In my opinion they are probably the most powerful thing about a wedding.
A ring is what starts the entire engagement process, and a ring is what symbolizes the marriage for your entire life.
This pearl ring had a bit of importance to me because it was given to me during our sorority initiation our freshman year of college.
According to our tradition, you were only allowed to wear it at either initiation or your wedding.
I held onto it for 6 years following my initiation, so that I could wear it for this important day.
(I've also had a few people ask me about where I got it, and I believe it was made of elastic and plastic pearls, haha nothing too fancy)
The exchanging of the rings was probably the highlight of our ceremony for Josh and I both.
I had a little surprise planned for Josh that few people knew about.
Before I get to the surprise, here's the backstory.
A few years ago, Josh's grandfather found out that he had mesothelioma.
He was given 4-6 months to live, and ended up blessing us with his life for over a year.
The loss was devastating to everyone who knew him.
He was a wonderful husband, father, and grandfather.
He was a huge example and leader in their church.
He set the standard for a grandfather by constantly showing love with his incredible wit and charm.
He was the type of grandfather you see in pictures or movies, always smiling, with a perfect head of stark white hair and the cutest wrinkles known to man.
He had a huge part in raising Josh, and losing him was like Josh was losing his father.
During his last few hours on earth he called each of his kids into his room to speak with them privately, and then gathered them all together to sing his favorite hymn, give some advice, and say his goodbyes.
I was so blessed to be in the room that night and to witness the words of love being shared.
The one thing that stood out to me the most was one small piece of advice he gave to all of his children.
After telling everyone that walking with God is the key to a happy life, he made sure that everyone knew he wanted them to "keep the love going."
He wanted his children to continue to share the love he has shared with them all of his life, in the way that God shares his love continuously.
So with that being said, there was only one sentence I could get engraved in Josh's wedding band.
"Keep the love going" followed by his grandfather's initials.
The night of the rehearsal dinner I told the preacher about my surprise and he made sure to inform the crowd of the backstory during the ceremony.
I can hardly remember the words he used, because I was so nervous (and embarrassed because I have a terribly ugly crying face) but I do know that I saw (and heard) tears from nearly everyone at the ceremony.
Later I found out that right before the wedding Josh's mom had some time to herself in the bathroom and spoke out loud to her dad "I wish you were here. I pray you could send me a sign that you are here with us, and that you see how happy Josh is."
I firmly believe that he is well aware of how happy Josh and I both are, and that is largely due to the fact that he set an incredible example of the correct way to be a husband and a father.