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Little kids dressed in their absolute best attire are adorable. Having them walking down the aisle with your rings are even cuter.
If you have several kids to choose from, how do you know who to chose to be your ring bearer? If you have more than one child that is in the running to be the ring bearer, how do you let the other kids, or more specifically their parents, know that they’re not the ones you want?
Thankfully, there are a few guidelines to help you choose.
What Age Should a Ring Bearer Be?
Ring bearers are usually between the ages of three and seven years old. If the kids are on the younger side, they may also want their parents to stay close by, so keep the parents seated near the front to help the ring bearer stay on track.
Young children can also sometimes be shy and nervous because even if they don’t understand what is happening, they can still pick up on the idea that a wedding is a big deal. If you have a choice, you’d be better off choosing the child that is less likely to be shy to help make sure that things go smoothly.
The ring bearer also needs to be able to follow basic directions. He’ll need to know when to go or understand when he is told to follow the maid of honor before the flower girl goes, too. Your ring bearer will also need to realize that the best man or maid of honor may very well grab the rings to hold on to them until they’re required for the ceremony.
How Should You Decide Who to Choose?
The answer to this question depends on who you have available. If you have children, then naturally, the honor should go to your own kids.
If you don’t have children but have a few nephews to choose from, you have some options. Of course, you can always choose one over the rest, but did you ever consider choosing two to act as ring bearers?
You can have an older child that is closer to seven years old pull younger children in a wagon down the aisle. They’ll look adorable rolling down to the front, and you’ll create some memorable moments for your photographer to capture.
You’ll also want to consider the kids’ personalities. If little Johnny is going to be so shy that he’s going to hide under the pews or refuses to leave his parents’ side, then you’re probably going to want to pick someone else.
On the other hand, if little Timmy is full of personality and loves to flash a smile at everyone, he will be a better pick to be your ring bearer.
If any of the children you’re considering adding to your wedding have been in multiple weddings, maybe consider choosing a child that hasn’t had the opportunity to walk down the aisle just yet.
You should also think about who is going to pay for what. Are you going to pay for the tux or suit rental for your ring bearer or will the parents be paying? Are you going to provide the pillow as well?
If you’re expecting the parent to pay for the tux rental, make sure that they’re comfortable paying for it. They may have a financial situation that you don’t know about, so don’t assume anything and clear everything with the parents, so you’re all on the same page.
How Do You Ask the Ring Bearer to Be Part of the Ceremony?
The most obvious answer is to ask the parents for their permission to have their child participate as the wedding bearer. Once you have parent permission, if the child is old enough to appreciate the request, you can send them a little card asking if the child wants to participate.
You can make a thing out of it and add some stickers or some candy if the parents are okay with that. From there you can begin to work with the little one to practice what they will have to do.
If there are other kids that have parents who might be upset that their child or children were not chosen for the ceremony, you may consider adding something that makes all of the little ones feel extra special.
Do you remember that scene in the Princess Diaries 2 where Princess Mia led all of the kids in the orphanage down the street in a parade because she declared that everyone was a prince or princess that day?
You could do something similar for the younger ones that are in the crowd. At the end of the ceremony, you can invite all of the children to proceed down the aisle first as a parade of sorts. If you felt so moved, you can give them tiaras and crowns to wear or maybe give them noisemakers that they will love getting to use.
If that’s not quite your thing, don’t worry about it. Remember, it is your wedding day, so if other people aren’t happy with your decision, you don’t necessarily have to meet anyone else’s expectations except your own.
Do You Need a Ring Bearer?
If you would rather not have children involved in your ceremony, you don’t need a ring bearer or a flower girl for that matter. The choice is entirely up to you.
Should you choose to go forward with a ring bearer, you may consider tying fake rings on the pillow the ring bearer carries so as not to lose the rings accidentally.
If you do put the real rings on the pillow, make sure that whoever sends the ring bearer down the aisle waits until the last minute to get the pillow. You’ll be less likely to have the rings lost that way.
Some people have a ring bearer purely because of tradition and prefer for the child not to have the actual rings. There’s nothing wrong with that. If that’s the case, entrust the rings either to the best man or maid of honor ahead of time, so you know the rings are safe.
Does the Ring Bearer Attend the Reception?
This is another situation of “it’s your call.” If you have an adults-only reception, then it might not be wise to have your ring bearer attend. If children are invited, then it would make sense to have the ring bearer present as well.
Going back to the adults-only reception, if you ask the parents if their child will be the ring bearer and they agree, it would be a good idea if you were willing to pay for the cost of a sitter for their little one if you want the parents to attend your wedding.
Honestly though, inviting the ring bearer is as up to you as picking what the child is supposed to wear as he walks down the aisle.
Making the Final Decision
When you start thinking about who to select as your ring bearer, if it comes down to the point where you feel like it’s too difficult to decide, you are not obligated to have a ring bearer.
As you research ring bearers and flower girls, you may even see that parents are not strangers to complaining about the cost of renting a tiny tuxedo. If it’s important to you to have one, you may even consider paying for the rental on your own.
If it saves your sanity, it’s more important to do that on your wedding day than worry about making someone else happy. Don’t worry if you decide not to have a ring bearer walk down the aisle. You’ll avoid any unnecessary drama by giving the rings to both the maid of honor and the best man.
It boils down to what you and your significant other want to have happen at your wedding. Don’t feel like you have to do something just because it’s always been done that way or because someone is guilting you into feeling that way.
Put some serious thought into the decision before you make it and decide on what you’re willing to deal with at your wedding and what you absolutely will not tolerate. Once you do that, you’re golden.