Should the Ring Bearer Ever Carry the Real Rings on the Wedding Day?
It all depends on his age and maturity level.
The ring bearer has played a symbolic role in weddings for centuries. In fact, some say that the tradition was practiced in ancient Egypt and represented the hopes and dreams of the bride and groom coming true (hence the pillow that the rings are usually carried out on). In modern day, the role has commonly been fulfilled by a young boy, often under the age of 10, who has a special connection to the bride and or groom, explains says Karla Firestone of Marry Me Karla in Boston, Massachusetts. "He usually walks down the aisle after the last bridesmaid and before the flower girl and carries the couple's rings customarily on a pillow or in a box," she says. "He gives them to the best man and they are exchanged during the ceremony."
Now, you may be asking yourself, "How can I trust a young child to handle something as precious, prized, not to mention, pricey on my wedding day?" No, you're not a bride- or groom-zilla for having this initial reaction. In fact, Kimberly Lehman, wedding and event planner at Love, Laughter & Elegance in Massillon, Ohio, agrees that very young children should not carry the real rings on the wedding day. "Too many things could happen to the rings, including being misplaced prior to the ceremony, being flushed down the toilet, or being dropped in the grass or the aisle," she says. "It's better to have the honor attendants carry the rings, and have faux rings given to the ring bearer as a decorative element, such as on a small pillow, or in a pretty engraved ring box, or a 'ring security' briefcase."
Firestone, on the other hand, feels there is no right or wrong answer. "It would solely depend upon the couple, their wishes, and their comfort with having someone else be in charge of their rings during the ceremony," she says. If the couple is unsure, she recommends that they first consider the age and maturity of the ring bearer as well as the safety of the rings. "The only way to ensure that the rings are safe and secure while being held by the ring bearer is to have him hold a pillow with the rings secured on top held with tabs that are fastened firmly with a snap in order to balance the rings and hold them steady," she says. "Another way in which to do this is to have the ring bearer hold a box with a secure closure that contains the rings."
Should you still be nervous that the ring bearer can't successfully get the rings from point A to point B, she suggests using alternative rings for the ring bearer's ceremony entrance and having the best man hold them in his pocket. "This way, there is no worry if the rings are misplaced during the wedding day," she says. "This removes the stress and worry that is rightfully associated with entrusting a child to hold two pieces of expensive jewelry."