Ring Bearer 101: How to Pick One and their Duties

Ring Bearers & Flower Girls in a Wedding

After everyone admires the bridesmaids and groomsmen, it’s time for the (typically) younger wedding party members to come down the aisle. The ring bearer, in particular, can capture everyone’s attention, but it’s important to recognize their role in order to choose the right person (or pet) to take on the job.


What is the Meaning of Ring Bearer?

The simplest ring bearer definition is someone who participates in a wedding by carrying and holding the rings for the soon-to-be married couple.

What Does Ring Bearer Do?

The ring bearer duties are generally simple, yet it’s helpful to detail them out in the event that a younger child is taking responsibility for the job.

When it comes to a ring bearer, they carry the rings (or fake rings) down the aisle. They may even be used more for symbolism purposes. In that case, they may carry nothing on the pillow, box, etc. They might even carry a sign whether funny or sentimental.

So, in short, ring bearers are a good indicator that the bride will be coming down the aisle soon.

Who should be Ring Bearer?

Since this is your wedding, a ring bearer can be whoever you would like. Many couples select someone who is close to them personally like a nephew, niece, younger sibling, child of a friend, etc. If the couple or one of them already has a child, that child may be chosen.

Does ring bearer have to be a boy? Can ring bearer be a girl?

Although it is traditional to select a boy, it is not a necessity. You can easily select a ring bearer alternative as a girl if you wish.

Some couples may wish to mix things up with a female ring bearer by attaching the rings to something else, or blending the duties of flower girl and girl ring bearer together. Otherwise, you can still do the traditional rings on a pillow with a ring bearer girl as the same rules apply as they do for boys.

Can my dog be my ring bearer?

Yes, your dog can most certainly be a ring bearer. In fact, there are many cute and fun ideas you can utilize to have a dog as ring bearer.

This may be a great idea for those of you whose dogs are an important part of your life and family. Before you opt for this route, consider their temperament and training to see if they can follow commands and stay calm.

Be sure that someone you trust is around to care for the dog throughout the ceremony and also able to take the dog to a safe, comfortable place afterwards such as back home or to a sitter.

How many ring bearers in a wedding?

There is usually just a single ring bearer in a wedding, but perhaps you have more than one child that you’re eager to include. This is truer when you have a mix of both a younger and an older ring bearer.

Some people put two or three in a wedding. You may want to change how they come down the aisle like add in a sign or two.

Truthfully, you can have as many as you wish. However, it may become hectic once you get beyond three ring bearers. In that case, maybe consider adding them to the wedding in some other manner with a different duty.

How old should a ring bearer be?

One of the biggest concerns besides choosing the ring bearer is figuring out the appropriate age for ring bearer to be. It is common for ring bearers, much like with flower girls, to be between the ages of 3-years-old and 8-years-old. Of course, you are free to go younger or older depending on your personal situation.

For example, some couples may have a baby themselves or a baby of a close relative or friend they want to include. In that case, the ring bearer may be under the typical toddler age.

Something to remember is that the younger a ring bearer is, the less likely they can follow directions. So, be sure they can understand the task at hand or there’s a trusted person there to guide them along.

Can a ring bearer be older?

Yes, a ring bearer can be older than the standard age range. Sometimes the child you are closest to is in the elementary school-age range or even high school-aged.

The ring bearer age tends to matter less compared to how important the person is to you. This is largely the case in those with children already who are older.

Of course, when you do opt to go older, it becomes a deal of asking the kid directly rather than going through the parents. Some older children may appreciate being a part of the wedding, but truth be told, some kids may want nothing to do with the ceremony.

So, just like with younger ring bearers, be sure the kid in question here can behave themselves long enough to get through the ceremony with a smile on their face.

How old is too old for a ring bearer?

Despite the fact that there is no real age limit for a ring bearer since you can do whatever works best for your wedding, it is common to draw the line at adult ring bearers. In most cases, ring bearers are for show as they may not have the real rings. An adult typically hands them over.

As such, having an adult stand in as ring bearer may be slightly redundant. Some couples may want to go as old as teenagers when it comes to choosing someone to walk down the aisle for them.

Can ring bearer be 12?

A ring bearer can certainly be 12-years-old. This is a comfortable age as they are old enough to know exactly what to do and what is expected of them. So, this age might be better for you if you don’t want to have someone constantly watch after the ring bearer as in the case with younger children.

Can ring bearer be 14?

The early teenage years of a 14-year-old are another safe age range for a ring bearer. Likewise with 12-year-olds, teens have the better capacity to know what to do when the time calls for it. If this child in particular is responsible, you may even entrust them to carry and hold the real rings until you need them for the ceremony.

What Does Ring Bearer Carry?

It may seem straightforward for a ring bearer to just carry the rings, but if you want to let your wedding standout, consider adding a bit more excitement to what the ring bearer (or ring bearers) will carry down the aisle.

Do ring bearers carry the actual rings?

