Traditionally, flower girls have been a part of weddings going back as far as the Victorian days. The role was created so that the flower girl could make the guests smile and relax because of her innocent and sweet demeanor.
Most flower girls carry a small basket with either flowers or petals to sprinkle while walking down the aisle. The purpose of scattering rose petals along the aisle before the bride takes her walk to the altar is to create a pathway that stands for the beauty of the bride. She helps to put everyone at ease and to bring laughter and humor to what otherwise was sometimes a very formal event. The flower girl often steals the show during a wedding ceremony.
Flower girls are usually between 3 and 9 years old. It is important to remember that flower girls are really just children acting like adults so leniency and contingency plans are the two key words to ensuring the day runs smoothly. Being asked to be the flower girl, often marks the debut of her first formal occasion.
While most of the bridal party is expected to stand at the bride’s side during the ceremony, it’s rather unreasonable to expect a young child to do so, especially if it’s a long ceremony.
Small children in weddings are unpredictable – often with memorable results. Kids will be kids and there is a possibility things will go wrong on the day. There is only so much you can control. Whatever the flower girl does (cries, drops the basket, lifts up her dress, throws the petals on the guests…), her personality and preciousness will give the guests a reason to smile.
Ensure that the children you choose for these roles are confident in performing in front of a large crowd. Rehearsals often aid in ironing out some nerves but cannot be relied on as a foolproof plan.
Seat the flower girl’s parents either on the front row or the second row of the ceremony so she can focus on them and be encouraged by their smiles of reassurance. If she is very young, she may go back to her seat with her parents after she walks; poised and more mature little ladies may stand with the other bridesmaids.
At one of my recent weddings the bride was concerned that the flower girl was so young (a shade over 2 years) that she may not want to walk down the aisle when she saw all the people. I suggested that they decorate a wagon filled with flower petals and have a junior groomsmen (about 12 years old) pull her down the aisle with a “here comes the bride sign” on the back of the wagon. The little girl didn’t throw any petals but she was a big hit with the guests.
Another time we had the father of the flower girl carry her down the aisle and help her throw the flower petals.
Some weddings have one flower girl, while others have more than one. Never underestimate the power of the buddy system, especially if the kids know each other. The idea of having two flower girls or pairing up the ring bearer and flower girl so that they can walk side-by-side works very well. Partnering will give them added confidence.
Here are a few ideas and duties to consider for the flower girl:
• Make sure she has a nap before the ceremony or a good nights sleep before the wedding.
• Walk before the bride and throw petals
• Walk down the aisle with the ring bearer
• Hold a basket of rose petals for other guests to throw at the newlyweds as they depart
• Follow bridesmaids up the aisle and depart with the bridesmaids (although she is not required to walk back up the aisle in the recessional)
• Be sure to speak to her parents about the time and financial commitment.
• Attend the ceremony rehearsal, showers, etc.
• Be present for all wedding photos – Take some photos before the ceremony if possible so she won’t be as tired.
• Depending upon her age – stand up with the bridesmaids during the length of the ceremony
• No candy sugar before the ceremony. Some children get hyper and hard to control when they are loaded up on sweets.
• Make sure the dress is comfortable and the length is a reasonable length so she doesn’t trip.
• Remember to show your appreciation to your flower girl by giving her a small gift to commemorate the event.
• Include a coloring book to keep her occupied during the reception.
She will love “One Little Flower Girl” and it will keep her busy during the reception.
About the book: Come along on this rhyming story as our little flower girl discovers how special her part is in the big day and how much fun a wedding can be. Sweet, delicate art by Janie Bynum takes the reader from dressing to dancing, and everything in between. With a gate fold that reveals at the big “I do” moment, this padded book celebrates an important day, and the little girl at the center of the party. The reusable pouch full of cloth petals allows her to practice for her big part.
Copyright © 2011 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s “romantic” Wedding Ceremony. Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 460 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.
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