What is a ring bearer?

After the groomsmen and bridesmaids make their way down the aisle, your littlest wedding attendants, the ring bearer and flower girl, make their debut. While often one of the very aww-inducing elements of the ceremony, there is also an opportunity for some mishaps given the ring bearer’s early age. Find out about what’s expected of your ring bearer and what you can do to make certain his part goes smoothly.

Wondering what the scoop is on those cute little kids in the wedding party? Young boys can play two main roles: ring bearer and page. Pages help the bride with an extra-long train, while ring bearers bring the marriage rings (or fakes that resemble the wedding rings) to the altar.

A ring bearer is usually a young boy between the ages of 4 and 8 that has a special connection to the bride and groom. He might be related to them or maybe be a family friend. His role is to carry the rings down the aisle to the couple. Usually, the rings are tied to a pillow and then this ring bearer carries this pillow down the aisle. While a ring bearer is a normal part of a marriage ceremony, you could opt to never have one. If you go this route, the best man traditionally carries the rings in his pocket.
A number of factors come into play when selecting a ring bearer, both traditional and modern.

Age Range
Generally, etiquette expert Emily Post recommends ages 3 to 7 while Martha Stewart complements ages 5 to 10. Certainly, the couple can still decide to ask a child older or younger to serve as a ring bearer; they just may need to ensure accommodations. For example:

Babies, infants, and toddlers may need to be carried or escorted down the aisle by a grown-up attendant.
Older children can take on more responsibility, like standing for the entire service, rather than sitting using their parents.
Traditionally the ring bearer role was filled with a boy. This is not set in stone, however. If you would rather pick a special young lady to serve in this role, that is flawlessly fine. She could wear a dress with black accents (to resemble a tuxedo) or an identical dress to a flower girl’s but just carry the ring cushion.

Consider the relationship you have with the child’s parents and the child. Children of the couple are usually given priority if they’re not serving in other roles. Nephews, godchildren, and close personal friends are also options.

If your child was a ring bearer in a pal or family member’s wedding, they may expect their children to serve the same role in your wedding. Don’t feel obligated to ask, but if you will not be reciprocating, do consider asking the child to help in another important way (such as manning the guest book table).

Special Circumstances
While the ring bearer is a normal role, you may face a few special circumstances. For example:

When there’s more than one ring bearer, children can walk down that aisle in pairs. However, more than four total may be excessive depending on your wedding size.
Wedding Rings On Babys ToesBabies can get an honorary ring bearer title in this program but not be expected to be held at the front of the church during the ceremony.
A beloved pet might be your dream choice. Be sure to clear this with the venue and only if the pet is well trained. A puppy who follows commands and is employed to a crowd is a good choice; a cat who hides from all visitors is probably going to become problem.
Skipping the ring bearer is not unusual and can eliminate hurt feelings if you just can’t make the right choice.
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An Important Role
The ring bearer should understand his important place in the marriage party. Parents and the couple should help him feel comfortable, and his part will be successful.

You’ll probably want to choose a young relative. Perhaps your first or second cousins have already got children. You can even choose a godchild or a family friend. If you don’t know any young boys, don’t sweat it: Using a ring bearer is a great way to incorporate young family members in your wedding ceremony, but a ring bearer isn’t a necessity. Generally, the best man will be holding the true rings anyhow.