No traditional wedding party would be complete without a small boy as a pageboy or ring bearer. The traditional wedding dress features a train of medium to great length which is heavy and difficult to carry with ease. A charming solution would be the addition of two little boys, dressed as court pages walking behind the bride to carrying and arrange the train. This requires several arduous rehearsals to practice moving in concert so any clumsiness can be avoided. As the bride kneels they lay down the train, either bending from the waist with knees braced or kneeling upon one knee. After the ceremony they step behind the bride and deftly lifting the train, again follow her as before until they reach the church door. Though one rarely sees pages accompanying flower girls at weddings today, they could add a touch of grandeur to the ceremony. In the past, these young wedding attendants wore costumes of velvet -- sapphire blue, ruby, crimson, or moss green?or of white satin, with knee breeches, lace jabot, silk hose, and buckled shoes.
Ring Bearer Attire
For small weddings, brides usually dispense with page boys and only appoint a ring bearer for carrying the wedding couple's rings. The ring bearers or pageboys are usually chosen from among the young brothers or nephews of the bride. The ring bearer is one of the most picturesque features of the bridal group when quaintly dressed in old-fashioned ring bearer outfits, especially with little girls in vintage flower girl dresses. Either preceding the bride or following her, as may be preferred; the small boy carries the wedding rings firmly fastened on a satin cushion wreathed with flowers. This he presents to the bridegroom at the appropriate moment with a bow, tendering the cushion with outstretched arms. Many other little duties can be assigned to the ring bearer or page boys. If ribbon was used across the aisles, the costumed little boys can be stationed there to lift it as the ushers pass. The ring bearer can also hold the bride's bouquet while the ceremony is being performed or carry a plush case for the prayer book, if the bride wishes to use one. Ring bearers can also gather up the ribbon, if it is drawn the whole length of the aisle.
Ring Bearer Outfits
One of the cutest ring bearer outfits worn for this ceremony is that of Gainsborough's famous Blue Boy. This ring bearer attire of blue satin or velveteen is made with a blouse, buttoned to the waist in front, and knee-breeches. The sleeves are large, tapering to fit closely at the wrist. A large collar and cuffs of pointed lace, a bunch of ribbons at the side of the knee, white-silk stockings, low shoes with rosettes, and a plumed hat complete the costume. The hair should be worn long and banged in front. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, ring bearer attire sometimes had the young boy dressed in full naval uniform or in a Highland costume. Other formal ring bearer outfits included a little prince pageboy outfit or in a Lord Fauntleroy suit of white or pale tinted satin with collar and cuffs of lace and a sash of soft silk in a contrasting shade. Also popular were Kate Greenaway themed costumes as shown on the left. At an informal or outdoor wedding the child may be dressed in a sailor costume of white pique. These ring bearer outfits also served afterward as a fancy dress costume. Today's brides usually select an amiable little boy to be her ring bearer, dressing him in a miniature tuxedo.
Ring Bearer - Helpful Tips
* Be sure to add ribbon and pin the wedding rings by a small loop to the cushion, as little hands grow nervous and may drop it.
* A unique and quite elegant method for carrying the ring is to place the wedding rings in the heart of a Calla Lily instead of the usual satin pillow. Again it is best to secure them with a tiny white ribbon.
* Fasten the rings by a fine thread around the child?s neck, then place upon the cushion in the usual manner. The thread is practically invisible and can be broken easily by the minister when the ring is needed, and there is absolutely no chance for the child to inadvertently drop the ring.