History of Having a Ring Bearer

Myra Root

In direct contrast to the origins of the Flower Girl the origins of the ring bearer were uncertain. The following two theories are the most common. 

First, in ancient Egypt, they had a custom where they would have someone carry jewels and treasures on a pillow during celebrations. This was to show the wealth and might of those who they were celebrating or of the host of the weddings wealth. The main difference between Ancient Egyptians’ display of wealth and our modern tradition is that their person who was the “Ring Bearer ” was an adult while ours today is a child, generally someone who is either close to the Bride or Groom or related to them. 

The second theory on the origins of the ring bearer dates back to medieval times. Tradition at the time was to have a young boy, called a pageboy, carry the bride’s train as she walked down the aisle while also holding a book of prayers. The rings were carried on the tips of swords instead by someone else parading down the aisle for the ceremony.

Closer to what our modern take on the ring bearer began comes from the Victorian Era. It became customary during this time for the little ring bearers to have a specific dress attire that was worn. It was common for them to be dressed in little trousers, velvet vests, and rolled collared shirts. They would carry the rings on a small pillow. Very similar to what we commonly see today in modern weddings.

Although the origins of the tradition of ring bearers are uncertain, no one can deny their popularity today. Just as with the flower girls, it is a sweet way of incorporating younger family members into the happy couples big day.