The flower girl brings beauty, innocence, and wishes for healthy children to the wedding ceremony and she melts our hearts with each step she takes. She walks down the aisle in front of the bride, dropping flower petals, which symbolize fertility. The petals are usually red rose petals. Originally, the petals may have also been used to ward off evil spirits, so the flower girl walking in front of the bride would protect her on her wedding day.
She is the cutest thing you’ve ever seen in her little white dress with a pink sash and matching flower basket, but the flower girl’s history is based on more than just heart-melting “aws” from your guests.
The “flower” girl first made her appearance in weddings in Ancient Rome when she would carry wreaths of herbs and wheat down the aisle which symbolized prosperity and fertility for the bride and groom. During the Medieval period, a young girl carried garlic down the aisle which was said to ward off evil spirits – talk about pre-wedding jitters!
During one of her many centurial makeovers, the flower girl that is now classic to the modern wedding world evolved through the Victorian beauty and sentiment nurtured through Queen Victoria herself. Their dresses were white with a colored ribbon sash and they carried baskets of flower petals to sprinkle down the aisle before the bride made her grand entrance.
Fast forward a few hundred years: In modern times, brides often select flower girl attire that mirrors their own beautiful wedding gown. The flower girl is often dressed as a “mini-bride” to symbolize the transition of the bride from little girl into womanhood. Some brides choose to put their flower girls in colored frocks. She is a whimsical reminder to all on-lookers of how magical and brief is innocence and childhood.
Instead of dropping flower petals, many flower girls blow bubbles going down the aisle. Others throw confetti or carry teddy bears. Items such as herbs, grains, and garlic have been scattered by the little ones over the years. These items have been used as a calling for fertility as well as keeping evil spirits at bay. They will often wear halos or carry a kissing ball – often called a pomander.
Kissing balls are an alternative to baskets of flowers or scattering rose petals. They are balls that are made out of real, silk or paper flowers. Many churches will not allow fresh rose petals to be dropped, since they can damage carpet. They can also be dangerous if there is a bare floor; the possibility exists for a person to slip and fall.
Although the meaning behind having a flower girl has changed drastically over the centuries, I think we can all agree: thank goodness she no longer carries garlic!
Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s “romantic” Wedding Website. 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 Cell: 480-205-3694. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 470 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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