While your entire wedding (including the events leading up to it) will be filled with aww-worthy moments, one you'll cherish forever is when you ask your ring bearer to be a part of the day. This little man might not remember how you popped the question in vivid detail, but you and your fiancé will surely think about it for decades to come. "In the years ahead as they grow up, you and your fiancé will remain positive role models in their life," says Lindsey Sachs, a wedding planner and owner of COLLECTIVE/by Sachs. "Their involvement will be a memory you'll cherish for years." For this reason, she recommends taking the time to thoughtfully ask your ring bearer. Go ahead and get creative, as this playful gesture, which might not seem like much in the midst of all your other wedding to-dos, really does go a long way.
Here are some of the sweetest ways the wedding planner has seen couples ask their ring bearers to be part of their weddings.
Take him to a sporting event.
Sachs suggests taking your ring-bearer-to-be to the field or ballpark for a sporting event with you and your fiancé. "On the way there, have him open a wrapped gift he won't expect—a personalized baseball or bat with his name and the message, 'Will you be our ring bearer?'" she says. "Or, step it up a notch and start the game with popcorn and surprise him with a personal message with his photo on the big screen!" Whether a local little league or high school game, or even a professional game, this is sure to be an outing he won't forget.
Invite him to lunch or dinner.
Sure, he may be young, but you'd be surprised how much he enjoys going out to eat versus staying home and eating Mom's boiled broccoli. Does he have a favorite restaurant? Ask his 'rents and make a reservation. "Have the waitress deliver a wrapped gift especially for him to the table," suggests Sachs. "Or, if his favorite is fast food, sneak a special treat and message into his children's meal box for him to find." Spending this dedicated time over a meal will create positive memories and strengthen your connection, she adds.
"Hire" him as ring security.
Little guys usually love police officers and firefighters, which is why Sachs suggests making his tiny dream come true by inviting them to accept the role of "ring security." Make it an extra-special ask by giving him theme-appropriate gifts he can play with leading up to the wedding. "Consider a customized invitation outlining his official order of duty, a security badge or lanyard with their photo and barcode to prove 'official' security status, and, most exciting, a small briefcase to stash the goods," she says. "Each time he plays with these items, he'll look forward to the wedding and, ideally, become less nervous."
Give him a special keepsake.
This doesn't have to be something super expensive, but gifting your ring bearer a token that he can hold on to and even wear to your wedding is a sweet idea. "We love these ideas: red Converse Chuck shoes to wear with his ring bearer suit, a super hero shirt he can wear under his tux or suit coat, or even a dapper hat," says Sachs. "Finding a piece that will be exciting for a child and something he can wear in advance and be comfortable in will be helpful come wedding day when it's time to suit up." Another popular gift idea? A keepsake teddy bear that highlights his role as ring bearer.
Personalize a gift.
A personalized gift can add extra meaning that he might not fully appreciate now, but likely will once he's older. Sachs suggests a photo calendar of special family members with your wedding date highlighted to count down the days, a monogrammed handkerchief or tie to coordinate with his tux or suit, a backpack to carry his toys on the wedding day, or even a customized t-shirt to wear under his wedding-day attire.