Traditionally, the bride and groom select a young male family member or friend to act as a ring bearer. The boy marches down the aisle bearing the wedding rings, or artificial rings, upon a pillow. In large families with several young children, brides and grooms may sometimes select multiple ring bearers.
What to Carry
While ring bearers usually stroll down the aisle carrying satin pillows for rings, it is not necessary for all children to carry the same object. Some ring bearers can carry a bell as they walk down the aisle, a teddy bear, or a sign that reads "Here Comes the Bride" if the bride will immediately follow. Ring bearers carrying a sign about the bride can signal guests to stand if the bridal march is not "Here Comes the Bride."
Pair up ring bearers for the wedding. One child in each pair can carry one ring on a pillow, while the other child can carry a different object. Each pair will stroll side-by-side down the aisle. Alternatively, each child can pair up and carry a satin pillow. Two children can carry the actual wedding rings while the other children carry artificial rings on their pillows. Keep someone behind the scenes to supervise the children and dispense real rings shortly before the beginning of the ceremony.
Accompanying the Bride
Multiple ring bearers can also serve as escorts for the bride as she moves down the aisle, especially if no one is walking her down the aisle. Two ring bearers holding pillows with the rings may precede the bride. During the bride's march down the aisle, the remainder of the ring bearers may walk beside or behind the bride. When the bride reaches the altar, one ring bearer can take the bride's hand and a second ring bearer can take the groom's hand. The children guide the couples' hands together.
Pages and Other Roles
Young boys in the family need not act only as ring bearers during a wedding. If choosing a ring bearer proves difficult, select a few of the older boys in the family to serve as pages. These assistants to the bride are typically six- to nine-years-old. If the bride-to-be has a long train on her dress, pages move behind her and carry the train for her. Alternatively, you can choose to have a "junior groomsman" in the wedding party. Junior groomsmen are typically too old to be ring bearers or pages, but too young to be groomsmen. You may have them act as ushers or supervise younger children in the wedding.