The ring bearer is the miniature groomsman of the wedding party. His duty is to bear the ring, though his significance is much more. The rings symbolize the binding of two into one, thus responsibility of delivering the objects is quite symbolically important. Rings have been "born" to the alter of a wedding for centuries by various modes of transports and carriers. But the ring bearer of modern western weddings is the classic image of a young boy dressed like a man carrying a small pillow.
The ring bearer has one duty--to enter the wedding procession with both wedding bands. The bearer usually enters after the bridesmaids and groomsmen, but always before the bride. He can be accompanied by a flower girl, or walk in front of or behind her. When the ring bearer reaches the alter, he hands the rings off to the best man to guard for the remainder of the ceremony. The ring bearer, traditionally a small boy aged four to eight, walks down the aisle just before the flower girl (if there is one), carrying a pillow with two rings tied to it. Since it's not the greatest idea to entrust gold rings to a rambunctious 6-year-old, the rings are usually fakes. Are you the trusting sort? Well, if you trust the little tyke with your jewelry, at least have someone hand him the pillow replete with real rings just before he begins trekking down the aisle. If he gets hold of them too far in advance, it's more likely he'll lose them. Whatever you choose to have the ring bearer carry, be sure he's told about his duties ahead of time. It's probably best to include him in the rehearsal dinner, so the full implications of his duties (walking down an aisle all by himself with a hundred people watching) don't come as a big shock.
Today, the ring bearer no longer wears the lace and sash of a Lord Fauntleroy suit, but he continues the tradition of dressing as an adult. The ring bearer, a young male typically between the ages of 5 and 10, is usually dressed in a small tuxedo of the same color as those of the groom and groomsmen.