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Wedding Traditions: Wedding Rings

Men haven't been wearing wedding rings nearly as long as women; this is because, once upon a time, the wedding ring symbolized the ownership of the woman by the man.  We'll both be wearing wedding rings, and neither of us owns the other.  Marriage is a relationship on every level: it's not just a romance but a friendship, a business partnership, and much more.

Many religions and cultures use the wedding ring as a symbol of marriage, but we're not religious (and maybe not too cultural, either!).  The most basic reason we're wearing wedding rings is the ease of recognition they convey.  When people in the USA see a band on the ring finger of the left hand, they immediately understand that it means you're married.  Check out our rings here!

You may have heard the notion that a ring is a circle, with no beginning and no ending.  Usually, that belief is in concert with the Christian view of their god.  We think of the ring as symbolizing our love for one another: continuous and never-ending.

Modern practice. The modern practice of giving (or exchanging) engagement rings can be traced to Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, who gave Mary of Burgundy a diamond ring as an engagement present in the year 1477. The notion sparked quite a flood of copycats who thought that a diamond made the best engagement gift, and thus the tradition was born. We did this one, not out of any tradition but because Elaine really likes diamonds and white gold. Check out her engagement ring here.

The groom's engagement ring?  In August 2003, four months before David gave Elaine her engagement ring, they knew they were going to be married.  But David has always had problems wearing jewelry or watches of any sort--rings, necklaces, whatever, they're generally too uncomfortable to him.  He put Elaine's favorite ring, a white gold band with a blue topaz in a flush setting, on in order to get used to it.  It only fit on his pinky finger.  He did, however, get used to it, and the idea of having her ring on was a lot of fun.  So, after paying off Elaine's engagement ring, he had his new ring resized to fit and they have treated it as her engagement ring to him.  This is not in concert with tradition; indeed, perhaps of all the traditions that are changed, altered, or bucked in some way, this one may be the rarest of them all.  But we're doing it anyway... mostly because it's fun, partly because David got used to the ring... but entirely because it was hers and so special to her. Check out his engagement ring here.


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