Is 3 1/2 Too Young to Be a Ring Bearer?

Updated on October 05, 2009
M.G. asks from Denver, CO
20 answers

My sister is getting married next June, and wants my son to be in the wedding. He is a VERY active boy, and I don't see him walking slowly to do ANYTHING let alone something like that where I know he will be excited. June is a long ways away, so I'm wondering if there are any methods you ladies have heard of to prepare the little guy? Also, has anyone heard of any childrens books on this subject?

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So What Happened?

So, I can't exactly say what happened at the wedding yet, but I can say that my sister, and my whole family for that matter, is a comedic bunch of people, so I'm sure no matter what goes down, it will be taken lightly.

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R.A.

answers from Provo on

My sister's son was 2 1/2 when they got married and he was the ring bearer. He did just fine, he didn't run to the front or anything. My daughter was I think 1 week shy of being three and she was the flower girl. They just had the two of them walk down the aisle together. Neither one of them were 'perfect' but they certainly were cute. And my daughter dumping the whole basket of flower petals out at the front and then sitting down to pick them up was quite memorable. :)

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J.M.

answers from Boise on

I don't think that is too young! I had a 3 1/2 year old flower girl and she did great! In fact we had more problems (not really the right word....more mischevious manybe) with the 6 year old Ring bearer! My one suggestion is not to let him carry the real wedding rings, because a lot can happen from the end of the isle to the alter. We bought fake rings for 6 buucks that we tied to the pillow and the real ones were in the best man's pocket. All in all, they are so cute that even if they run down the alter everyone loves it. :)

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K.D.

answers from Denver on

Our ring bearer was an ADD 3 yo. He did a great job. We gave him fake rings. He walked down the aisle just fine. He didn't go up on the platform, just to Mommy in the second row. His parents showed them his uncle doing it in their wedding. The videos really helped him. June is still good ways off. I'm sure he'll be fine. P.S. Don't worry if he doesn't get it at rehearsal. Our little guy only did what he was supposed to in the wedding.

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K.D.

answers from Provo on

What a wonderful opportunity you have to teach your son about what behaviour is appropriate in different situations. Since you have until next June, you could start practicing now. Make a game of it "Practicing to be a ring bearer" or play "wedding" with him. Help him be excited about playing the game (to help mimic the excitement he will feel on that day) and then practice walking slowly carrying something on a pillow. Then when he gets too excited to contain himself, switch to a different game or go play around outside.
Have fun!

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J.Y.

answers from Great Falls on

At my brothers wedding, the ring bearer weas very young...so they put a $5 bill up front where they were supposed to stand...and if they stayed they got to keep the money. If he is the ring bearer make sure your sister is okay on pulling the plug on having a ring bearer if he is acting up, or gets too shy. I'm not sure if its a formal wedding or a casual one so that could be a factor also on your decision.

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L.O.

answers from Boise on

My nephew was only 2.5 when he was the ring bearer at my wedding. His job was to bring the rings to the best man, so we made sure he knew the best man before the wedding. He had the opportunity to meet him several times and was at the rehearsal with us to practice. He did a fabulous job! The only hiccup was when the isle closed up (we didn’t have a formal isle as everyone was standing) he could no longer see the best man. He could see me however so his Dad told him to walk to me. When the best man leaned down to grab the pillow with the rings, my nephew held the pillow away from him and gave it to me because he was told to come to me. It was adorable! Go for it. Oh and BTW, it was cheaper to buy a tux for a toddler than to rent one.

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C.T.

answers from Denver on

Hi M.- I dont think it's too young. My niece also wants my very active son to be a ring bearer in June. He'll be 4 by the time the wedding is here. I think the biggest challenge is going to be getting him into the suit! We came up with the idea of having an "escort" behind the ring bearer and flower girls to help keep them on track. Also, we are not expecting that they will be able to stand with the wedding party for the entire ceremony. I'm going to let my niece decide how she wants it to work - we fully anticipate that they will either sit down or wander off if we expect them to stay up front.

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J.O.

answers from Fort Collins on

My son was a ring-bearer in my sister's wedding at 3 1/2 yo. He did great and felt VERY important. During the time that I was explaining about what a wedding is, I explained it in fairy tale language. My sister was going to be dressed up in her very special princess dress and he was going to be one of her princes. As such, he had a very important job. I asked him repeatedly if he thought he could do this important job? (always YES!!) He bought the whole thing hook, line and sinker. We talked about getting his "prince" suit and about his job to carry the GOLDEN rings. It helped that his tie was his favorite color - green. So, I'd try to make it enticing through his imagination to get his buy-in before you resort to bribery. That can be pulled out last second as a little extra "motivator" to make it down the aisle. Good luck! They're always so cute :)

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B.F.

answers from Pocatello on

M.,
Does your sister have much contact with your son? If she does, she might not care about if he is "perfect" for the job. Maybe it is more important to her to have him in her wedding then it is for a ring bearer who does it perfectly. He also will make a lot of changes between now and then. I wanted my sister's little girl to be my flower girl, and she was going to be 3 shortly AFTER my wedding. She said hi to ALL of the family members as she was walking down to the front of the church, dropping petals a few times, when she wanted to do so. Once she got to the front, she stood for half the time, and lay down on the steps at times. When she rolled down the steps, everyone had a hard time NOT laughing( including my husband & I). This is part of our wedding that we cherish A LOT. It was a little "flavor" that made our wedding unique. We are more casual type of people, so it was fine for us.
You need to talk to your sister to find out her feelings about IF he did not do the job correctly, how will she feel. Again, this may not be an issue in June.
You can also talk to him about what he is expected to do, so he knows ahead of time. You can do little practice times, so he is understanding what you are telling him. The night of the rehearsal is not soon enough.
Good luck, and don't stress too much over this issue....the marriage is what is the most important part, not the wedding.

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J.P.

answers from Boise on

I remember reading that you should wait till they are 5. BUT, your sister asked for him, and I think family is different. As long as she is aware of what may happen - he may back out at the last minute, he may need to walk straight to you, he may need you to walk him down the aisle, etc, then I say go for it. At my friend's wedding, she had a 2 year old, they practiced the walk quite a bit, but she got nervous at the last minute and her dad walked her down the aisle and to his seat. It worked fine and it wasn't an issue.

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C.P.

answers from Provo on

It would be something very special to remember. When I was a year and a half I was the flower girl for my aunt's wedding and I went to the altar and took my shoes off and it gives us something to laugh about.

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S.B.

answers from Colorado Springs on

Just let him be himself! Just make sure that you sister understands the "charms" of a three year old, and does not have specific expectations of a poised and perfect little gentleman. I'm not saying to totally let him run wild - you will need to prepar him, and let him know what is expected. But if he dilly-dallys down the aisle (how the heck to you spell that?:), or runs like a crazy man - I think that just adds to the fun, and everyone needs to be understanding of that. If your sisters not up for a relaxed time that everyone can enjoy, then maybe he is too young. But if she's glad to have her nephew be a part of her big day - then she's got to be ready for some three year old entertainment!
Best of luck - and I hope it's a wonderful day for everyone!
S.

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J.N.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Practice, practice, practice. Do a lot of make-believe weddings in the next year. Dolls, stuffed animals, Lego people, whatever is available, as well as you and he being "participants". Play a lot of different rolls, but you play ring bearer a few times then let him play ring bearer. Just be careful not to over-do it; if he doesn't want to play don't push it, you don't want there to be an "I don't wanna" meltdown at the wedding!

Also, if you have videos of any other weddings, watch those with him. Especially yours! (Or even pictures). He'll get a kick out of seeing you & daddy or other people he knows on your wedding day!

