Wedding Officiant Help Desk

Tips and Scripts for the Wedding Emcee and Officiant

Wedding Ceremony Script
ring warming ceremony

How to Perform a Ring Warming Ceremony at a Wedding

A ring warming ceremony is a wonderful way to make a couples’ wedding even more memorable and special.

In this guide, I’ll introduce fellow celebrants and officiants to the meaning and significance of ring warming before explaining how to incorporate this poignant tradition into your clients’ big day.

Read more: What happens at a handfasting ceremony?

Introduction to Ring Warming Ceremony: Meaning and Significance

Ring warming ceremonies have their origins in Ireland, where couples would invite their wedding guests to bless or ’warm’ their wedding rings before they exchanged vows. As the rings were passed around, friends and family would hold the jewellery in their hand – quite literally warming the metal – while reciting a short prayer or simply wishing the couple a happy marriage.

The practice was thought to imbue the rings with the guests’ prayers and good wishes which the newlyweds would carry forward into their new life together.

Step-by-Step Guide: Planning and Preparation for a Ring Warming Ceremony

Irish Ring Warming Ceremony

When planning and preparing for a ring warming ceremony, it’s important that celebrants and officiants keep a few things in mind. First, consider the practicalities of involving such a ritual in the wedding ceremony order of events.

How Long Should a Ring Warming Ceremony Take?

Will there be enough time for a ring warming ceremony? How long should it take? When it comes to questions about timing, it really comes down to the number of guests. A small or medium wedding of up to 100 guests is best suited to a ring warming.

Once numbers exceed 100 or so you run the risk of not getting the rings out and back again in a timely manner. Remember, a ring warming ceremony should be a brief yet meaningful interlude in a couples’ big day and not the main event.

Factor in whether the guests will be standing or seated. 

Will they be able to pass the rings quickly and quietly without having to get up or move around too much?

Is Your Venue Suited For a Ring Warming Ceremony?

Consider the wedding venue as well – is it suited to a ring warming ceremony? An indoor venue with floorboards or carpet might make it easier to find things that are dropped accidentally as opposed to an outdoor venue with, say, long grass or sand.

Next, think about how to lower the risk of the rings being dropped or misplaced. They could be tied together with a ribbon – perhaps from the bridal bouquet – or secured to a decorative pillow or an open box. Putting the rings in or on something makes them easier to handle and track, and it also makes for a nice keepsake for the couple.

Who Carries The Rings at a Ring Warming Ceremony?

Choose a responsible person – for example, the best man – to be the ‘ring chaperone’ who will keep an eye on the rings as they are passed around and ensure they make it back to the altar.

Who Goes First in Ring Warming Ceremony?

Finally, have a rough route planned for the rings, for example, they might start with the maid of honour then pass through the bridesmaids to the front row on that side, making their way through each subsequent row toward the back before crossing the aisle and making the same journey in reverse until they reach the groomsmen.

If the conditions just aren’t right for passing the ring around but the couple still want a ring warming ceremony, consider a ‘fixed’ alternative. Position the rings on a table at the entrance to the wedding ceremony with a sign inviting guests to ‘warm’ them as they arrive – it could be the same spot as the guestbook or wishing well. It’s a good idea to have the ring chaperone stationed at the table too.

ring warming ceremony

What To Say in The Ceremony

Below is an example of a ring warming ceremony script that celebrants and officiants can use to inspire their own. There’s no hard and fast rule for performing the ritual so feel free to add to or edit the wording as you see fit.

Ring Warming Script For Officiant

The wedding ceremony is underway. The officiant stands between the couple, addressing the guests.

Officiant: Ladies and gentlemen, we have now come to a special moment in this wedding ceremony: the ring warming. In this beautiful Irish tradition, [Party 1 Name] and [Party 2 Name] invite their guests to bless or ’warm’ their wedding rings before they exchange vows.

Member of the wedding party (eg. Maid of honor) begins passing the wedding rings.

Officiant: As [Party 1 Name] and [Party 2 Name]’s rings are passed around, they ask their friends and family to briefly hold the jewellery in their hand – quite literally warming the metal – while silently reciting a short prayer or simply wishing the couple a happy marriage. Then, pass the rings on to your right/left.

The rings continue to be passed from guest to guest. The ring chaperone assists where necessary.

Officiant: This ritual will imbue [Party 1 Name] and [Party 2 Name]’s rings with their loved ones’ positive thoughts and good wishes which the newlyweds can carry forward into their new life together.

Officiant: As the rings are warmed, [Party 1 Name] and [Party 2 Name] would like to take a moment to thank their guests for their love and support, and for being here to help celebrate their special day.

The rings have made their way down one side of the aisle and back up again where they’re collected by a member of the wedding party (eg. the best man).

Officiant: I don’t know about you, but I can feel the rings radiating with love, happiness and well wishes for [Party 1 Name] and [Party 2 Name]’s future together. And now, with this ring warming ceremony complete, we move forward to the next chapter of this incredible celebration of love.

The Wedding Ceremony Continues…

Ensuring a Smooth Flow: Tips for Officiating a Ring Warming Ceremony

  • If the couple choose to include a select group (eg. just the wedding party or their parents) in the ring warming, the celebrant or officiant should make this clear in their speech
  • Where certain guests are unable to attend the wedding, for example due to illness, the rings can be brought to them to ‘warm’ ahead of the event. The celebrant or officiant can mention this in their speech
  • Brief photographers and videographers ahead of time so they can capture all the special ring warming moments

Ring Warming Ceremony Marriage Celebrant

Gary is dedicated to ensuring that wedding officiants and wedding emcees like you excel in creating unforgettable wedding experiences! With a passion for celebrations, he is an enthusiastic, down-to-earth, and fun Wedding Celebrant and Professional Wedding MC, operating in Australia.
 
Count on Gary to provide expert guidance and a relaxed approach to help you deliver remarkable ceremonies and receptions. His goal is to empower you to curate the best possible wedding day for couples, where every detail is thoughtfully arranged, and the party atmosphere is electrifying!