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Wedding rings often have a high profile in the ceremony, but they are only in play for a few moments in the wedding ring exchange (unless you have a ring warming ceremony). After the exchange, the rings are (hopefully) safely secured to the fingers where they are going to spend decades of marital bliss. But who is holding on to them beforehand? There’s going to be a lot of variation, depending on what is required by the type of ceremony and your own personal preference, but here are the most common options.
If you were scanning the program looking for clues regarding who has the rings, you’d probably start with the people who have “ring” in their title. We’re talking about the ring bearers. Here’s a little peek behind the curtain, though. Sometimes the rings on that little satin pillow (or cushion alternative), are *gasp* decoys. And even if they are the real deal, they are only usually in the hands (or attached to the collar, if the ring bearer is man’s best friend) for the length of an aisle. Then they are delivered to the hands of someone in the wedding party who is a little further removed from potty training (usually the officiant or the best man) until it is time for the wedding ring exchange.
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The best man has likely been considerably less busy than the maid of honor, but now it’s time for him to really earn his keep. Whether the rings are brought to him by an adorable squad of ring bearers or he has had them from the get-go, he can produce them when it is time for the ring exchange.
However, if you want to give the maid of honor one more thing to do — “one more thing to do” is basically a maid of honor’s job description — you can break with tradition and give this to her as well. Or you can entrust to the kind of close family member that has been keeping track of things for you for decades (and who also might be comfortable shepherding the ring bearers around). If the best man is your brother and the ring bearer’s father, those roles could all be the same.
Or you can give the rings to the person who is going to be presiding over the exchange of vows. If everybody else in the wedding is nervous because this is the first time they have ever done something like this, give the task to the person who does this once a week. Even if they aren’t actively holding on to your rings, you can still consult them on ring protocol since they are the ones in charge of prompting wedding role players with their cues.
The Bride and Groom Themselves
It’s possible that the watchwords of your wedding are “small” and “simple.” Or if you are the kind of couple who were both working on personalizing your own vows since you went shopping for wedding sets for him and her, then if that’s the case, you can also hang onto the rings yourselves. Both rings can go to the groom as the person most likely to have pockets, or each of you can hold onto the other’s ring until it is time to make the exchange.
Whatever you decide, make sure the rings are stowed so that they don’t slip off in transit, but not so tightly secured that you have to cause a scene to extract them. And if there is a mishap, know that Modern Gents is holding on to an entire catalog’s worth of affordable, high-quality replacements.