customized and complicated, it’s always a good idea for both the bride and groom to run through it a few times to ensure they’re comfortable with the wording.
Perhaps more importantly, the bride and groom should practice putting wedding rings on one another. While this seems simple, in the moment it can be a little stressful. Also know that if it’s warmer in your wedding venue, a finger may swell up a bit, making it more difficult. Have a plan in place if you absolutely can’t get the ring on your partner’s hand during the ceremony. If this happens, you could also be a little funny and tack on something to your wording like, “Wear this ring later as a symbol of my love.”
Are We Tied to Certain Ring Exchange Wording if We Get Married in a Church?
Not at all, but make sure you discuss with your officiant first. A Roman Catholic priest, for instance, will likely go through the template language for that religion’s ring exchange, unless you tell him otherwise. This is your wedding and you can do what you want.
How Long Is the Typical Ring Exchange Wording?
The total length of the exchange of rings shouldn’t exceed 1-2 minutes. Any longer and it’s going to feel like it’s dragging on. Keep your exchange short and sweet. Remember, the longer the wording, the more difficult it can be to remember everything you’re saying, especially if your officiant isn’t leading you through the language.
Do Both the Bride and Groom Say Something During the Ring Exchange?
Yes. Typically the groom goes first, followed by the bride, but this isn’t a requirement. You can go in any order you prefer.
Love What You Say When You Exchange Wedding Rings
The exchanging of wedding rings is one of the most special parts of the ceremony and is definitely something you will always remember, so you want to say something that resonates between you and your partner.
In that same vein, though, the ring exchange wording isn’t terribly long, so don’t fret over it. You have plenty to plan with your wedding. Speak from the heart, and it will be beautiful.
Remember, once the exchange is complete, it’s time for your wedding vows and to say, “I do!”