Friday, October 26, 2007

Pre-Wedding Customs

wedding bandsAccording to some customs, the wedding ring forms the last in a series of gifts, which also may include the engagement ring, traditionally given as a betrothal present. Other more recent traditions, encouraged by the jewelry trade, seek to expand the idea of a series of ring-gifts with the promise ring, often given when serious courting begins, and the eternity ring, which symbolizes the renewal or ongoing nature of a lasting marriage, sometimes given after the birth of a first child; and a trilogy ring, usually displaying three brilliant-cut round diamonds each, in turn, representing the past, present and future of a relationship.
A European tradition encourages the engraving of the name of one's intended spouse and the date of one's intended marriage on the inside surface of wedding rings, thus strengthening the symbolism and sentimentality of the rings as they become family heirlooms.
Among Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Christians, the exchange of rings are not technically part of the wedding service, but rather are exchanged at the betrothal. It is always a two-ring ceremony. Traditionally, the groom's ring will be made of gold, and the bride's ring made of silver,[1] and are blessed by the priest with holy water. The priest blesses the groom with the bride's ring, and places it on the ring finger of his right hand; he then blesses the bride with the groom's ring and places it on her finger. The rings are then exchanged three times either by the priest or by the best man.[2] While in modern times, the ceremony of betrothal is often performed immediately before the wedding (or "crowning" as it is more properly called), the actual symbolic act of marriage is not the exchange of rings, but the placing of crowns on the head of the bride and groom, and their partaking three times of the "common cup".

source: www.wikipedia.org