Monday, October 5, 2015

Everything You Need To Know About Ring Bearers

Ring bearers and flower girls are so adorable. It's so cute to see little kids all dressed up on your wedding day. And there are such fantastic photos of the bride and groom and the ring bearer and flower girls that you can't have without them. But there are a few key things you need to keep in mind when you have these little people in your wedding party. We have a whole post about flower girls soon, but for now, this one is going to focus on everything you need to know about ring bearers.

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Everything You Need To Know About Ring Bearers

Do you have to have a ring bearer?
Nope. If you don't want one or have no one to ask, you don't have to have one. It's like any part of your wedding. It's your wedding so you can do what you want. The only real things you have to have are someone to marry and someone ordained to perform the ceremony.

Who do you ask?
Don't just blurt out to a young kid that he is going to be your ring bearer. You need to consult with his mom and dad first. They know their kid well enough to figure out if he will make it down the aisle without a meltdown. If the parents say no, then it's a no.

But who, specifically, should be your ring bearer? There's no real rule on this, but this is a way to include more family members into the bridal party. So if you or your fiance have a nephew, go with him. Or maybe your favorite cousin has a young son. Or maybe you have a young cousin. Or a godson. Really, there are a lot of possibilities. Weddings are about bringing families together and getting them involved, so you can use your ring bearer to add more family to your wedding party.

How old should the ring bearer be?
There's a age window of when kids are considered to be ring bearer age. Birth to about 11 fits into the ring bearer bracket. At 12, you fall into a junior groomsman age. This, of course, is just a rough guide. I mean, if you want to ask your grandpa to be your ring bearer, that's totally cool. Go right ahead. But for the most part, you'll probably stick with anyone younger than 12.

But the window between one and two can be really hard. If you pick an infant, you can always ask his parent to carry him down the aisle in a tuxedo onesie. That's cute. But around one, there's a change the boy won't make it down the aisle on his own. And at two, there's a chance he will throw a fit the morning of and not even attempt to go down the aisle. Once you get to three, kids are a little more agreeable so it's a little easier.

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What does he wear?
It's a little crazy to ask your ring bearer's parents to rent him a tuxedo to match the groomsmen. Instead, let his parents know what color the groomsmen are wearing. Chances are, they'll feel much better abut picking up a pair of matching pants (that the kid can wear until he outgrows them, then can pass them on as hand me downs) instead of renting a pair for a few hours.

If you have something special with the tuxedos (like, with us, Pete was wearing a bow tie and all his groomsmen were wearing long ties), let the ring bearer's parents know. That way, he won't come dressed in a bow tie and throw off your plans.

What does he do?
This one was a shock to me. I thought the ring bearer carried the rings down the aisle on the ring bearer pillow. Nope. When we met with our priest, he told us that the ring bearer may trip (or just be playing with the pillow), the rings fall off, and now there's a break in the wedding to search for rings. If you tie the rings onto the pillow to avoid them from potentially rolling down the aisle, now the priest (or officiant) has to try to hold a book to conduct the ceremonies, then channel his inner boy scout to undo whatever knot you tied to keep the rings on the pillow.

Instead, tie a pair of fake rings onto the pillow and if they fall, they wedding continues without a hiccup.

Should he come to the rehearsal?
Absolutely. You should ask his parents to explain to him what he will be doing at your wedding, and it will be nice for him to have a run through at the rehearsal. That way, he will be familiar with the aisle he is walking down.

Also, you might want to ask one of his parents to stand at the end of the aisle (if he is younger) so you can tell your ring bearer to walk right to them.

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Our ring bearer pillow that Pete's sister sewed herself because she is amazing.
When does he walk?
Before the flower girls and after the maid of honor. So, quick rundown of the aisle walking order: mothers of the bride and groom (with their attendants), bridesmaids, maid of honor, ring bearer, flower girl, bride and her dad.

What should you do to thank him?
You will have to get your ring bearer a thank you present, but a little boy doesn't want cufflinks. I made ours a personalized frame on CafePress, then picked up a toy (we actually got the Battroborg Arena, which was a huge hit with our ring bearer and his brother).

Should he come to the reception?
That's really up to his parents. I know it's your wedding, but that's not your decision to make. If you are having a ring bearer in your bridal party, you should invite him to the reception. If his parents think he is too young (or if they would rather not bring him), let them decide that.

If he does come to the reception, be sure to talk to your venue about offering a kids meal. Many venues will charge you a lesser price for kids and won't charge for alcohol, so be sure to let your venue know.

BRIDAL BABBLE: Are you having ring bearers at your wedding?

Need a Ring Bearer Gift Idea?

Top 10 Ring Bearer Gift Ideas
Need to get a gift for a ring bearer? Check out this top 10 ring bearer gift ideas post from

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