When you’re at a wedding, odds are you’ll see a little boy carrying the rings to the bride and groom during the ceremony. But attendants at the Villegas-Payne wedding saw a very special ring bearer walking down the aisle: the bride’s seven-year-old daughter, Scarlet.
When Oklahoma couple Bobby Villegas and Kait Villegas-Payne eloped in Seattle, they decided to give Scarlet the honor of being ring bearer. “She was the ring bearer because that’s what I had a literal need for,” Villegas-Payne explained to A Practical Wedding. “We didn’t even have a real aisle for anybody to throw petals down on. We did need somebody to hold our rings.”
Scarlet has been a huge part of the couple’s life, and it only made sense for her to have such an essential, important role in the wedding. “It was important to us to set aside a portion of the ceremony for Scarlet,” Villegas-Payne told A Practical Wedding. “She was basically our cupid. She’s always been a central part of our life together. Bobby even asked her permission before proposing to me.”
Villegas-Payne had Scarlet early in life. “I have had a unique opportunity to be able to grow up along with her because I had her at a young age,” she said. “We’ve been through a lot together. She’s my ride or die.”
And for that reason, she not only made her ring bearer, but made part of the marriage all about her. “I love the show Lost,” she said. “I love the idea of ‘Constants’ and I mostly love that Scarlet has always been mine. . . I gave her a gold pin with the word ‘Constant’ and talked to her a little about how much her presence means to me. Bobby gave her a ring and a promise to always be there if she ever needs him for anything.”
The little ring bearer also walked her down the aisle to the ceremony. “I won’t say she ‘gave me away’ because I’ll always be hers,” she told A Practical Wedding (shattering our hearts forever).
Villegas-Payne pointed out that she doesn’t understand the taboo surrounding gender and ring bearers. “Why is it more socially acceptable for a dog to be a ring bearer than a human girl?” she told A Practical Wedding. “That I don’t know. The question isn’t really why did she wear a suit, it’s when was the last time you saw a ring bearer in a dress?” Plus, Scarlet just wanted to wear a suit. When given a choice of wearing dress, she felt uncomfortable. You do you, Scarlet.
Hear, hear! Not all ring bearers have to be boys; it’s just another society-made gender construct that we should all do away with. We totally love this story, and we’ve gotta say — Scarlet totally ROCKED that suit. Congratulations to the Villegas-Payne family. . . you certainly do make a beautiful family.
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