This article appears in Bride 2018 magazine.

Young honor attendants draw oohhs and aahhs from wedding guests, but they can be more creative than simply standard ring bearers or flower girls.

“Most couples today are constantly looking for small ways to make their wedding more personal and to tell their own story instead of using what is considered traditional, and this certainly doesn’t stop with details such as the traditional ring bearer pillow and flower girl basket,” said Lisa Pleasant, owner of Lisa Pleasant Events, serving Charlotte and Asheville, North Carolina, and the surrounding areas.

“We have sent little ones down the aisle carrying candles to be lit up front, lanterns, flower purses or simply smaller versions of the attendants’ bouquets. Our favorites, however, have been the ones with sentimental value — a grandmother’s jewelry box with love letters the couple have written, a favorite Harry Potter book with rings tied to a bookmark ribbon, an engraved wooden box with mementos from their childhoods or rings tied to a shell that the groom used to propose. These details all come together to tell the unique story of the couple,” Pleasant said.

“Using something whimsical and fun can match your wedding style while letting the little ones be little ones,” said Samie Roberts, owner of Something Perfect in Charlotte, North Carolina. “Remember, this is the last thing your guests will see before seeing the bride, so make it something memorable.”

Try some of these clever alternatives from expert wedding planners:

Ring security

The ring bearer is carrying precious cargo, so make him dress the part as ring security, said Donchell Johnson, owner of New Jersey’s Weddings2Plan. Dressed in black suits like security guards with sunglasses and ear pieces, they can carry the rings down the aisle in stainless steel cases.

Family pets

“If there are animals involved — doggy ring bearers, for instance — and they are well-behaved, the little attendants can often be in charge of guiding them down the aisle as well. If there are kids who can’t walk down, older kids may be able to pull them down the aisle in a decorated wagon,” said Emilie Duncan, owner of Emilie Duncan Event Planning in Columbus, Ohio.

Flower fairies

Flower girls can carry wands made of real flowers or paper, which is really trending now, and wear wings to become flower fairies, said Duncan.

Infinity circles

Circles are a symbol of infinite love and a fitting choice for a wedding. One bride getting married this spring will have her young attendant carry an embroidery hoop decorated with flowers as well as other hoop decor incorporated in the wedding, said Cherie Riley of Southern California’s Cherie Riley Weddings. The hoop will be filled with olive and lavender that are native to the ranch the couple is getting married at, as well as natural blush and sage green colors with streaming ivory ribbons.

Introducing ...

“A sign announcing ‘here comes the bride,’ a large balloon, entering in a wagon/pulling a wagon, walking the bride/groom’s dog — all add a bit of whimsy and playfulness to a ceremony and make for fab pictures and sweet memories for the bride and groom, the child and the guests,” said Adrianne Mellen Ramstack, owner and lead planner at Adrianne Elizabeth Events, Columbus, Ohio.

Balloons

For a cute idea “create a ‘balloonzilla’ with different items inside such as floral or greenery, tulle and anything that works with your wedding,” said Desi Wojtowicz, owner of Las Vegas’ Desirable Events by Desi.

Outside the box

“For the ring bearer, consider having a box made that matches your wedding style with your initials on it so it’s a keepsake. Or have him carry another alternative like a book with pages cut out for your ring, a cute stuffed animal with the rings tied around its neck, a small suitcase, a mini potted succulent, or even a geometric-shaped container that matches your wedding décor,” Roberts said.

Get personal

Instead of rose petals, have the flower girl toss something more personal, such as sprinkles for a bride who owns a cupcake shop, said Kate Lewis, wedding and event planner at Mountain View Vineyard, Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.

“At my own wedding, my ring bearer carried a copy of ‘The Velveteen Rabbit’ down the aisle because that was one of my favorite books growing up. My aunt later read an except from the book as a part of the ceremony,” she said.

“​Another idea for your flower girl is to have her toss something season-appropriate down the aisle, like glittered ‘snow’ for a winter wedding or dried lavender for the summer. The added bonus of the lavender is that as you step on the flowers, it releases the most amazing scent in the air,” Lewis said.