What You Need to Know About Having a Ring Bearer in Your Ceremony

Etiquette

Ring bearers are a classic part of every bridal party, but the youngsters can pose some confusing scenarios. If you're planning on having one, but have no idea when they walk down the aisle or how to keep them in line, read on! We have etiquette tips that ensure smooth sailing.

During the procession, in what order do the kids in the bridal party walk down the aisle?
In most ceremonies, the ring bearer and flower girl make their entrance (either single file or together) right after the groomsmen and bridesmaids. Then it's your turn. If you feel they're mature enough to stay still for the whole ceremony, they can stand directly in front of the wedding party at the altar. Otherwise, have them sit with their parents after their duties are completed. Just be sure that Mom and Dad are seated up front for easy access!

How can we ensure that the ring bearer behaves during the ceremony?
Practice. If you can, take the child to the ceremony location a week or two before the wedding (remember, it's a big day for him as well). You and your fiancé can do a mock ceremony, explaining what will happen and what he has to do — with kids, you don't want to spring any surprises at the last minute. Ask him to show you how well-behaved he can be as he demonstrates his walk down the aisle. Let him know that there will be lots of friends and family there who are looking forward to seeing him. Afterward, the three of you should go out to a celebratory lunch, where you give him a little gift. Tell him there'll be another gift coming his way if he behaves nicely on the wedding day. Some may call this bribery; we call it brilliant!

Who holds the rings when there is no ring bearer?
Usually the honor attendants will simply slip the ring on their finger (the maid of honor uses her thumb to hold the groom's ring; the bride's usually fits on the best man's pinky). If you're worried about safety, or a ring getting stuck, have your maid of honor carry it in a little satin bag; the best man can use his jacket or pants pocket (after he checks for holes).

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