In some cases, the ring bearer will carry the actual rings down the aisle. This is only true if you completely trust them to handle this level of responsibility. So, it is usually older kids or maybe even a well-trained pet that will carry the real wedding rings.

However, if you feel the ring bearer simply doesn’t have the level of maturity to handle the job or you just want to play it safe regardless, you can always get fake rings for ring bearer to carry. This makes their entire appearance purely for show purposes as a trusted adult nearby like the maid of honor or best man will hand the real rings over when needed.

Where to buy ring bearer pillow?

A ring bearer pillow can be purchased at many party-based supply stores or wedding-based stores whether online or in-person. You can easily find a simple, classic white pillow, or you can discover some more uniquely designed pillows to match your specific wedding theme.

Just be sure that whatever you choose, the pillow has a quality ring bearer ring holder on it so the rings, fake or real, don’t fall off during the walk down the aisle.

Ideas for ring bearer instead of pillow

Maybe you're looking for something beyond the traditional wedding ceremony. A modern touch that many couples are opting for these days is letting their ring bearer come down the aisle with something different. If this sounds like you, consider some ring bearer pillow alternatives to try out.

For a unique wedding ceremony involving your ring bearer, consider them walking down the aisle with a ring bearer sign or a ring bearer box.

A sign works well for a single ring bearer, but it can be absolutely perfect if you have more than one. There are many signs for ring bearer to carry with various sayings. Feel free to personalize it with your name on it or a play on “here comes the bride”. Some may even be humorous if that fits your personality.

Besides signs and boxes, some may consider using a ring bearer case or a ring bearer suitcase. These are adorable as it takes the seriousness of carrying the rings and makes it fun for the child and the guests.

You can take it a step further and use a ring bearer security briefcase to make it seem as though the child is on a special mission. This may even get the small ring bearer more excited about the task at hand.

When Does Ring Bearer Walk Down the Aisle?

When setting up the ceremony, it’s common for a ring bearer to walk down the aisle immediately after the last bridesmaid does, and this can land right before the flower girl comes if you have one.

Who does the ring bearer walk down the aisle with?

The ring bearer can typically walk down the aisle by themselves, but this largely depends on the age of the ring bearer. The younger they are, the more likely that they will need someone to walk with them to hold their hand. This can be an older child if you want two ring bearers or a parent can step in to help.

If you have a pet, then have a trusted friend or relative walk with them down the aisle if you don’t trust them to come to their designated spot alone.

In terms of succession, the ring bearer will start coming down the aisle after the last groomsman and bridesmaid walks. Once they’re down the aisle, the flower girl usually comes after them. Then, of course, the wedding proceeds with the bride.

If ring bearer doesn’t walk yet (wagon or carriage ideas for the youngest ring bearers)

If your ring bearer is unable to walk yet, you can use a ring bearer wagon. There are simple wagons and wedding wagon for ring bearer to use that’s more decorative.

If you really want to suit the occasion, then feel free to have a ring bearer carriage as that tends to add a more sophisticated level to the ceremony. Of course, it helps if an older child or a parent pulls the ring bearer along in this case.

Who does ring bearer give rings to?

The ring bearer doesn’t usually carry real rings, so if they have nothing or something fake, they can simply hold onto the item.

However, if they do have the real rings, then they should hand them to the best man, maid of honor, officiant, or the bride and groom. It mainly depends on your particular ceremony.

Where does ring bearer stand?

The ring bearer, like the flower girl, stands in front of the bridesmaids or the ushers. If they’re young, they may even go to sit with their parents or the adults at the front.

What Should Ring Bearer Wear?

It’s ideal if a ring bearer matches with the rest of the wedding party for consistency purposes.

Where to buy ring bearer outfit?

Although you want to match with your wedding theme, there are many adorable ring bearer outfits to choose from these days beyond the simple tux or dress. You can generally get an outfit at any clothing store.

Who pays for ring bearer outfit?

The parent of the ring bearer usually pays for the outfit, but of course, the couple can buy it themselves to be used as a gift or a thank you for the child participating.

How to Ask Ring Bearer to be in Your Wedding?

Rather than just asking a question, if you want someone important to you to be a ring bearer, consider having a cute ring bearer proposal.

There are many ways to ask ring bearer to be in your wedding, and if you wish, you can base it off their personality or what you know they like.

For instance, you can get them a cute ring bearer card or a ring bearer bear to be used as the proposal. If you want to add excitement, consider using a ring bearer security kit so they think they’re protecting the rings for you.

Besides the proposal part, it’s always nice to get gifts for ring bearer to make them feel even more appreciated. The best ring bearer gift is one that means something to them. For the youngest participants, toys may be the easiest route.

Other ring bearer gift ideas include a ring bearer teddy bear so they always remember the occasion. A ring bearer puzzle or a ring bearer book are good too if the kid likes things like that. Younger ones in particular may enjoy a ring bearer coloring book.