The engagement period leading up to a couple’s wedding day is one of the most crucial periods of a couple’s life. The spiritual preparations that a Jewish couple takes during the engagement period will affect their marriage for the rest of their lives. Although it is an exciting period in the couple’s life, it is also a time that is emotionally challenging. For this reason, religious Jewish couples distance themselves from each other during this crucial period of time so that their wedding day will have added meaning.
One of the Jewish traditions for the engagement period is the exchange of gifts between a groom and a bride. This exchange of gifts symbolizes their commitment to each other throughout the rest of their lives. It is customary for the bride to present the groom with Jewish books and the groom does the same for the bride. Charity boxes, tallits and Shabbat candle sticks are also common gifts given during this period of time.
During the Renaissance period, it became popular for grooms to present their brides with engagement rings in the period leading up to her wedding. In the past, such rings would be designed in the shape of a synagogue and have other intricate designs that would make it very difficult for the bride to wear the ring.
However, modern day engagement rings are more practical. They usually contain one, two or three diamonds connected with a golden band. Inscriptions are also quite popular on engagement rings. One of the most popular inscriptions is “I am my beloved and my beloved is mine” or to state the name of the bride and groom alongside their wedding dates. These inscriptions can be done in either Hebrew or English. These Jewish engagement rings become part of the family heritage and can be passed down from generation to generation.