Historically, the wedding ring was connected to the exchange of valuables at the moment of the marriage rather than a symbol of everlasting love and devotion, a sign of “earnest money”. According to the 1549 version of the Book of Common Prayer: after the words ‘with this ring I thee wed’ follow the words ‘This gold and silver I give thee’, at which point the groom was supposed at hand a leather purse filled with gold and silver coins to the bride.  It is a relic of the days when marriage was a contract between families, not particular person lovers. Both households were then desperate to ensure the financial safety of the young couple. Sometimes it went so far as being a conditional trade as this old (and today old) German formula shows: ‘I come up with this ring as a sign of the marriage which has been promised between us, provided your father gives with you a marriage portion of 1000 Reichsthalers’. Post-wedding customsA gold banded engagement-marriage ceremony-anniversary ring combination welded together. Some customs include the marriage ring as the final of a sequence of gifts, which also may consist of the engagement ring, traditionally given as a betrothal present. This custom was practiced in historical Rome and is perhaps much older. ReligionWedding rite customsA groom putting a marriage ring on the finger of his bride during a wedding ceremonyIn several traditions, the good man or maid of honour has the duty of keeping an eye on a pair’s wedding rings and to produce them at the symbolic moment of the giving and receiving of the rings during the classic bridal ceremony. In more problematic weddings, a ring bearer (who is usually a part of the family of the bride or groom) may help in the ceremonial parading of the rings into the rite, sometimes on a different cushion. Among Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Christians, the exchange of rings is not technically part of the wedding service, but rather are exchanged at the betrothal. It is often a two-ring set given to her by the priest or by the best man.