Choosing a ring bearer for your wedding is one of the important decisions that you’ll need to make. Besides, they have a lot of responsibility on their young shoulders; even if they do not know it! But what is an appropriate age for them to be? What is generally advised when it comes to whom you should choose? I spent some time researching for our own special day. I would like to share my findings with you here today.
So, how old should a ring bearer be? It is generally advised that your ring bearer should be between 4-8 years old. However, it does depends on the personality of the child, their level of confidence, and whether or not you can trust in them to fulfil their duties without issue. For this reason, you may be able to consider a ring bearer whom is even younger than 4 years old. Just consider that the younger the child the higher the probability for implusive behavior.
Regardless of whom you choose to be your ring bearer, it is always a good idea to have their mom or dads close and nearby to offer their support and step in if the need were to arise.
Let us now take a closer look at the role of the ring bearer; what they do and why you do need to consider who you decide to select. We will also be looking at some of those other common and likely questions that you may have; if there are any recommended age limits as to how old they can be, whether they need to be a boy, and most importantly of all; do they actually carry the rings!
What Does A Ring Bearer Do?
As the name suggests, the ring bearer is in charge of taking the rings down the aisle ahead of the wedding ceremony.
They typically do this by carrying a pillow with rings tied on and traditionally walk down the aisle after the last bridesmaid, just before the flower girl, if you decide to have one.
Their role is purely defined to the ceremony, and traditionally, they have little to no other duties outside of this. Other than be included in some of the wedding photos and enjoying the day!
Is There An Age Limit For A Ring Bearer?
There is no age limit for a ring bearer; although traditionally the role does go to a younger boy.
There is somewhat of a charm about having a young boy all dressed up in a mini version of the ushers suits (including a waistcoat, tie and buttonhole). This is primarily why it has become a tradition and why many people decide to follow suit.
Although, it is important that irregardless of age, they are mature enough to complete their journey down the aisle without crying, venturing off or otherwise being distracted.
Some people decide to have a much older ring bearer; and there are reports of many newlyweds in online forums electing teenagers as old as 13-16.
For others, they even opt to give this responsibility to the best man. Considering the fact that they traditionally look after the rings and keep them safe for the run up to the ceremony, this does actually make a bit of sense.
Does The Ring Bearer Have To Be A Boy?
The role of the ring bearer traditionally goes to a young boy; usually a close relative such as the nephew of the bride of the groom, the child of the maid of honor or best man. However, while this is common, the ring bearer does not have to be a boy.
In fact, some couples have even trained their pet dog to undertake this role!
Ultimately, it is your wedding, and you can select your bridal party as you wish, choosing whom you believe is best or most appropriate to undertake this responsibility.
Do Ring Bearers Carry The Actual Rings?
Whether or not the ring bearer carries the actual rings is a decision that the bridal couple will need to decide.
As you can imagine, there is an element of risk if you were to decide for a young child to be carrying the real wedding rings; no matter how mature they appear to be.
For this reason, usually, the rings in which the ring bearer carries will be fake. The best man instead being in charge of these expensive pieces.
Although, it has been known and you can choose to have the ring bearer carry the real rings.
In such as instance, it is advised that the real rings are only handed to the ring bearer moments before they need to walk down the aisle.
Even then, its a good idea to have somebody watching over them at all times.
At the end of the day, you need to consider the risk. It is not generally advised for the younger ring bearers to carry the real rings, especially if the ceremony is outside, they are especially young or you want to minimize all risk and stress on your special day.
Ring bearers are a lovely tradition, but they are certainly not for everyone. It is worth noting that they are not essential and you do not have to have one if you did not like, or are comfortable with the idea.
This may come as a relief if you cannot think of somebody whom is appropriate, willing, able or it could cause any disputes.
However, if you can think of a young family member whom you want to give a special honor to; it can be an excellent option.
Plus, including children during your wedding makes for great photos!
Just be sure to take into account the duties and personalities of all potential candidates; its a big responsibility and one that you do not want to get wrong!
Can a 12 year old be a ring bearer? It is definitely possible to have a 12 year old be your ring bearer. While this role is traditionally undertaken by a child between the ages of 4-8 – it is not mandatory to have them be between this age range. Additionally, an older ring bearer comes with its benefits; including a lower chance of unpredictable behavior.