Information About Page Boys & Ring Bearers | Born Gifted
As a retailer of page boy gifts we often get asked 'what is a page boy' and the recommended age for page boys and ring bearers. There seems to be some confusion on this topic so we decided to put together a handy and informative guide to the littlest of male wedding attendants which will hopefully answer all of your queries.
What is a Page Boy?
Page Boys are basically young male wedding attendants who traditionally helped carry the bride’s train as she walked down the aisle (In the past bride’s trains were always very long). A slight variation on the Page Boy is the ‘Ring Bearer’ whose role it is to carry the rings on a cushion and present them to the Groom at the altar. Ring Bearers can actually be girls as well as boys. Nowadays this duty is more often than not performed by the Best Man instead.
Either way the main role of your Page Boy or Ring Bearer is to looks super cute and dapper so as to melt the hearts of every woman of child-bearing age in the congregation!
Origins and History of Page Boys and Ring Bearers
So hopefully now you know the answer to 'what is a Page Boy' let's take a look at their history. The word ‘Page’ stems from the medieval term for young male servant. Historically the Page Boys’ role emanated from Western Europe and then spread to other parts of the world. The official role is perhaps not as common as it once was but is still very much used for Royal and society weddings. Nowadays a Page Boy or Ring Bearer is seen as a nice way to include a young male member of the family and is ideal if you are also involving a Flower Girl.
Do I have to have a Page Boy or Ring Bearer at my wedding?
It is not compulsory to have a Page Boy or Ring Bearer at your wedding; in fact it is much less common nowadays than it once was. Many couples prefer not to include very young children in their wedding ceremonies through fear of potential calamity! However we think a Page Boy and Flower Girl add something really special to the proceedings and provide a lovely way to include younger members of the family.
Can I have more the one page boy?
You may have as many Page Boys as you like, although it makes sense to only employ one Ring Bearer. Some couples opt for a Page Boy to walk alongside the Flower Girl scattering petals and a separate Ring Bearer to hold the rings. However there are no hard and fast rules and you may choose whichever number suits your situation.
How to choose a Page Boy or Ring Bearer
The Page Boy is normally a young male relative, Godson or very close friend’s son. If you have more than one potential candidate within the family try to either include them all or none at all so as not to offend! The Ring Bearer role is quite often undertaken by the couples’ son (or daughter) because this starring role will make them feel an important part of the actual ceremony.
Once you have made up your mind you should initially ask the child’s parent's permission and they can subsequently discuss it with their son. If the child resists there is no point in trying to persuade them, an unwilling Page Boy could spell trouble on your big day.
If you can’t find a willing candidate amongst the family don’t despair as some couples choose their beloved pet to be Ring Bearer, which strange at it sounds, can prove to be an effective choice; just make sure you check with the vicar first on their rules concerning animals in the church.
What age is appropriate for a Page Boy or Ring Bearer at a wedding?
Page Boys and Ring Bearers are normally aged between three and ten years old; any younger and you may have more than you bargained for; any older and you will struggle to convince them to oblige and they may get confused as an usher.
How to prepare you Page Boy in advance of the big day
It’s a good idea to let your Page Boy meet the other male members of the wedding party in advance, this can help dispel any nerves and will also help the ushers manage the page boy on the day.
Have a talk with your Page Boy/Ring Bearer (along with the parents) beforehand to check they are happy with the arrangements. It’s a good idea to let them know that they will be rewarded with a present for their efforts!
If you are having a rehearsal then make sure the Page Boys are invited so they know what to expect on the day.
What should a Page Boy and Ring Bearer wear at a wedding?
Your miniature male attendants undoubtedly look their best if they are dressed in a similar style to the adult male wedding attendants. However young children often fidget and rebel when faced with very formal attire so a small compromise may have to be made. It’s best to discuss this with the child in advance and maybe let them have some say in the decision (as long as they don’t want to dress up as Batman!)
If you are hiring formal attire for your Page Boy it may be a good idea to bring something less formal for them to change into for the reception especially if you are planning to get your deposit back from Moss Bros!
Where does the Page Boy walk?
The Page Boy often walks side by side (hand in hand if you can convince them) with the Flower Girl. This is the ultimate coup and will undoubtedly elicit appreciative ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ from the assorted congregation. The cute couple usually precede the bridesmaids and bride. Traditionally though, the Page Boy would walk behind the bride and help carry the train. Again it’s entirely up to you how you arrange them on the day. Just ensure they know exactly what they are supposed to be doing.
What duties does a Page Boy or Ring Bearer perform?
Page Boys don’t actually have any ‘official’ duties but traditionally they have helped carry the bride’s train. Here are some ideas for things for them to do on the day:
- Stick with tradition and help carry the bride’s train as she enters and proceeds down the aisle
- Walk along in front of the bride next to the flower girl and help scatter petals.
- If they are happy to carry a posy/bouquet of flowers this can look sweet.
- Have them blow bubbles as they proceed down the aisle.
- Assist the ushers in handing out orders of service
- The Ring Bearer will need to carry the rings to the altar ready to present to the groom. You can either use the actual wedding rings (but ensure they are secured to the cushion with ribbon or thread to avoid losing) or use fake ones and entrust the real ones to the Best Man.
It’s a good idea to entrust one of your responsible ushers to keep an eye on the younger ones in case they need help or a quiet word in their ear.
Where does the page boy sit?
During the ceremony and once their ‘official’ duties have been performed let them sit with their parents in the church. The same goes for the reception unless of course you are having a ‘junior’ table for all the mini guests.
How to thank a Page Boy or Ring Bearer
It is customary to present your little attendants with a gift to thank them for all their efforts in making your day extra special. Something engraved with their name makes a nice keepsake gift but ideally choose something that they can play with as well. One of our best selling Page Boy gifts is an engraved yo-yo!
So there you have it! Hopefully you are now experts on the subject of 'what is a Page Boy?' All that's left to say is good luck on your big day!
Updated Sept 2018