I was recently asked by a couple if they needed to have a Ring Bearer and a Flower Girl for their wedding. It got me to thinking that perhaps there are a lot of other couples who are also in a quandary about whether or not they need to include these positions in their bridal parties and what to do with them if they do. So here is some general information you might find helpful.
To begin with; No, you do not need to include a Ring Bearer or a Flower Girl in your wedding. Wanting to is one thing, but having to is definitely not a requirement.
|Photo by Chris Neimann Photography|
The answer depends on how old and/or mature he is. Under 4 or 5 years it can get dicey, but you or the parents of the child will know best what to expect of the little guy. If you or they think he can handle real rings, by all means, have him carry them in. But if you are hesitant in any way, have him carry ceremonial rings and have someone else in charge of the real ones. Another option could be for the Ring Bearer to enter with the real rings and go directly to the Best Man, who takes them from the Ring Bearer and holds them safely until they are needed for the vows.
And just for the record, the Ring Bearer doesn’t have to be a boy - as evidenced by this little cutie who carried in the rings atop a bucket of moss.
For that matter, the Ring Bearer doesn’t even have to be a person! I have seen many Ring Bearers of the canine sort.
Which brings up another point; the rings don’t have to enter on a pillow. Let your imagination create any way that suits you and the style of your wedding. I have seen rings carried into the ceremony in containers of all sorts; shells, baskets, bejeweled boxes, bouquets, pockets, dog collars, pails, baskets, a grandfather’s pocket watch and even a bird’s nest.
Absolutely not. Flower petals are the most commonly used and you can use silk petals as well as the real ones. If preferred, the petals can remain in a pail or basket as she enters, without being strewn in the aisle.
What if at the last minute they are afraid to go down the aisle?
Shyness can happen with any of the little ones so having an alternate plan is always a good idea. You can have them enter with someone else in the bridal party or Mom or Dad can help them down the aisle if necessary. Mom or Dad might feel a bit sheepish about coming down the aisle, but I have seen this save more than one wedding processional right before the Bride’s entrance, so be willing to be flexible.
Should the Ring Bearer and Flower Girl stand with the bridal party or sit when they get to the front?
Again, it depends on the age and maturity of the child and what look you want for the front of your wedding. As a general rule, children under 5 or 6 should probably be seated at the front with parents or grandparents but the older ones can usually handle standing through the ceremony. The girls, especially, seem to love being a part of the full wedding experience.
Here’s a clever idea for the Flower Girl seats - hand drawn name tags, taped to the chairs.
How do you entertain them before and after the ceremony?
Get creative! Crayons, toys, bubbles, even bubble wrap will do the trick for the active minds and bodies while they wait for things to happen.
|playing with bubble wrap - a great way to kill some time!|
It’s your wedding and you should have things the way you want them, whether you include Ring Bearers and Flower Girls or no children at all. Regardless of your choice, putting your personal touch on things will always create a wedding that suits you best - and isn’t that what it’s all about.