What Does the Ring Bearer Have to Do?

May 27, 2020 – Posted in: Jewelry Blog

Judging by the title, the ring bearer’s job seems very simple. Risking a circular definition, he’s supposed to bear the ring for the bride and groom. But there’s much more to the role than meets the eye.

Many have doubts about how to pair the ring bearer and the flower girl. And there are those who feel a girl ring bearer might not be the right fit. Then, you need to factor in other wedding etiquettes associated with the role.

But there’s no reason to stress about it too much. The following sections are here to answer all your pressing questions.

What Is a Ring Bearer?

Toddler Ring Bearer

A ring bearer is a young gentleman, usually between four and eight years of age. And it’s important for the boy to have some sort of a connection to the marrying couple. But you should make the connection part with a pinch of salt.

The youngster doesn’t need to come from the family. He can be the son of a very close friend, for example. You should also note that the ring bearer isn’t necessary for your wedding ceremony. And there’s no tradition that proclaims him an integral part of the event.

There are couples who walk down the aisle without the boy at all. In that case, the best man is the one who carries the rings and gives them to the happy couple. But if you opt to go for a ring bearer there are a few things to consider.

First and foremost is the boy’s age. Lack of experience and the gravity of the occasion might be overwhelming for the youngster. This is why you need to take extra steps to make sure he’s comfortable with the role.

The boy should be a part of all the wedding rehearsals. And it wouldn’t hurt to present him with a small prize for a job well done. Of course, there should always be an adult he trusts to safeguard him from stage fright or a sudden urge to rush off to the restroom.

If these quirks shouldn’t bother you too much. The boys are usually proud to take part in the occasion and they quickly pick up the pace.

What Does He Have to Do?

Ring Bearer carrying at wedding ring

When bridesmaids and groomsmen come down the aisle, it’s the ring bearer’s time to make his debut. And he walks alongside or just before the flower girl. This task is simple enough, but the youngster also needs to carry the rings on a special cushion.

For a lot of guests, this part of the ceremony inspires the most awe. At the same time, it’s also the moment when mishaps might occur. This is why it’s critical to make the task as easy for the boy as possible.

We’ve already mentioned that there should be an adult around, and that the boy needs to practice. If there are more precautions you can take. For instance, getting the boy a book about ring bearers is a good place to start.

The book should help him understand the importance of the role, so he’s clear on what’s expected. Furthermore, it wouldn’t hurt to appoint a groomsman to be the boy’s buddy during the ceremony. The buddy is there to make sure the last minute toilet runs are over before the wedding starts.

Sometimes it’s good to relieve the pressure from the child and tie mock rings onto the cushion. The real ones will be in the safe hands of the best man. But no matter how much you prepare, the ring bearer is still a child and things can go wrong.

Therefore, it might be better to choose an older boy or forego the bearer altogether.

When Does He Walk the Walk?

There aren’t any particular rules as to when the bearer is supposed to do his task. The timing mostly boils down to religious and local customs.

Usually, the youngster walks the walk right in front of the flower girl. That is when the last bridesmaid comes down the aisle. Then again, this is a matter of personal preference and you can choose a timing that works best for you.

How to Pick a Ring Bearer?

Ring Bearer and Baby Hat

Aside from the bearer’s age, there are no other rules to follow to the T. As said, the boy may be a cousin, or the son of a prominent family friend. But what happens if there are two boys who both express the wish to take the role?

In this case, allow them both to take part. You can separate the rings and place them on two cushions, so each boy can carry his own. And if the bride’s train is very long, one of the boys can assume the role of the train bearer.

As for potential troubles, the only thing you should worry about is the peer or sibling rivalry. But then, it shouldn’t be too hard for you to find a groomsman who can handle both boys. And there should be a bridesmaid around just in case one decides to throw a tantrum all of a sudden.

If the ring bearer is too young (four or five), you should ask a bridesmaid to follow the boy to the aisle. Ideally, the bridesmaid should be someone the boy trusts. And she’s there to land a hand should the youngster get cold feet or burst into tears.

Can a Girl Be a Ring Bearer?

The quick answer is yes, a girl can be a ring bearer and the same rules apply as for boys. The common age for a girl ring bearer is between four and eight.

That said, there are some couples who choose younger girls. If so, the little lady needs to be accompanied by a parent or a bridesmaid she trusts. Her job is also to carry the rings down the aisle, and it’s not uncommon for her to have an outfit that matches that of the flower girl.

And there is a neat trick to make both outfits unique and to distinguish between the different roles of the girls. Let’s say, both of them are wearing matching white dresses. These outfits can be rendered special if you choose different color hair ribbons and belts.

