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 wear every day, will then be filled and carried into the future, with the love and good wishes of your friends and family.
You might say that a ring warming is a good way of including a ritual that could be described as almost religious or spiritual - yet it does not involve the incorporation of particular wordings that could be alienating for some people. With a ring warming everyone is welcome to take a moment to bring their own beliefs and understanding about the nature of marriage into your ceremony in their own private and personal way.
The rings are passed round your guests to enable this process. You will probably need to put someone in charge of the rings, to assist their progress round the room and this can be done by a bridesmaid or best man, or by a family member. You could give them the title of Ring Holder or Ring Chaperone if you wanted and they could actively assist in passing the rings round, or they can just keep an eye on them and make sure everyone is included (if they want to be). Your celebrant can explain the significance of the ring warming ceremony to your guests and how it will be done.
There are several different ways of managing the journey of the rings round your guests. One way is to place the rings into a shallow bowl or basket, and if you wanted you could buy ring warming plates that have one or two holes pierced in the side so that you can attach the rings with a ribbon if you want to. This would ensure there are no anxious moments when a ring is accidentally dropped! Or you can attach the rings, again with a ribbon, to a little cushion such as you sometimes see used by bridesmaids or page boys to keep the rings safe. I have also heard of the rings being threaded onto a ribbon which winds up and down the rows of seats and then passed along that way.
Alternatively, it you have a large guest list and you feel this process might take too long, you can ask people to warm your rings as they arrive, before they take their seat. You could set the rings in a container, again with a ‘chaperone’ who can facilitate the process and explain to people what it is about, if necessary. If it is done this way, you could put up a small notice saying something like the illustration above.