First things first: You DO NOT have to have a ring bearer, or even a flower girl for that matter. They are not required, even if you know a ton of adorable kids who would love to have the role. OK, now that THAT’S out of the way. If you want to have a ring bearer, here’s what you need to know.
Who Should You Pick to Be Ring Bearer?
Typically the ring bearer is the nephew or godchild of the bride or groom, second cousins, younger siblings, or the child of the maid of honor, best man, or other close friend. If you or your partner have a son that is perhaps too young to be in your wedding party, this is a great role for them as well (same goes for your daughter if she’s young enough to be the flower girl).
Not having kids in your wedding? A recent trend that we personally love is having an adult friend or family member be the ring bearer. Even your grandpa! You can also decide to include your pets. (There are so many cute dog ring bearers!)
Before you answer this important question and make your final decision, you’ll want to make a list of potential ring bearers. If you do end up going with a younger ring bearer, you’ll want to ask the child’s parents if they can participate in the festivities, and if they’re ok being in the spotlight.
How Old Should the Ring Bearer Be?
As we mentioned above, we have actually seen grandparents or older family friends be flower girls and ring bearers and even bridesmaids (this grandmother made an adorable flower girl), so you could technically choose someone younger or older for the role! But the appropriate age for a ring bearer is anywhere from 2 to 8-years-old. Though keep in mind that 2-years-old might be a bit more unpredictable at a wedding ceremony, so check with their parents to see how they might take to the responsibility of making it to the end of the aisle. They might be cute little kids, but the last thing you want to worry about are meltdowns!
What Should the Ring Bearer’s Outfit Be?
This absolutely depends on your wedding attire, but they should be dressed similarly to the groomsmen (IE: if they are wearing suits he should wear a little suit. Or, the ring bearer’s outfit could be a tuxedo). Overall, the outfit requirements are up to you, so think about what you think would work best for your wedding day.
Does the Ring Bearer Have to Be a Boy?
Not at all! The ring bearer can be a boy, girl, or non-binary.
Who Pays For The Ring Bearer’s Outfit?
Their parents would typically pay for the ring bearer’s outfit, though if you wish to give them something to wear as a gift that is always an option. (How adorable would a pair of suspenders be?) You would also pay for a ring pillow or other accessory.
Does the Ring Bearer Actually Carry the Rings?
If you’re wondering what the ring bearer actually does, we think it depends on their age. If your best friend’s son is going to fill the role, you can give the little tyke a ring pillow with two fakes on it. Then, you would give the best man the real rings instead. If having older ring bearers, you can choose to have them hold the actual rings. It’s completely up to you. Read more about who holds the wedding rings during the ceremony while you’re at the altar (especially if your ring bearers are toddlers vs. older children).
They also don’t have to be confined to only carrying a ring pillow! A ring bearer can blow bubbles while coming down the aisle, dance, hold your extra-long train…anything!
Are They Invited to the Reception?
This is definitely up to you, and is something you should decide before you ask a little one to be in your wedding. If you are inviting other children to the reception, then they would be invited and would sit with their parents or in a designated kids area (if you are providing supervision). If you do not want children at the reception, then we think it would be generous to let the parents know and pick up the cost of a sitter yourself (since you asked them to be one of the main roles in the wedding). Read more about how to hire a wedding babysitter here!
Since you’ll want your ring bearer, ushers, junior groomsmen,