When you are planning your wedding, you have so much to think about. You have a guest list of all the most important people in your life, and some of those people may be closely involved and have special roles as part of your wedding.
If you’re already picked the bridesmaids, the groomsmen, and have ushers planned or flower girls all sorted, then there’s one more role that you have to allocate; the ring bearer.
The ring bearer has an essential role in your special day, and this job is typically given to small children in relation to the bride and groom, or even sometimes pets.
It’s a part of the wedding procession and ceremony that can make all of your guests go awwwww, and make the moment feel extra special. So, what exactly is the role of a ring bearer, who should you choose and can you have more than one? This guide will tell you all about ring bearers at weddings!
What is a ring bearer?
The ring bearer at a wedding has a very special role indeed. As the name suggests, the ring bearer is the one responsible for carrying the couple’s wedding rings down the aisle towards the bride and groom as part of the wedding ceremony.
Most ring bearers are the youngest members of the family, such as the couple’s small child, niece, nephew, godson/goddaughter. The average age of a ring bearer is usually about three to eight years old.
Traditionally, the ring bearer would be a boy, as young girls are given the role of flower girls, but nowadays any gender can participate in any role if you choose so.
Many ring bearers will be given a cushion with the rings to carry, or something easy and simple for them to carry while they walk. If ring bearers are very small, such as infants or toddlers, then a dedicated adult can help them walk down the aisle towards the bride and groom.
Bringing the rings to the altar is often a very, sweet, intimate and cute moment during a wedding, and one that many will not forget.
Why are ring bearers tradition?
It’s rather hard to trace the origins of the ring bearer tradition to a specific background. Some historians maintain that the ring bearer tradition is derived from ancient Egypt, where jewels and treasures were carried on pillows during the wedding ceremony.
Others argue that the tradition originated in Europe during medieval times, where the wedding ring would be presented to the bride upon a sword.
Most of the time, traditions are born out of various origins, as people from all over the world borrow customs and cultural traditions and incorporate them into their own.
Wherever the tradition came from, what we know is that this one has been around for centuries, and is not going away soon. So, how do you choose who will be your ring bearer, and can you have more than one?
How many ring bearers can you have?
Generally speaking, bearing the rings is a one-person job, and most couples only choose one child to be the ringbearer.
As mentioned earlier, if the child is rather small or young and unable to concentrate, then you can also have an adult or an older child accompany them to help them down the aisle.
As a side note, if you are worried about the wedding rings possibly being dropped, lost or damaged in any way, then you can always give the young ring bearer costume rings to carry, and have the best man keep the real ones.
This way, the ring bearer will still feel involved and that they have an important role in the wedding, but there will be no risk of accidents or something going wrong.
When planning your wedding, it’s all about what you want, and what works best for you. Therefore, if more than one ring bearer is what you want, then do it!
You can have more than one ring bearer if it works, but we would recommend giving all of them something to do. Giving children a specific task can make them feel involved in your big day, and make them feel special.
For instance, if you want to have a few children as your ring bearers, then we recommend that you give them signs to hold, or maybe something special to hold.
Just make sure that the ring bearers you choose are right for the role. You’ll need to ensure that they are comfortable doing their job, and won’t be shy or have a meltdown on the day.
Can I have three ring bearers?
Of course you can have three ring bearers if you want to. The tradition is to have one ring bearer, that is typically male, but sometimes traditions can be outdated, or just don’t fit into your wedding plans and ideas. Do what’s right for your big day!
Alternative Ideas For Ring Bearers
You don’t necessarily have to have children as your ring bearers if that’s not your style. Some couples choose to have their pet dog carry the rings to them, and even have them dress up with a bow tie for the ceremony! This can be a very personal and funny touch to see a dog strut down the aisle.
Alternatively, you can have multiple ring bearers if you have lots of nieces or nephews, and can have some of them pull along younger siblings in carts adorned with signs.
Others have successfully dressed young ones up as “ring security” labeled as “security guards” for the ring as a lighthearted and fun take, and to make the kids happy and calm their nerves as they woo your guests.
Whichever way you decide to go with it, just have a little fun and enjoy the day!