Ritual symbolism abounds in everything we do; this is particularly the case when an individual commits their love and devotion to another and offers a promise of marriage. The custom of offering and exchanging engagement rings and wedding bands is a time honored tradition rich in symbolism and meaning that has been carried on for centuries.
As time has changed so have consumer traditions and buying patterns. The rich tradition of exchanging vows as a symbol of love and devotion is still a traditional time honored ritual practiced in many cultures. Certain aspects of engagement and marriage have changed with time however. Whereas in times of old a couple might take several outings together in search of the perfect engagement rings or wedding bands, in modern times more and more couples are buying engagement rings, wedding rings and wedding bands online.
Thanks to the internet and the resulting access to a global marketplace, couples are realizing they have more options available to them all from the comforts of their living room. Some couples are even going to the extreme, not only buying engagement rings, wedding rings and wedding bands online, but also purchasing wedding gowns, flowers and even participating in virtual marriages.
How have these changes come about? What can today's modern couple expect when planning a walk down the aisle?
The Engagement Ring
The practice of a groom offering his bride to be an engagement ring as a promise of love and affection began nearly 2 centuries ago in the United States; many associate the giving of engagement rings with a need to express implied commitment and understanding forever. The term "A Diamond is Forever" was in fact used as a means of reinforcing the notion that an engagement ring is a commitment from one fiancé to another to live a life together in marital harmony forever. The phrase is also a popular advertising catch phrase that reinforces the notion that love and devotion are part of everyday symbolisms that require an outlet for expression.
The use of engagement rings as a token of love and affection is a norm that instilled in the hearts and minds of most people, in part due to heavy marketing and advertising from diamond ring and other jewelry manufacturers, and in part based on the needs of mankind to project symbolism into everyday living.