If you’re in the middle of planning your own Jewish wedding, it probably comes as no surprise that there are Jewish traditions for wedding rings that you may not have heard of before. Keep reading for a list of common questions and answers to help you choose the perfect rings and exchange them properly on your wedding day!
Do you exchange rings in a Jewish wedding?
Yes! According to Jewish law, the groom must give his bride an object of value in order for the marriage to valid. Since the seventh century, this object of value has been a wedding ring, a symbol of unending love and commitment.
Do both the bride and the groom get rings on the wedding day?
In ancient times, only the groom gave the bride a ring, without receiving one in return. However, these days most ceremonies (except for the most Orthodox) include a double ring ceremony. Orthodox brides will usually give their grooms a wedding band during yichud, a private moment of time when the couple is secluded from friends and family immediately following the wedding ceremony.
Do you need to buy a specific kind of ring?
Tradition states Jewish wedding rings should be extremely simple. The ring must be crafted from a single type of metal, typically pure and unadorned gold. It should not have gems or precious stones. This simple, uninterrupted band represents an unbroken union. However, these days many brides are choosing diamond or gem-encrusted bands. Talk to your rabbi if you’re unsure of what kind of band to choose for your ceremony.
Can you engrave your wedding ring?
Although it goes against the strictest interpretations of Hebrew law, engraving Hebrew phrases or the Jewish date of the wedding within the ring is pretty common. Popular inscriptions include Dodi Li V’Ani Lo “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine” and Ze Dodi Veze Re’ei, “This is my beloved and this is my friend.”
How do you exchange rings during the ceremony?
During the wedding ceremony, the groom places the ring on the bride’s index finger of her right hand. This tradition comes from the Jewish thought that the index finger has a direct connection to the heart. Most brides and grooms will move the ring from their index finger to the ring finger of their left hand immediately following the ceremony.
We recommend choosing the traditions you and your partner feel most comfortable with. After all, it’s your wedding!
Do you have any other questions about Jewish wedding rings? Let us know in the comments below!