Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Monday, March 12, 2012

Here Comes the Flower Girl… Again!

Filed under: Flower Girl,Wedding Attendants — Larry James @ 7:00 am
Tags:

Marie Morris, Guest Author

The innocence of the little girl leading the bridal party down the aisle while holding her basket, looking like an Angel in her gown as she walks gracefully down the aisle, fresh faced captures an unforgettable moment of time and sets the tone for the arrival of the beautiful blushing bride.

flowergirlShe is the flower girl. In most instances, being asked to be the flower girl marks the debut of her first formal occasion. Once you have selected your little girl for that special day, you may need to speak to her parents about the time and financial commitment. The flower girl will need to attend the rehearsals and other wedding-related activities and her parents will probably need to accompany her.

Many brides today are finding it fun to dress up their favorite little girl as a miniature bride and send her down the aisle to stir up anticipation for the real bride. The flower girl’s dress is usually linked to the rest of the bridal party, by the color of the sash or by the color of the flowers on the dress.

When choosing a dress some brides choose a dress that is similar in style to the bridesmaids dress or can be a miniature version or similar to the bride’s dress but tailored to fit the little flower girl. Fabrics such as silks and satins work beautifully depending on the formality of the wedding party.

flowergirlwagon

Too young to walk down the aisle? Have someone escort her in a wagon!

“Choosing an outfit for the flower girl which is comfortable while still staying within the overall style of the wedding party can be a little tricky”, say’s Marie Morris of Goo Goo Gear. The Fabric shouldn’t scratch or irritate the skin. Some kids have skin allergies and can only wear natural fibers such as cotton or silk.

“Whenever choosing a dress be practical and keep in mind the dress length so she doesn’t trip and it is age-appropriate,” say’s Marie. It’s probably a good idea to measure the little girl (chest, waist and shoulders to angle/floor length measurements) “and always allow for growth,” suggests Marie. It’s probably best to leave the flower girl’s dress until last about 4-6 weeks prior to your wedding date.

Most flower girls carry a small basket with either flowers or petals to sprinkle while walking down the aisle. It’s probably a good idea to have your flower girl walk up and down the aisle several times by herself at the rehearsal so that she feels comfortable having all eyes admiring her once the big day arrives. She will be ready to make that long walk down the aisle. Dazzling with the charm that only a little girl has, your flower girl will lead the rest of your wedding party and bring smiles and joy to many of your guest’s faces.

BONUS Articles: An Age Guide to the Little Ones in Your Wedding
Here Comes the Flower Girl!

Copyright © 2012 – Marie Morris. Marie Morris is the Managing Director of Goo Goo Gear. Visit her Website at: www.googoogear.com.au.

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 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.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

letsbefriends2

Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Authors & Speakers” BLOG at: http://AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.wordpress.com

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Here Comes the Flower Girl!

Filed under: Flower Girl,Wedding Attendants,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 7:00 am

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.

flowergirlMost 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.

babyflowergirlWhile 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.

smallflowergirlAnother 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.

One Little Flower GirlShe 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.

BONUS Articles: An Age Guide to the Little Ones in Your Wedding
Here Comes the Flower Girl… Again!
The History of the Flower Girl

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.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

letsbefriends2

Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Authors & Speakers” BLOG at: http://AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.wordpress.com

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Inside Weddings: The Wedding Party

Filed under: Wedding Attendants,Wedding Etiquette,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 7:00 am
Tags:

Anna Post, Guest Author

Unless you elope to Las Vegas or slip down to City Hall for a quiet ceremony, you don’t get married on your own – it takes the help of your friends and family. While your guests will support and celebrate with you on the big day, it’s your wedding party that will help you do much of the heavy lifting during the months of planning.

iswintercover2010Choosing Your Attendants

Many of us know exactly who we’d like to be in our wedding party long before the question is popped. It’s okay to ask as soon as the engagement is announced, and aim to have a decision no later than six months out for the average wedding (three months for a short engagement). Most people ask siblings, close relatives, and good friends who are reliable, can be involved, and who will be courteous, extended hosts on the wedding day.

