The Duties of a Ring Bearer

As you plan your wedding party, you may be confused by the ring bearer’s role. Keep reading to find out more about the ring bearer duties.

By Janina Villanueva

Wedding Ring Bearer
Photo by Shutterstock

The smallest and youngest in the wedding party, the ring bearer and flower girl, can be showstoppers once they walk down the aisle. The ring bearer is a young boy, usually between four to eight years of age, and is close to the couple. Whether it is your nephew, godson, the son of your closest friends, or even your own child, choose wisely because the ring bearer plays a significant role at the wedding. With all that said, you may be wondering, "what are the ring bearer duties?"

Simply put, the ring bearer’s main task is to carry the wedding rings to the couple. If he’s younger, then it’s also his duty to charm the crowd.

Here’s a breakdown of what’s expected of a ring bearer:

Before the Big Day

  • Get a cool outfit: Ring bearers are the cutest in formalwear, so a nice little tux and pants are always a great choice. Depending on the wedding’s theme, good accessory options for the little guy include suspenders, a bow tie, a cute belt, and a hat. Most importantly: Make sure that the ring bearer outfit is comfortable, as the kid will be wearing the attire for most of the day.
  • Attend the wedding rehearsal, if invited: This will make him feel like he’s part of the wedding party, allow him to practice walking down the aisle, and help ease any nerves on the wedding day when he sees familiar faces.
  • Coordinate with parents: Parents of the ring bearer also play an essential role. They handle meltdowns and may even walk along with the ring bearer in case he decides not to walk when it’s his turn. Parents can also help plan logistics, like time for snacks and naps, to make sure the little one is up and about when the ceremony starts.

On the Wedding Day

The Duties of a Ring Bearer Photo Credit // Unsplash
  • Walk down the aisle carrying the ring pillow with the wedding rings: The ring bearer usually walks after the bridesmaids and groomsmen, right before the flower girl, who will introduce the bride. If it’s more manageable for the kids to walk together, that’s adorable, too. There’s no specific rule to follow when it comes to the wedding party lineup.
  • Carry the rings to the altar when the officiant calls for it: If the ring bearer is walking with fake rings or symbolic rings, have him stand by the best man, who most likely has the real ones, during the ring ceremony.
  • Stand with the wedding party: Depending on his comfort level, the ring bearer can stand with the wedding party or be seated next to his parents or a family member. The kid’s parents should take a seat along the aisle and near the front. This way, he can see them as he walks down the aisle and knows where to go when he reaches the front.
  • Appear in photos: Though he’s not required to walk back during the recessional, he should be present for pictures with the wedding party after the ceremony.
  • Participate in the entrance: Again, depending on his age and comfort level, the ring bearer may join the grand entrance during the introduction of the wedding party.

Skip the Traditional Route

  • Ring Carrier: If you don’t want to go for the classic white or ivory satin pillow, you can be creative in choosing where to put your rings (or fake rings). It can be in a box with a design that fits your wedding theme, a ring dish, an acrylic or geometric terrarium case, or even a briefcase labeled “Ring Security.”
  • Number of Ring Bearers: You’re not limited to just one. If you have two or three kids in mind for the ring bearer role, that’s okay. They can walk together, so they’re more comfortable. If one is younger than the others, they can pull him in a cart. Or, one can hold the rings, while the others hold up a sign. The possibility is endless in creating beautiful details for the wedding ceremony.
  • Ring Bearer’s Age and Gender: Even though a ring bearer is usually a boy age four to eight, don’t be limited by this standard. If you have three or four flower girls, you can assign two of them to be your ring bearers. If you planned to have an adult-only affair your ring bearer doesn’t even have to be a young child—you could assign an adult ring bearer or flower girl. Nowadays, some couples even ask their grandparents to be their ring bearer and flower girl.
  • Opt-out: If you want to skip the tradition altogether, that works too. You can always hand over the ring bearer duties to the best man or maid of honor, who will be standing closest to you during the ceremony.

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