Most couples will have a million things running through their heads during their wedding ceremony. It’s one of the most important days of your life, but it can also be stressful for some people — you’ll have to make sure all of your service providers show up on time, hope that all of your family members made it, and perform the ring swap at the alter. But what kind of etiquette (if any) should you follow when exchanging wedding rings? To learn more about wedding ring ceremony etiquette, keep reading.

Engagement Rings

Let me start off by saying that there’s no particular etiquette for engagement rings. Some brides leave it on their traditional “engagement ring” finger throughout the ceremony, while others take it off or move it to a different finger. 

So, what’s the purpose of moving your engagement ring to a different hand? Well, this shifts the attention back to the actual wedding band. It’s no secret that engagement rings tend to be more flashy than wedding bands, and some brides may not like this. So to keep the focus on their wedding band and not the engagement ring, they move it to a different finger (such as their right hand ring finger). 

Typically, most brides will leave their engagement ring in place throughout the wedding ceremony. After all, the photographer will likely want to capture some photos of both your engagement ring and the wedding band. Wearing them both at the same time will result in better, more memorable pictures.

Ring Bearer

Both the bride and groom’s wedding rings are typically carried down the aisle by the ring bearer. Also referred to as the page boy, the ring bearer carries both rings attached to a small pillow by ribbon. Once the rings arrive at the alter, the couple exchanges vows while placing the rings on each other’s fingers.

It’s important to note that some couples choose to give the ring bearer “dummy rings” and not the actual wedding bands. Trusting a 10-year old boy, even if he’s family, with both wedding rings could result in disastrous consequences. Instead, the ring bearer can walk down the aisle with fake rings that look real, and once he reaches the alter, the priest can slip the bride and groom each other’s rings. 

Once the bride and groom have exchanged vows and wedding bands, they are officially wed. Of course, this is when the fun starts, as everyone can relax and let loose at the reception.