As for the preparations, the girls will also cherish a book and some instructions for the task. Just make sure the book features a girl ring bearer to avoid confusing the child. In general, girls might be more prepared for the task, but this doesn’t mean they shouldn’t practice.

Include them in the ceremony rehearsal and help the girl complete the task, every step of the way. When it comes to the outfits, girls can be pickier than the boys, as they always like to look the part. Therefore, the dresses that match the bridesmaids’ or the wedding dress, do the trick.

And if the wedding is less formal, you can let the girl choose her own outfit, especially if she’s a bit older.

What Does the Ring Bearer Wear?

Ring Bearer Getting Ready in Clothes

Whichever outfit you choose, the bearer will look super cute. And again, the bearer’s clothes are not something that’s prescribed by customs or traditions.

As of recently, the mini-groomsmen look is quite popular. If you opt for that, the boy should be wearing a mini tuxedo. But what if there’s a flower girl and want the two children to have matching outfits?

When the flower girl wears a white dress, it’s okay to find a matching white suit for the boy. But if the flower girl’s dress matches the bridesmaids’ dresses, it’s best to go for the mini-groomsmen look.

Boys who are very young, look and feel the part in short pants and an Eton jacket. However, those who organize a less formal ceremony might choose less formal attire. You can get the boy a children’s version of the groomsmen outfit, or anything that’s age-appropriate.

For example, there are t-shirts with a bow tie and vest print. And you can also purchase a jacket that might be more comfortable than the tiny tux. But where can you find these clothes?

Most children’s stores have some sort of formal clothes for boys. The same should apply to the store where you got the groomsmen suits. But there’s one thing to keep in mind, the looks are second to comfort. This goes double if the boy is very young.

Make sure he feels unrestricted in the outfit and that he can move freely. Furthermore, it wouldn’t hurt to let the boy wear the attire for a while before the wedding to get accustomed to it.

Ring Bearer and Flower Girl

Bride with Ring Bearer and Flower Girl

Now you have the scoop on the ring bearer’s roles and duties, it pays to take a closer look at the flower girl.

Like the bearer, the little girl doesn’t need to be directly related to you. But you should be careful about the girl’s age since her role is slightly more complicated than the boy’s. As you already know, the girl is supposed to evenly scatter petals as she walks down the aisle.

And this is something you’d want to agree on with the venue. Namely, some venues don’t like the rose petal debris. In that case, the flower girl should be blowing bubbles instead. And yes, the ring bearer often comes before her, so the two children should be in sync as much as possible.

You shouldn’t rush either the bearer or the flower girl. With enough practice, both children will do everything in a timely manner and the right way. But what if you have a young cousin who isn’t quite the appropriate age?

If so, it’s perfectly fine to improvise a bit. A bridesmaid or one of the parents can walk down the aisle with the girl, and help her scatter petals or blow bubbles. In fact, there have been weddings where the girls were carried down the aisle by their mums.

Finally, it’s perfectly fine to choose both the ring bearer and the flower girl from the same family. One sibling is likely to be a bit older, so they can help the other youngster complete the task the best possible way.

Tips and Tricks for the Parents of the Ring Bearer

Parents of Ring Bearer

First, you need to speak to the parents and agree well before the wedding. Tell them you’d be honored to have the boy or the girl in the ring bearer’s role. And don’t forget to ask for their opinion.

It’s not as if the parents are going to turn you down. But they might point out certain things that will help you avoid mishaps when the important moment comes. Then, you should discuss arrangements to practice the routine every now and again before the final rehearsal.

With this in mind, it’s crucial not to overdo things. The role of the ring bearer is important, but it may become too stressful for the youngster. So it’s best to make it as playful and cheerful as possible. And you should avoid pushing the child to do something they’re not inclined to do.

This spills over to the outfit. As said, the child needs to feel super comfortable from head to toe. And if the young boy doesn’t like his bow tie too much, it’s okay not to wear it. Speaking of outfits, the child’s parents usually purchase it.

Due to this, it’s best to be reasonable with the selection. But if a tiny tux or suit really catches your eye, don’t hesitate to get it yourself.

Finally, all the preparations can be overbearing for you, the parents, and the child. Therefore, you should approach it with a smile, and avoid stressing over every minute detail.

Just one more thing, make sure to seat the parents near the aisle, so they can jump in if there’s an unexpected halt to the ceremony.

Tiny Person Big Duties

The best thing about having a ring bearer is that the rules aren’t set in stone. You can make their outfits as playful or as formal as you want, but don’t forget the comfort. And feel free to offer the youngster a small present so he has a lasting memory of the event.

Lastly, you shouldn’t think about what-ifs. Even if something goes wrong, the child should get a round of applause to encourage them to finish up the job.