You don’t have to ask friends for whom you were a bridesmaid, nor are you required to ask your fiancé’s sister to be your bridesmaid, though it’s a lovely and generous way to get to know someone who will be a close part of your life. It’s gracious to allow your potential party members to think about your request before they make a decision; it’s a big commitment of finances and time. There is no requirement for how many attendants to have, and you don’t need the same number of bridesmaids as groomsmen.

Your Ladies in Waiting

We’ve all heard horror stories about bridesmaids being “required” to sign contracts, obligating them to responsibilities that should require a salary, and agreeing to ludicrous demands. These are exactly that – horror stories. The reality is much simpler, and much more friendly.

The maid or matron of honor is the bride’s right-hand woman. She helps the bride select the bridesmaids’ attire, lends a hand addressing invitations and place cards, and organizes the bridesmaids’ luncheon as well as the bridesmaids’ gift to the bride. During the ceremony, she holds the groom’s wedding ring and the bride’s bouquet. At the end of the ceremony, she arranges the bride’s train and veil, and then returns the bouquet. She also witnesses the signing of the marriage certificate. During the reception, she stands in the receiving line, gives a toast if she wishes, and helps organize guests. Afterwards, she assists the bride out of her dress, for which she then takes responsibility while the bride departs for her honeymoon.

The bridesmaids’ responsibilities are more general: attend fittings, parties, the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. It’s a myth that the bridesmaids must throw a shower for the bride, though showers can be hosted by the bridal party. Bridesmaids stand in the receiving line, mingle with guests, dance, and participate in the bouquet toss. The bridesmaids and maid of honor each pay for their own dresses, alterations, shoes, and accessories, as well as their travel to the wedding and group present to the bride and groom. The couple traditionally arranges for the bridal party’s lodging.

A Few Good Men

The best man has by far the most responsibilities of all the attendants. Among many others, he organizes the bachelor party for the groom and arranges the groomsmen’s gift to the groom. He helps the groom choose the wedding attire and coordinates fittings or rentals for the groomsmen. He keeps the bride’s wedding ring during the ceremony, witnesses the signing of the marriage certificate, and makes sure that the groom’s wedding-related payments are prepared and delivered at the ceremony. He offers the first toast at the reception and dances with the bride and other guests. Like the maid of honor, he takes care of the groom’s clothes after he departs.

The groomsmen attend the bachelor party, their fittings, the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. They help escort guests to their seats if there aren’t separate ushers, and then stand with the groom during the ceremony. At the reception, they dance with the bride, bridesmaids, and other guests.

Little Helping Hands

Flower girls and ring bearers make charming additions to a wedding. The flower girl precedes the bride down the aisle holding either a small basket of flowers or a tiny nosegay similar to the bridesmaids’ flowers. She might carry a basket of petals that she sprinkles in front of the bride as she walks down the aisle. (I recommend silk petals, as real ones can become slippery.) She attends the rehearsal, but often not the rehearsal dinner due to her age.

The ring bearer walks down the aisle after the bridesmaids and ahead of the flower girl, holding the small cushion upon which the wedding ring is pinned (not sewn). He stands with the groomsmen or sits with his parents or the groom’s family during the services. He exits with the flower girl, if there is one. These members of the wedding party are usually young relatives of the bride or groom, and typically range in age from three to seven years old.

Wrapping it Up

The best gift you can give your wedding party is a pleasant experience while they help you prepare; however, it’s important to thank your attendants with a tangible gift as well. Jewelry is a popular gift from the bride to her bridesmaids, while classic gifts from the groom include cufflinks, ties, monogrammed flasks, and engraved key chains. The gifts can be the same for everyone, or chosen on an individual basis. The rehearsal dinner is a great opportunity to present these gifts to the wedding party and acknowledge their help in front of your close friends and family. Regardless of where you present your gifts, make sure your attendants know what you know – that you couldn’t have made it to the altar without them.

Source: This column first appeared in “Inside Wedding’s” Winter 2010 issue.

Anna Post
Inside Weddings

Copyright © 2011 – Anna Post. Reprinted with permission. Anna Post is the etiquette columnist for the magazine Inside Weddings, a national bridal magazine based in Los Angeles. Visit their Website and Blogs.

Larry James is a non-denominational minister 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. 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.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

letsbefriends2

Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com

Friday, March 18, 2011

Q & A – Can I Remove a Bridesmaid from the Wedding Party?

