Every soon-to-be-wed couple has important children in their lives like nieces, nephews, or younger siblings that they want to share their big day with. Thankfully, a traditional Filipino wedding entourage has many roles for children to participate in. One of those is the bible bearer.
Before choosing the bible bearer for your wedding, you might have some questions in mind. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions about bible bearers at weddings.
What is a bible bearer?
In a traditional Filipino wedding, the meaning of a bible bearer is someone who carries the bible down the aisle and presents it to the priest or celebrant. This role is very common among Catholic weddings as the bible symbolizes the Word of God in a couple’s marriage.
When did the bible bearer tradition start? We can’t really pinpoint the exact history behind it but our *cough* educated guess *cough* is that people just wanted to include more kids in their wedding entourage. Can’t really blame them! It’s just so adorable seeing a bible bearer walk down the aisle in a dashing barong or mini tuxedo.
How to choose a bible bearer?
A bible bearer is usually a young boy who’s related to the bride or groom. He can also be the son of one of your closest friends. When choosing the bible bearer for your wedding, consider if he has the right personality or temperament to enjoy the role and do it properly.
For instance, your shy and soft-spoken nephew might find it intimidating to walk down the aisle and have everyone’s attention on him. The son of your best friend who’s rather rowdy would also not make the best choice as he can be fussy during the ceremony. Find someone who’s well-behaved and will enjoy being in the spotlight.
What’s the standard bible bearer age?
While you can choose children of all ages to be the bible bearer for your wedding, narrow your search to boys between four and six years old. This is also the appropriate age for other children in your wedding entourage, such as the ring bearer and flower girls.
Between four and six is the best age range as the child is already old enough to take directions well and they’re not as prone to separation anxiety from their parents. After all, you don’t want a kid who refuses to walk down the aisle or a crying baby who disrupts the ceremony.
What’s the standard bible bearer attire?
When choosing a bible bearer outfit, make sure to keep it on theme, which means it has to match the attire of the ring bearer and the groomsmen. For example, if you’re hosting a traditional Filipino wedding, have him wear a barong. If you’re hosting a black-tie affair, put him in a classic tuxedo.
You can also make your bible bearer’s outfit more adorable by accessorizing! Little things like a cute bow tie, a baker boy cap, or a patterned pocket square will enhance an otherwise plain ensemble. Of course, the accessories have to suit your wedding theme. If your bible bearer will wear a barong, skip the bow ties and caps. Anyway, the best accessory is a smile!
Lastly, don’t forget to make comfort a priority. You don’t want your bible bearer attire to be itchy, stiff, or starchy. This will make your wedding’s bible bearer uncomfortable during your ceremony and reception.
Can the bible bearer be an adult?
It’s uncommon to see bible bearers that are adults but there’s no rule saying you can’t do this. If you don’t have a young boy in mind and would rather have your uncle or an older cousin as your wedding’s bible bearer, go right ahead.
How many bible bearers at a wedding?
Many couples ask, “Can bible bearers be pairs?”
Unfortunately, since the Roman Catholic wedding ceremony only requires one bible, you’ll also only need one bible bearer. If you’re having trouble choosing between two boys, you can have two ring bearers instead. Give each boy a ring to carry and send them down the aisle together. Another option is to have the other boy be your coin bearer! That way, if you currently have three young nephews, no one feels left out.
Can the bible bearer be a girl?
Questions on whether it’s okay for a girl to be a ring bearer are actually quite popular among wedding forums, and most of the answers say that it’s perfectly fine. So, if it’s okay for a girl to be a ring bearer – a role that’s traditionally for young boys – we don’t see why there’s no reason for a girl to be the bible bearer for your wedding too.
Also, times are changing! Millennial couples are known to have out-of-the-box wedding practices, so it shouldn’t be a problem that your bible bearer is a girl. If someone gives you slack for it, don’t mind them. It’s your wedding day and ultimately, the last say comes from you.
How to prepare my bible bearer for the Big Day?
Your bible bearer will undoubtedly be one of the most adorable members of your wedding entourage but encouraging a little one to walk down the aisle without tantrums or tears can be a problem.
However, you can’t really blame them if they’ll have a bit of stage fright, especially with dozens of people staring and snapping photos. Luckily, we have some simple ways to help your bible bearer feel great on the big day.
Have him walk with a parent
As mentioned before, most bible bearers at weddings fall between the ages of four and six. But if you’re recruiting a toddler as your bible bearer, consider having one of his parents walk down the aisle with him. If the boy can walk on his own, have his mom stay at the end of the aisle. It helps him to know that his mom’s waiting for him as he’s carrying the bible.
Similarly, if your bible bearer, ring bearer, and coin bearer all know each other, allowing them to walk together may ward off nerves and tantrums. They might even feel excited to walk along with their friends!
Talk up their role
If your wedding’s bible bearer is older than four years old, try emphasizing the importance of his role in the ceremony. When he knows that he has a special job, it will encourage him to do well. Many kids love knowing that they’ll play big roles during important occasions. The more you can get them to look forward to walking down the aisle, the more they’ll get into it and enjoy their role.
You can also talk with the bible bearer’s parents before the wedding, and have them hype up their son’s special job in the days leading up to the wedding.
Offer up a treat
Children of all ages can’t refuse a treat. If you’re working with an especially younger bible bearer, have his mom or a member of your bridal party (like your maid of honor) hold up a treat at the end of aisle. You can also hold up his favorite stuffed animal or toy truck. When they see their prize at the end of the aisle, they’ll focus their energy on reaching the time.
If you’re working with a slightly older bible bear, say five to six years old, a parent can promise to give him a special treat after the wedding, as long as he behaves and performs well during the processional.
Practice makes perfect
Prior to the wedding ceremony, have your bible bearer practice his entrance several times, and to do this on the day itself. If you practice a week before the wedding, the child may not remember the directions since they’re not fresh in his mind. It’s also great to practice with actual song that you’ll use for the processional, so that the familiar music can guide the child.
Also, be prepared in case the child will be struck by social anxiety once he sees the church filled up with strangers. Have an adult proxy available to be the bible bearer if ever this happens.
Keep him busy and well-fed
Let’s face it: most young boys are bored out of their minds during a wedding ceremony. Make sure your bible bearer’s parents sit next to him so that they can excuse themselves in case he gets restless. It’s also good to have snacks on hand to prevent hunger-induced tantrums. To keep the bible bearer’s attire stain-free, stick with food that won’t make a mess like crackers and apples.
Should I give my bible bearer a thank you gift?
Of course! If you get your bridesmaids and groomsmen thank you gifts for participating in your wedding, why should your bible bearer be any different? It’s a sweet gesture to give your little helper a token of gratitude, and it doesn’t have to be big or expensive. You can go with a toy car, a mini Lego set, or a stuffed dinosaur. You can also ask his parents about the things he likes so that you’re sure he’ll appreciate your gift.
Armed with a little planning ahead and a whole lot of love, you can make the experience of having a bible bearer in your wedding a memorable one. The child will enjoy being part of your big day and getting a bit of spotlight, and your guests will love having little ones at your wedding entourage.
As for you, you’ll have an adorable boy to gush over when you browse through your wedding album in the future.