Wedding Ceremony Script Without Rings

Couple exploring alternatives instead of exchanging rings.
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  • ~12 Minute Ceremony

Exchanging wedding rings is a tradition for many couples around the world when getting married. But did you know that rings are not a requirement? They are purely symbolic, holding no legal weight. Some couples wishing to buck tradition choose to remove rings from their wedding ceremony entirely. But what does a wedding ceremony script without rings actually look like? We’ll explore the elements of this ceremony variation and provide a sample script version.

Why Go Without Wedding Rings?

Couples might opt out of including rings in their wedding ceremonies for a number of different reasons, each reflecting unique perspectives, values, and circumstances.

  • Cost: Wedding rings can be expensive. By forgoing them, couples can allocate funds to other aspects of their celebration, their future together, or to investments that align more closely with their priorities.
  • Symbolism: Rings are traditionally seen as symbols of love and commitment, but not all couples feel the need for physical objects to express their bond. They may choose other ways to symbolize their union that feel more personal or meaningful.
  • Practicality: Some individuals don’t wear jewelry due to their profession, lifestyle, or personal preference. In these cases, rings might be seen as impractical or uncomfortable.
  • Cultural or Personal Beliefs: Certain cultures or personal beliefs may not place importance on rings as part of marital symbolism. Couples might instead incorporate alternative rituals or symbols that better represent their heritage or values.
  • Environmental and Ethical Concerns: The jewelry industry, particularly the mining of precious metals and stones, has been criticized for environmental damage and unethical practices. Couples concerned about these issues may choose to avoid rings as a stance against contributing to such problems.

Each couple’s decision is deeply personal, reflecting a blend of practical, ethical, and emotional factors unique to their relationship. The absence of rings doesn’t diminish the commitment; rather, it showcases the couple’s willingness to define their union on their own terms.

Below, you’ll find a short sample script for a wedding ceremony that skips the ring exchange altogether, in line with these sensibilities. You’re welcome to download and use it as-is, or look to it for inspiration as you craft your own.

Introduction/Welcome

Officiant (to everyone):

Dearly beloved, we have gathered here today to celebrate the union of _________and _________ and be witnesses to this joyous occasion. First, we will start with a short reading.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Reading

Officiant (to guests):

"When I saw you,

I could see that it was me, you came to find,

By the smile that was on your face.

Oh and the pain in my heart,

Met the love in your eyes,

And went away.

Every day, every night.

This is what I write upon my heart:

I owe love, all my love,

I owe everything to you.

All of my life, you’ve given love to me.

I owe love, all my heart,

It belongs to only you.

The rest of my life,

I know I.O.U. me."

-"I.O.U. Me" by Keith Thomas, Benjamin Winans, Mike Rapp, Billy Sprague, Tom Hemby

Vow Exchange

Officiant (to the couple):

Now is the moment to share your vows with each other.

_________, please, you go first.

Partner 1:

Though seasons shift and the world around us transforms, my love and admiration for you remain constant. I promise to support and protect you through every high and low, as we navigate life’s seasons side by side.

Officiant (to the couple):

_________, now it’s your opportunity to express your vows.

Partner 2:

Just as the seasons evolve and circumstances change, the steadfastness of my love and appreciation for you endures. I commit to standing by you and safeguarding our bond through the varied chapters of our journey together.

Ring Disclaimer (optional)

At this point in the ceremony, tradition would dictate that _________ and _________ exchange rings. However, they’ve decided to forgo this step in favor of/because of (insert reasoning or alternative symbolic element here, if applicable).

Declaration of Intent

Officiant (to couple):

The words you’ve shared today demonstrate your commitment to this lifelong partnership, but before we conclude, we have one more important step: the affirmation of your union.

Officiant (to Partner 1): _________, do you take _________ to be your lawfully wedded spouse?

Partner 1: I do.

Officiant (to Partner 2): _________, do you take _________ to be your lawfully wedded spouse?

Partner 2: I do.

______________________________________________________________________

Pronouncement

Officiant (to couple):

_________ and _________, you’ve now exchanged rings, sealed your spiritual bond, and declared your intent to wed. By the power vested in me by the Universal Life Church, I now pronounce you married! You may kiss!