Filed under: Maid/Matron of Honor,The Maid of Honor,Wedding Attendants — Larry James @ 7:00 am
Tags:

Linda Kevick, Guest Author

Q. I asked a friend to be in my wedding and now I regret it. I asked my bridesmaids too soon and I am left with one that I am not comfortable with anymore. We aren’t very good friends, in fact we are closer to acquaintances. I had asked her as just an off-handed comment, but when she later asked me to be in hers, which I know was to return the favor, I then felt I had to keep her in – even though my offer was completely non-committal. So am I in essence “stuck” with her or can I ask a closer friend to be in her place? This woman lives three hours away and we very rarely have contact. – Rachel N.

bridebridesmaidfightA. There is no question that you are in a very tough, un-enviable spot – and you are certainly not alone. This is a common problem encountered by brides-to-be. It is the very reason that I always urge couples to think very carefully before asking anyone to be a member of the wedding party, rather than spontaneously rushing into decisions. I generally suggest that people wait until the point that they have begun the actual wedding planning process before asking attendants, as so much can change with the passage of a little bit of time.

There’s no question that it’s best to avoid getting into these situations in the first place – because once they arise there is no easy way out, and it does become a sticky mess. Unfortunately, however, as in this case, sometimes that advice comes too late and suddenly you find yourself in the very position you are in now.

Without a doubt, your wedding will probably be the single most important day in your life, and it is so important to surround yourself on that day of all days with people who really matter; the type you know will likely be around for a long time to come. When you look back at your wedding pictures ten years from now, will the people you see in your photos still be a meaningful part of your life?

Will you even know where to find them? If you can’t answer yes to these questions, you may be choosing the wrong people.

However, the problem is that you did ask this girl, and unfortunately you may now have to live with that decision. To remove her or ask her to step down could be a very hurtful thing to do and therefore is absolutely not advisable. It is so important to project good manners, graciousness, and kindness of heart at all times surrounding an event like one’s wedding. To behave any other way is unbecoming of a bride.

crying_brideThe only time it is justifiable to remove someone from a wedding party is when there has been a serious falling out with that individual, when the individual has shown a blatant disregard for their role in the wedding, or has behaved extremely offensively or hurtful to you or other members of the wedding party. Since you’ve mentioned nothing of the sort, I’m assuming this is not the case in your situation. From what you’ve said, it sounds much more like a spontaneous, spur of the moment thing, where unfortunately you spoke before you had the chance to clearly think the matter through. It was an innocent mistake, but one which you may have no choice now but to live with – if you are going to do the right thing. And, it appears obvious to me that you do have great concern for doing the right thing, as evidenced by the fact that you took the time to submit this question.

However, it is not game over yet. As I said earlier, it is very important to have people in the wedding party who have great meaning to you, and so, with regards to the other young lady you now feel you would have preferred to ask, there is no reason why she cannot still be added. If you are worried about having an unequal number of bridesmaids to groomsmen, this need not be a concern. Today, this is being done frequently in wedding parties. All it may mean, in this case, is that one lucky groomsmen will have the privilege of escorting two ladies – a lady on each arm – instead of just one! (The guy will love this!). It can, in fact, be quite charming and delightfully refreshing in the eyes of your guests! Perhaps the very thing to make your wedding stand out in their minds as being a little more memorable! At the same time it can provide a very workable solution to your dilemma whereby everyone is happy, everyone gets what they want, and no one gets hurt.

So, you can still work with the situation, you see? The main thing is to ensure that you do nothing to make the young lady feel uncomfortable, unwanted, or unwelcome – even if it means applying extra special effort and going out of your way to ensure this. It is not her fault that you may have spoken too soon, and therefore she cannot, and should not, be punished.

Linda KevickCopyright © 2011 – Linda Kevick. Reprinted with permission. Linda Kevich is the creator and editor of SuperWeddings.com. She has been a professional wedding consultant for the past ten years, and now teaches the business of wedding consulting through a home study program she has developed. Have a wedding question? Click here to ask the expert!

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 455 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.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

letsbefriends2

Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Authors & Speakers” BLOG at: http://AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.wordpress.com

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: