The ceremony had started. The attendants were in place. The groom was nervously waiting by the minister. Suddenly a young boy of about five, dressed smartly in a tuxedo and carrying a small pillow came roaring down the aisle. Literally roaring. Making loud growling noises interspersed with throaty roars. As he came up to the front, the minister questioned him about why he was making so much noise. The small boy looked incredulously at the minister and confidently stated, “I’m the Ring Bear.”
So, who should have the rings? That is a question often asked by couples. Should it be the Best Man? Should the Maid of Honor have one? How about the five year old Ring Bear, uh, Bearer? There is no one right answer. What works best for the couple is what should be considered.
Let’s talk first about a ring bearer. Usually the ring bearer is a small boy who is special to the couple. It can be nephew, a friend’s son, or in some cases the couple’s child. I have seen young girls serve wonderfully as ring bearers. In today’s wedding, there is no right or wrong choice. The one thing to keep in mind is that if the ring bearer has the actual rings, then it is best if the child is old enough to be dependable. S/he should be able to carry the rings and present them to the minister when requested. If the ring bearer tends to be shy or even a flight risk, then I suggest that faux rings be on the pillow and the actual rings be given to someone else.
The someone else, if not a young ring bearer, is typically the Best Man. He can have the rings in his pocket or can hold them in his hand, whichever is better for him. Some couples prefer that the Best Man have the Bride’s ring and the Maid of Honor have the Groom’s ring. That also is fine, but that requires an extra step of the Maid of Honor. If the Maid of Honor has her own bouquet and the Bride hands the Bridal bouquet to the Maid of Honor to hold during the ceremony, then the Maid of Honor will have a bouquet in each hand. That may make it difficult to then offer the Groom’s ring when asked. This is easily remedied by having the Maid of Honor pass her bouquet to the next Bridesmaid until after the ring exchange.
In some cultures it is customary for the couple’s parents or sponsors to hold the rings in special ring boxes until the minister requests them. They simply approach when asked, hand the rings to the minister, and then step back.
When none of these options are acceptable to the couple, or when there are no attendants or ring bearer, the minister will often have the rings.
The important thing is that whoever has the rings, that person should be responsible and capable to handing them to the minister when requested. Otherwise the choice is entirely yours.