Wedding rings in themselves are symbolic, representing the couple's commitment to each other. But, a wedding band can have other meanings as well. Before purchasing your rings, you may want to consider if you'd like them to have additional meaning beyond the tradition marriage. That meaning can be personal (something special the two of you share), religious, or cultural. Here are some specific examples of how symbolism has been used with respect to wedding rings:
– The European tradition is one of engraving of the name of one's fiance, along with the date of the marriage, on the inside of the ring.
– Probably the most imposing symbolic ring of all times was that used in Hebrew weddings because it was so large and unwieldy. This Jewish wedding ring was actually shaped like the dome of the Jewish Temple; since it was only used in a small portion of the ceremony and then removed, the "wedding ring" was often the property of the synagogue and borrowed the event.
– In Victorian times, different stones were often used to spell out words of love, such as L (lapis lazuli), O (opal), V (verde antique), M (marcasite), and E (emerald), which spelled out LOVE ME.
– Another tradition was that of wearing a ring set with a different stone for each day of the week. This was based on the belief that planet gods, who each favored a particular stone, controlled the days. For example, Sunday was said to be represented by the Sun and symbolized through diamonds, pearls, rubies, or red garnets (depending on the source).
– Another historical technique that evoked mystery was to combine letters that seemed to mean nothing, but were actually two names, one reading from left to right and the other from right to left.
– Combining metals is a more recent phenomenon, such as artistically combining gold and iron to signify the combining strength and beauty.
You may want to put a personal twist on one or more of those historic traditions. Or, choose rings that are personally meaningful. For example:
– Religious Bands. Religious rings can reflect your strong faith. You may want to choose bands that integrate a cross or meaningful symbol into the design. Or, have a bible verse engraved inside the ring.
– Engraved Rings. There are many ways you can customize a ring with engraving. Besides having your names or a verse engraved inside the band, you could have the wedding vows or another special message of your choice, added to the band.
– Cultural Rings. Heritage is another way to customize your wedding rings. A Celtic or Irish heritage, for example, can be symbolized in several ways – by choosing a Claddagh or ring with other Celtic symbols. Those with a Greek heritage may want a wedding ring adorned with the Greek Key design. This interlocking design is said to symbolize devotion, love, and friendship. As another example, those with Native American heritage may want to wear a ring symbolizing an animal important to their tribe (the eagle or wolf, among others).
– Lifestyle Bands. Some couples convey a lifestyle choice with the wedding ring. Gay couples often choose rings with appropriate symbols encircling the bands, for example. Harley Davidson owners are another example. So much so, many couple not only choose wedding rings emblazoned with the Harley logo, but also plan entire wedding around the biker theme.
Whatever your heritage, passion, or desire, chances are it can be somehow incorporate into your wedding ring design.