Holding a ring warming before you make your vows and give your wedding rings to each other is a really special and meaningful way to involve your guests in the ceremony. In this way your loved ones have the opportunity to hold and bestow your wedding bands with a wish, a blessing or a prayer for your marriage. Your wedding rings, that you will wear every day, will then be filled and carried into the future with the love and good wishes of your friends and family.
During this ceremony the rings are passed round your guests. You might like to put someone in charge of the rings, perhaps a bridesmaid or best man. It is helpful for someone just to keep an eye on them and make sure everyone is included (if they want to be).
You will probably also want to organise a container for your rings to make their journey round your guests, to avoid the possibility of the rings being dropped and rolling out of sight (😱)! One way is to place the rings in a small bowl or basket, and above is a picture of a beautiful walnut bowl which was bought specially by one couple for the occasion and which will, of course, be lovely to have as a reminder of their day. Alternatively, you could use a small box with a glass lid; or you can obtain a little cushion with ribbons to tie the rings to, such as you sometimes see used by bridesmaids or page boys to keep the rings safe.
I, or your celebrant, would explain the significance of the ring warming ceremony to your guests. I would explain the process and then say something like: “Hold the rings in your hands for a moment. Warm them with your love and make a silent wish for [the two of you]. Your wishes and blessings will go with them into the future.”
If you have a lot of guests it will take a few minutes for this ritual to take place, and it might be helpful for something else to be going on at the same time. From experience, I find that it can provide a good space for me to hold the tribute to the couple (this is usually the story of how they met, with some of their adventures to date, often including the proposal and how it went – and this is often very interesting and amusing to guests even when they know the couple very well!). Or alternatively you can have music playing and this would be a good moment to include something special like a harpist, or an opera singer, or really whatever you like…
As a celebrant, I love seeing this ritual happening. From my position at the front, I can see how much this ceremony means to your guests.
It is a beautiful thing to see people taking this quiet personal moment to consciously give their love, and express their appreciation for you and for the occasion of your wedding.