A Wedding Ring
A wedding ring is a symbol of marriage that comes in different colors like gold, silver, platinum, and other colored metals. It is an offer of your commitment to the person you are taking as your spouse, the one with who you are planning on spending the rest of your life. The band has no beginning or end, a circle that symbolizes everlasting love. Wearing the wedding ring on the finger of your left hand where there is believed to be a vein that is connected to the heart. Traced back thousands of years to the Egyptians that first used braided hemp to make the wedding ring, it then made its way to the Romans when it became a metal ring, usually made of iron which symbolizes strength and durability.
In many cultures, it was a tradition for only the woman to wear the wedding band, until WW11 when many servicemen started wearing wedding bands as a symbol of commitment to their wives back home. Because of the limited gold content, instead of the rings being made of 22-carat gold, they were made of 9 carats. In Celtic culture, a popular wedding ring is called the Claddagh, it has a beautiful design of hands clasping a heart, with a crown above. The hands symbolize friendship, the heart love, and the crown represents loyalty. This ring dates back to the 17th century although it is said that the design of the clasped hands was likely from much earlier Roman times when the symbol meant to pledge your vows. Today, lots of Celtic people wear the Claddagh and not only for marriage.
The indigenous people in North America like to wear silver wedding rings that are very colorful, decorated with semi-precious stones, like turquoise and coral. They are also decorated with elk, moose, and buffalo which are sacred symbols in their culture. It is believed that in the early Asian days a wedding ring was a sign of a contract of marriage, not very romantic. The ring was a sealed puzzle and fell apart when taken off the finger, this was a way to find out if the wife was having an affair.
Today, wedding rings can have any design you wish for your style, personality, and taste. It could be gold, silver, platinum, or even ivory, and embellished with diamonds or just a simple band. The traditional wedding will have the best man at your ceremony, holding the rings for you at the alter and present them before the vows. There is also what is known as the blessing of the rings, this is when the officiant passes the rings around to the guests of the wedding, each guest says a small prayer or a wish for the couple and while passing along to each guest, the bridal couple will carry on with their vows. This is a great way for the guests to feel included in the ceremony.
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