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S.S.

answers from Cheyenne on

I don't think anyone asks for kiddos to be in a wedding with the idea that everything will go perfect...in fact, they often provide the entertainment at the wedding (and if you are unsure if your sister is aware of this, maybe joking say to her "what would you do if he ran down the aisle?" or "you understand he might not just walk down to me, right?" and see her response). BTW, are you in the wedding party? That might make things easier on your son if dad or someone he knows and will listen too will stand in back with him and remind him to walk slowly to you up front...so stand where he can see you...and then have him go sit with dad on the side (or in a back room where he can run about if its a long ceremony) until the end of the wedding...just ask your sister what her expectations are...I'm sure she is aware that kids are kids and will work with you and qualm your fears!

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B.E.

answers from Washington DC on

My daughter was just a flower girl in August for my sister in laws wedding, and she's 2.5. She enjoyed being given a job to do, and the ring bearer held her hand as they walked down the aisle. The only problem was during the ceremony. She wandered around a bit, but since she didn't disturb the ceremony, it was "cute!" and she was "adorable" all dressed up. People can be forgiving to adorable children, but I knew going in she could be subdued during new things. It all comes down to knowing your childs temperment I guess. Does he get excited in large crowds, or shy? Does he ham it up when he is the center of a large group of people, and will he be able to stand then NOT being the center of attention during the ceremony?

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A.H.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Both my kids were in weddings at that young of an age (different weddings), and although it didn't go exactly 'perfectly', they were entertaining and did fine. My oldest has been in a few weddings, so he considers himself a 'pro' now. When he was about 2 1/2, he was in my brother's, and the most challenging part was getting him to walk down the isle, as he got very intimadated by all the people staring at him from their seats. I had to stand up and call his name from the front row.

Usually, at that age, they shouldn't be responsible for the real rings. Have the best man or a groomsman take the rings from him as soon as he gets to the front or make some similar arrangement.

I'm with another poster, if your child has been asked, I would definitely let him participate.

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C.C.

answers from Salt Lake City on

if a dog can do it a little kid can. :) 3.5 isn't too young in fact what fun for him! and a great learning opportunity. I agree though that the best ceremonies I have been to the kids seated by parents along the front row and aisle after walking down the aisle and then stood up again at the ring exchange part. and they were fake rings at most of the ceremonies that the best man untied and did a switch for the real ones.
I was at one where a 2 yr old was the ring bearer did a great job and had the real rings.
I think it all goes into just getting your child excited about what an important job they are doing

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E.N.

answers from Washington DC on

Don't know if this will help since your son is much older and probably more active, but for my wedding I had my 22-month-old nephew serve as the ring bearer, and his dad (my brother-in-law) was the "bearer of the ring bearer." He ended up carrying my nephew down the aisle since he refused to walk. We got some great pictures, and it was a nice way to involve more family in the wedding as well.

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J.N.

answers from Billings on

Our story: my son was 4 at the time. He was in a kid tux (so cute) and was givin the pillow. He made it up there but was swinging the pillow everywhere so when it came time for the bride and groom to exchange rings and they turned to the adults, everyone got a good laugh when my DH and I said (I guess a little louder than we meant to) Thank God!

Turns out througout the ceramony he was being bribed by M&M's. That worked halfway through the pics b4 they ran out! My son had the audacity to say "ok then, you can just give me money". So they gave him a dollar that kept dissapearing from his front pocket (where a hankie would be) to be givin as another dollar for another pic.

Just talk to your family about it and see if they have any ideas. Your getting some here so it could probably be a good combo of everything. Congrats to the bride and groom!!
J.

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C.K.

answers from Salt Lake City on

My son was 3 1/2 when I got married and he was our ring bearer. We talked about it for about a month beforehand and what a special job is what. I opted for a decorated little box that my sister put together (just a wooden box from a craft store that she put cloth and stuff on and put two of the cushions from little ring boxes in to hold them there). This way we could "lock it" by having the latch down and told my son it was a treasure chest that he needed to handle carefully. It worked really well and my brother in law grabbed it as soon as he got down the aisle. I don't think we were so concerned with how he walked, just that he got there with both rings still in the box. He is also a very active little boy but didn't really rush. I think he liked the attention and feeling important.

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