, Florida (PressExposure) March 18, 2009 -- A wedding is the ceremony in which two people are united in marriage. Wedding traditions and customs vary greatly between cultures, ethnic groups, religions, countries, and social classes. Most wedding ceremonies involve an exchange of wedding vows by the couple, and a public proclamation of marriage by an authority figure or leader, presentation of a gift such as offering, ring, symbolic item, flowers, money.
Exchanging rings- may it be gold, platinum, titanium, and tungsten ring are the oldest and most universal symbol of marriage, but the origins are unclear. The ringâs circular shape represents perfection and never-ending love. The rings are exchanged during the wedding ceremony and according to tradition, symbolize the love, faithfulness and commitment of the marriage union.
According 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. The promise ring is often given when serious courting begins, while the eternity ring that symbolizes the renewal or ongoing nature of a lasting marriage, sometimes given after the birth of a first child; and lastly 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 is 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 (though gold, titanium, and tungsten ring are commonly used nowadays) 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 left 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.
The custom that calls for the future bridegroom to give his future bride a jewelled ring upon proposing to her is also common among Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Christians, albeit this ring is not used again at the betrothal or wedding. Indeed it need not be a ring at all, but any piece or set of jewellery- such as a bracelet, brooch, earrings, necklace, tiara, or rarely whole parure. Though rings such as tungsten ring are now commonly used.