How To Prepare Your Toddler To Be A Ring Bearer
Wedding season is coming up, and brides-to-be are forming their bridal parties and nailing down important details. Two of the cutest aspects to any wedding are the ring bearer and flower girl.
If your little one was invited to be a part of the wedding party, you’re probably gleaming with pride and excited to see your child walk down the aisle. Chances are you’re a little bit nervous, too. How will your child respond to such an important role?
Every child will react differently to this position, and there’s really no predicting what will happen on the big day. However, there are some things you can do now to get your child ready for the wedding.
Explain the role
Make sure your child knows what’s expected of him. Find out from the bride or groom if they want your toddler to carry rings, just a pillow, a flag, a sign or something else. Martha Stewart Weddings suggested giving your little one a disposable camera to take pictures with as he walks down the aisle – a fun idea to give an interesting perspective on the day’s festivities!
There are countless ring bearer ideas for toddlers. Perhaps the bride will like the idea of the ring bearer being pulled in a wagon by the flower girl (or vice versa), walking side by side with a beloved family dog or riding down the aisle on a decorated tricycle. Whatever this wedding entails, explain it to your child.
Some kids love being the center of attention, and playing the part of ring bearer or flower girl is a natural choice for them. Others, though, might be wary of walking down an aisle surrounded by grown-ups. For them to buy into the idea, give them a feeling of control over the role, WeddingWire suggested. Make it sound fun and important, then ask them if they’ll be willing to be a part of the big day.
Choose a comfortable outfit
Fussy toddlers won’t want to spend the day in an outfit they hate or feel uncomfortable in. To reduce the chances of a wardrobe-related meltdown, make sure you choose your toddler ring bearer outfit wisely. Wait to make the purchase until about a month before the wedding, in case your little guy hits a growth spurt. The same goes for shoes.
Have your toddler try on the outfit to make sure it fits right beforehand, but after that, you may want to keep it in a safe place until the day of. The same is not true for shoes; let your child wear them a few times before the big day to break them in.
If your toddler doesn’t like the idea of getting dressed up, again, giving him some control over the situation could work in your favor. Let him pick out his bow tie or shoes – even having a say in the small details can help your child feel included and more interested in the role.
Practice makes perfect
The day of the wedding will be hectic, and there’s no way around that. So, make sure your child is prepared well in advance. Ask the bride or groom for the song your toddler will be walking down the aisle to. Then, play the song for him regularly. Explain what the song is and that, when he hears it, it’s time to walk down the aisle.
Leading up to the wedding, the bride or groom might plan a number of events, like a bridal shower or rehearsal dinner. If you and your little one are invited, be sure to attend and introduce your child to some of the other adults who will be in the wedding, PopSugar recommended. This will help him bond and feel more comfortable with these people. Also, if your child trusts someone else in the wedding party or in the couples’ families, that person may be able to help out on the big day.
The rehearsal dinner is an important part of most weddings, and usually everyone in the wedding party joins in to get the timing just right. Make sure your toddler practices along with everyone else.
Finally, on the big day, it’s easy for the busy grown-ups to skip a meal or forget about naptime. Chances are, though, your toddler won’t be too pleased about this. Make sure your toddler ring bearer is rested and fed before heading down the aisle.
Molly Ploe comes from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and enjoys hiking, baking and reading. Her favorite Saturday is rainy with bread in the oven and a new book.