A flower girl strewing petals before the bride is one of our most popular wedding traditions. It’s a beautiful part of the ceremony when the child is old enough to confidently participate. It can be confusing and lead to tantrums or tears for one too young or shy for the job.
I remember watching a young flower girl slowly and carefully work her way to a church altar. With her eyes focused on the carpeted floor, she meticulously lay one rose petal after another down the center of the aisle. Suddenly, she came to a stop at the feet of the minister. Her flower-crowned head popped up in surprise; she remembered that her almost-full basket of petals was supposed to be empty when she reached this point!
She quickly turned her basket upside down and dumped the remainder of petals onto the minister’s shoes. When wedding guests laughed aloud, she burst into tears and ran to her mother.
A long-standing wedding tradition
Sometimes being a flower girl can be a big job for a little girl.
In the earliest days, the custom represented the transformation of a young girl into a woman. Fresh herbs were strewn in the path of a bride to ward off evil spirits. Eventually, flower petals came to represent fertility and prosperity.
In modern times, the tradition is considered a sign of good luck. Yet, while we love the whimsical look of flower girls dropping petals, for some young children it’s best to consider easier options.
Be flexible with little ones
Make it fun for little girls to participate by giving them age appropriate responsibilities and easy to manage. A small basket filled with flowers might be less stressful than one of loose petals that spill.
Some children love being the center of attention while others are self-conscious about being watched. It’s difficult for some to stand still the full length of a ceremony while timid ones find it too scary to stand there at all.
If a flower girl seems unsure, suggest that an older child escort her down the aisle and stand beside her. Allow a very shy child to stand at the altar beside an adult attendant. You can also let a very young child be seated with an adult in reserved seating immediately following her walk down the aisle.
Infant family members have even been transported down the aisle in flower-draped wagons pulled by other children. An OASIS® Sealed Brick Garland
works great as the base of this wagon décor.
Offer flowers that are easy to manage
For a very young flower girl, use OASIS Floral Adhesive
to glue a cluster of flowers onto a length of ribbon that can be tied around her wrist.
For an infant, glue a single flower head such as a daisy to a small circular bandage or press the bloom onto an OASIS UGLU Dash
and adhere it to the baby’s wrist. Of course, this isn’t a good idea for older infants who put everything into their mouths.
If you have multiple flower girls of young ages, consider having one floral garland each little girl holds onto. This ropes them into one floral line and they descend the aisle together with the youngest child beside an older one. These garlands can be made of entwined foliage and flowers accented by ribbon or OASIS Decorative Wire.
A miniature flower crown hair pinned into the little girl’s hair photographs beautifully and is stress free for the child. If her hair is too thin, flowers can be glued with OASIS Floral Adhesive
to hair bands, clasps or combs and easily secured into place.
Use fun, interesting shapes
A kissing ball or floral pomander is a great choice for a flower girl. The 3" OASIS® Netted Sphere
covered in flowers is easy to wear or carry with a handle made of ribbon, velvet cording, or OASIS Decorative Beaded Wire
. A small, stylish purse left open and filled with flowers is fun for little flower girls to carry down the aisle.
The key to success with flower girls is to consider their age and personality and then plan their duties and flowers to match. It’s important that the children feel comfortable and included in the special event.
If the child’s behavior isn’t exactly what the bride and groom envisioned, a relaxed attitude and good sense of humor on the part of the new couple can help save the day.
What tips do you have to share for including flower girls in a wedding?