My favorite part of the wedding ceremony is the ring exchange. It’s the big finale. It’s the part where the couple symbolizes the promises they have just made to each other with a physical token of their commitment. In my experience, the most common thing that couples say to each other as they exchange rings is:
“With this ring I thee wed, as a symbol of my love and commitment to you.” They repeat it after the officiant as they place the ring on their spouse’s finger. It is in keeping with tradition, and I think that it is a concise summary of what it is. I like to keep things short and sweet. Personally, I didn’t want to say very much during my own wedding ceremony, it was all too overwhelming. Some people want to say something more unique when they exchange rings, and something that reflects them as a couple. Here are some idea of what to say as you exchange rings with your loved one.
I give you this ring to wear
As a symbol of my abiding love,
My eternal faith, and my undying devotion.
It is an outward reminder of our inner unity.
As I place this ring on your finger, its perfect symmetry is a symbol of our perfect love. It has no beginning and no ending, a symbol of the eternal commitment we have made to each other today.
[Name], I give you this ring
As a symbol of my love for you,
And of my promise to honor you,
And be faithful to you and to our marriage
Through God’s grace, (Alternatively: Line may be omitted)
For as long as we both shall live.
With this ring, I marry you and bind my life to yours.
It is a symbol of my eternal love,
My everlasting friendship,
And the promise of all my tomorrows.
This ring is the visible evidence of our invisible love; it symbolizes the joining of our spirits in sacred holy matrimony.
This ring I give you
Is a symbol of my love.
I pledge to share with you my heart,
My home, and all of my worldly goods.
As a sign of my love
And my knowledge that in marrying you,
I am becoming much more than I am,
I give you this ring
With the promise that I will love you
And keep my heart open to you
All the days of my life.
With this ring, I marry you:
With my loving heart.
With my willing body.
And with my eternal soul.
I give you this ring
As a sign that I choose you
To be my lover, my partner,
And my best friend
Today, tomorrow, and always.
I offer my vow to you in the form of this ring,
so that my word and my love,
will always be with you,
close to your heart
This ring I give to you as a token of my love and devotion to you. I pledge to you all that I am and all that I will ever be as your (husband/wife). With this ring, I gladly marry you and join my life to yours.
With the ring, I give you my promise
That from this day forward
You shall not walk alone.
May my heart be your shelter
And my arms be your home.
As a sign of my love for you,
of choosing to share my whole life’s journey with you,
and of my knowing that in marrying you
I shall become much more than I am,
I give you this ring, with the pledge
That with you, I shall become my highest expression of God,
Sharing the gifts that I have and I am with you and the world.
I give you this ring as a symbol of my love for you. Let it be a reminder that I am always by your side and that I will always be a faithful partner to you.
I give you this ring
as a reminder
that I will love, honor, and cherish you,
In all times,
In all places,
And in all ways, forever.
[Name], this ring is a symbol
Of the strength and beauty of our love.
May it belong to your hand
As my heart belongs to you,
Separate yet close,
Simple yet miraculous.
I give you this ring to wear with love and joy. As a ring has no end, neither shall my love for you. I choose you to be my wife/husband this day and forevermore.
With this ring
I marry you
and join my life with yours.
Accept this ring
as a sign of my love and faithfulness
for all the years to come.
If I am helping you to plan your wedding in Central Park then I will work with you to write your ceremony for you and your partner. Part of this is advising what the officiant and what the couple should say, and what suits you as a couple. Sometimes couples might want to read something out to each other that they have prepared. I wouldn’t suggest doing this for the ring exchange – your hands will be on their hand as you place the ring on their finger, so you can’t hold anything to read out!
Here are my thoughts on writing your own marriage vows. I don’t suggest trying to memorize anything for your wedding day, because you never know if nerves will take you. So, this part you would very likely need to repeat after the officiant. So, keep that in mind when you think about saying it to each other. Some couples may also want to add in some unique alternative vows to the traditional love, honor and cherish. Here are my top twenty wedding readings and poems.