I imagine it's every little girl's dream to be a flower girl, well, besides having her own wedding, that is! We've been lucky to have the opportunity of being invited to several flower girl duties...the first opportunity to walk down the aisle came at the age of 2. Too young, you say...well, consider her to be a mature 2 year old, and her over eager mother, and you will understand why we agreed without giving it too much thought!
On the big day, our little wedding attendant looked unbelievably cute, and was perfectly dressed for photos. She was excited to be in the wedding party, and we were excited to show her off to all our friends! Not to mention, how adorable she would look next to the beautiful bride. It was a picture perfect day.
Unfortunately, things quickly unraveled when she saw how the whole thing was going to go down. With terror in her eyes, she clung to me and refused to budge. My first thought was about how disappointed the bride and groom would be, and my second thought was how disappointed I was in myself for not realizing this would be too much for a 2 year old, what was I thinking? So, you live and you learn. We ended up forgoing our flower girl duties that day...and ironically, all the ones that followed! I am hopeful that one day we'll be ready to be a great flower girl in someone's wedding, but until that day, I've collected countless pearls of wisdom on handling your little flower girl.
Consider your child's age and personality // this seems like an obvious, but in the heat of the moment and the overwhelming feelings of joy that accompany weddings, our judgement can be clouded. On average, flower girls are 3 - 8 years old, but there have been younger, and older, ones. How well your child will do with the responsibilities will depend on their personality more than their age. If your child is shy, needs time to adjust to large groups in unfamiliar settings, and clings to you in social settings, then wait until they are older to offer them the opportunity to participate in the wedding. A fearless and outgoing 2 year-old could very well handle a quick run down the aisle, and I'm sure will surprise everyone with a few spontaneous things of her own.
I will never forget how our little flower girl burst into tears at the sight of the bride, who was stunning, by the way! Concerned, I leaned over and tried to console her, and assure her that everyone cries at weddings, not just the kids. Turns out, she was upset that she wasn't the bride that day, but a mere flower girl. Ah, ambitious flower girl tears...brides, beware...the flowers girls are coming for you!
- Travel in advance for international weddings // for weddings abroad, make sure you give your family enough time to adjust to the time difference. Kids can get overtired very quickly, and traveling across time zones will inevitably disrupt their routines and make them behave in unexpected ways. Overtired kids don't do well at weddings. So plan ahead, and if you're traveling to Europe, arrive at least 5 days before the wedding, so you have a chance to adopt a new sleeping schedule with your child. What if you or your child gets sick during your travels before the big day? Well, unfortunately, this can happen to anyone. Take care of sick children and don't stress over them having to participate.
- Have a back-up dress ready // chocolate milk accidents do happen, and they happen to the best of us. A simple, and inexpensive substitute dress should always be on hand in case disaster strikes and a kid decides to be a kid. In fact, I always try to pack a change of clothes when we go out for special occasions... I don't want to agonize over stains while I should be enjoying a party, and you wouldn't want to either.
- Let your flower girl be in charge of accessories // part of why little girls get so excited to be flower girls is that they get to dress up like a princess and feel like a real star for the whole day. But little girls also have strong opinions about how to dress like a princess. Am I right? When dressing your flower girl, you may be required to wear what the bride picked out for the whole wedding party. If your little one insists on dressing herself, persuade her to pick out her shoes and/or hair accessories, instead. Give her options that you and the bride would both be happy with, and let her have her way. She'll feel like she is in control of "her" special day, and you'll be comfortable knowing she will look the part. Speaking of which, check out my flower girl hair accessories here.
- This is the time to "treat" them // if your little one shows any signs of not cooperating on the big day, don't hesitate to promise them chocolate, a toy, or any other favorite treat. After all, being a flower girl is hard work, requires preparation, a longer-than-usual attention span, and little kid stamina, so they deserve a treat just for trying! If all else fails, do what I did...give them a kiss and a hug, and go sit with them to watch the ceremony. The day is not about them, so don't escalate any tantrums. Diffuse their anxiety and try to enjoy the day. Then, don't forget to apologize to the bride and groom!
Dress by Zara. Shoes by Petits Marcheurs.
I'm curious to know what other priceless tips you guys have to share, so please leave them in the comments below!