While I am thinking about it, let's talk about that beautifulpiece of jewelry many brides receive, the engagement ring. By the time I meet most couples, if there is going to be an engagement ring, it is already glistening on that third finger of the left hand. And rightly so, brides are proud of the ring for its beauty but mostly because of the person who presented the ring. HOWEVER, come wedding day, that engagement ring takes second place to the wedding band. So what do you do with your precious gift? Simply move the engagement ring to your right hand. The wedding band is placed on your third finger left hand during the ceremony (closest to your heart) and then the engagement ring is returned to the left hand when the ceremony is concluded. Current thinking certainly does not insist that an engagement ring even be worn. However, most couples do think that the engagement is not complete until a ring has been given. Part of my discussions with couples include how they got engaged. Many choose a birthday or the anniversary of first meeting and Christmas is the biggie. I enjoy January and February as my phone rings constantly with newly engaged couples. Where to get engaged? Of course we all see the dramatic ones on You Tube. However, the most creative I heard was from two reps for different companies that served Wal Mart. He was the Pepsi man. She had another highly visible product that was to be aisle featured that week. The Pepsi man arrives at 4am and sets up a wall of Pepsi cases and used Diet Pepsi cases to insert Will You Marry Me Cassie? At 6:30am, the Wal Mart manager calls the bride to be and suggests she needed to get herself to the store immediately as the promised stock for the giant promotion she had organized had not arrived and he was not happy. Being a significant part of her income, the bride jumped out of bed and rushed to the store to find the giant Pepsi wall greeting and her groom on bended knee. Restaurants are also popular but don't be like one hapless groom that organized the ring and his bride with a surprise visit back to the restaurant where they first met in a nearby city. What he hadn't noticed along life's way is that the restaurant was destroyed in a fire two weeks previously, so he got down on knee and proposed alongside the ashes and they have a great story to tell. It is also generally accepted that the groom-to-be purchase the engagement ring as a gift for the bride. Most times a diamond is chosen, but again not a rule that it must be diamond. If an engagement ring is to be given, simply please yourself and the bank manager. As I stated, the engagement ring purchase is usually the responsibility of the groom, however with the cost of rings today, sometimes the bride and groom purchase the rings jointly. I strongly encourage couples not to buy a ring on finance terms, credit cards or other plans that will increase the cost of the ring exponentially. Don't start your life together with debt. Buy what you can comfortably afford, keep savings in your account if possible, life is full of surprises. As you progress through the marriage journey and circumstances permit, surprise the bride/wife with an upgraded ring. Sometimes family heirlooms are passed along to a bride to be as well. Again, I would rather those heirlooms be kept in a vault until life settles into a pattern. We all head into marriage with great expectations, but statistics do tell us that some things are not forever. Think about presenting the heirloom at an anniversary or birth of a child. My wife was given my Mother's engagement ring by my Mother after we were married 15 years and it is a treasure. The bride to be covers the purchase of the groom's wedding band. Did you know? Engagement rings date back to ancient times when marriages were by purchase. Gold rings were used as currency so giving a ring to a lady was a partial payment for her and a symbol of intentions. Today, it is a gift to announce to one and all the intentions of the couple. Did you know part two? The engagement ring is worn on the third finger of the left hand again because of ancient lore. It was believed that this finger was the only finger with a vein leading directly to the heart, thus assuring a long and happy life. The original engagement ring I gave my wife, the gifted ring from my Mother and a ring we bought together as an upgrade as celebration of 25 years together will all journey with a group of treasured friends on a Fall cruise to celebrate our October 30th anniversary.-- Rev. James Kefford Wedding Officiant/Clergy 760 898 5157 www.4UIDo.net WINNER 2012 BRIDE'S CHOICE AWARD MEMBER and Treasurer: Greater Palm Springs Wedding Association Author of: "Champagne and Caviar" A memoir of travel and adventures around the world Order through: Amazon.com Now on Kindle too!