Wedding bands are an important and symbolic part of the ceremony, representing the bond between the bride and groom and their “circle” of never ending love for each other. They need to be handled with care to assure their safe arrival. Yet some of us insist on putting them in the hands of small boys. How can we be surprised when that plan goes awry?

Ring Bearer and Flower GirlBut first, the best part - choosing his outfit! Some brides prefer a traditional button-on in white or ivory, resembling the English page that started the tradition. Coordinating his outfit with the flower girl dress lends a sweet, innocent beginning to the ceremony. Others opt for a tiny tuxedo so he’s one of the guys. When choosing his outfit, consider how formal or relaxed your ceremony is…and remember to factor in his comfort level wearing the outfit. If he can barely move or the fabric is scratchy, he won’t be happy.

Although the ring bearer has a specific role in your ceremony, his main “job” is to add a level of adorableness. He’ll probably partner with his flower girl in upstaging the rest of the wedding party. He could also cry and scream for photos and refuse to walk down the aisle.

Before the wedding, make a ring bearer plan to help him be a happy and willing part of the party. Consider the following suggestions:

If he’s young, he’ll be more comfortable with a buddy - have him walk with an older flower girl or junior bridesmaid that he’s comfortable with.  He could also walk  with a bridesmaid and groomsman, staying with one of them during the ceremony.

Have him sit with his parents during the ceremony.

ring bearer with shortsIf he throws a fit and won’t be in photos (best done before the ceremony) have your photographer try to capture him alone or with the bride and groom in a more natural, playful setting.  A photo of the wedding “littles” being read to or playing calmly before the wedding would be adorable and more comfortable for them.  Most important – be flexible about whether or not he does anything more than just look adorable for the day. No one wants a crying, frightened ring bearer drug down the aisle so he’s done his job.  Consider his age and let him be that for the day.

If things go awry, go with it and smile, even if that’s low on your list of responses! Our 3-yr old ring bearer dropped the wedding band walking down the aisle, fiddling with the ribbon as he strolled. It rolled under the first pew, past my parents. His father calmly scooted past my parents, slid under the pew, retrieved the ring and retied it to the pillow. Paddy continued on his way with both rings, Monsignor had a good reminder of why he doesn’t encourage small children in weddings, and we had an incredibly charming memory that we giggled about afterwards.

April 30, 2020 — Diane Janowak

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