The job of a flower girl is primarily to look super adorable walking down the aisle and in your wedding photos.
It’s a lovely way to include the younger children close to you on your wedding day.
Having a flower girl as part of the wedding party dates back to the Victorian Era or earlier.
The original intention was to use her to provide entertainment to wedding guests who would ooh and aah as she walked down the aisle.
These days her primary purpose might not be to entertain, but guests are still delighted when she walks before the bride. Looking for a Wedding Photo Location? Look no further. Brighton Savoy has compiled an ultimate list of wedding photo locations to help you choose.
Typically couples choose to have one flower girl on their wedding day, but if your bridesmaids have children or you have a few nieces that you would like to include in your big day, then there’s nothing to say you can’t have more than one.
Modernising the Flower Girl Role
In Roman times, flower girls would precede the bride as she walked down the aisle, scattering herbs and flowers to symbolise fertility and new beginnings.
Nowadays, the wedding flower girl is a sweet representation of family and community.
Involving the next generation in your ceremony is a great way to bring everyone together – after all, little ones have a way of uniting new families and friends.
While the flower girl role has traditionally been reserved for toddlers and little girls, modern weddings have evolved the position.
Some couples ask their beloved grandmothers to serve as flower girls. Others train their dogs to walk down the aisle with a bouquet.
There’s truly no limit to the modern-day flower girl role!
Flower Girl Traditions
The flower girl, usually an adorable little lady aged three to eight, proceeds down the aisle just before the maid of honour, scattering rose petals along the bridle path.
She follows the ring bearer (if there is one), and sometimes she will even precede the bride.
Traditionally, she totes a basket full of petals, but other alternatives include wrapped candies or confetti.
Also, instead of scattering the items mentioned above, she can carry a single bloom, a pomander (a lush ball of flowers), or blow bubbles.
If some bridesmaids are skittish about the processional, then the flower girl will be a little spooked.
To communicate the importance of her role while minimising the pressure, the bride should explain the flower girl’s duties to her well in advance.
The parents should follow up with pep talks and rehearsals.
Flower Girl Wedding Day Duties
The flower girl is usually a close relative or friend of the bride or groom.
In addition to her ceremonial duties and other responsibilities, she will be expected to be in some wedding photographs, either before or after the ceremony.
What’s the flower girl’s primary role? To be darling, of course. But rosy cheeks and ribbons aside, her cruise down the aisle is no small feat.
Having a flower girl is optional, but it’s an excellent way to make a favourite little person feel a part of it all. So here’s an explanation of her role and tips to help make it easy.
Walking Down the Aisle
The flower girl’s appearance signals the bride’s arrival on the wedding day. She is to walk behind or with the maid of honour but before the bride.
If there is a ring bearer, she may walk down the aisle at his side.
Alternatively, she may walk with other flower girls, between two ring bearers, pulling a wedding wagon with younger children, or walk single file.
In most cases, she’ll sprinkle flower petals (real or faux) along the aisle for the bride’s service. However, she might also be asked to:
- Pull streamers
- Blow bubbles
- Carry a sign
- Hold balloons
- Carry a small bouquet or nosegay
While most bridal parties are expected to stand at the bride’s side during the ceremony, it’s somewhat unreasonable to expect a young child to do so, especially if it’s a long ceremony.
Designate one of the bridesmaids to keep an eye on her and hold her hand if needed.
If she starts fidgeting or misbehaving, the bridesmaid should bring her to her parent’s pew, where she should sit for the duration.
She’s not required to walk back up the aisle in the recessional, though many do.
Reception duties vary depending on the age of the flower girl and what she and her parents are comfortable with her participating in. Options include:
- The flower girl may be announced as part of the grand entrance if she wants to participate.
- The flower girl should be seated at either the head table or with her parents at a reserved table near the head table for dinner.
- She may partake in the bridal party dance and any other dancing throughout the evening.
- Some brides request that young ladies also come forward for the bouquet toss.
- Be flexible and leave it up to her and her parents to determine what she participates in and how long they stay at the reception.
Duties Before the Big Day
While most brides wonder about the flower girl’s duties on the wedding day, they often forget a few things to do first that come with the flower girl role that they need to inform her parents of when asking her to partake in the wedding.
Gather Dress and Accessories
Parents or the couple will help gather her attire and accessories before the wedding day. In most cases, the flower girl will wear a miniature version of the bride or bridesmaids’ dresses, often styled appropriately for her size and age.
If no matching version is available, you can consider a less expensive flower girl dress in the same colours as the bridesmaids or a simple white party dress.
- White tights and age-appropriate shoes can be worn.
- Ballerina flats or Mary Janes dyed to match the dress are a good choice.
- Jewellery should be simple; keep it delicate and age-appropriate.
- Flower girl hair may be up or down; she may wear a tiara, barrettes, or even flowers.
Attend the Wedding Rehearsal
The flower girl and her parents should attend the wedding rehearsal to know what to do on the big day.
The flower girl and her parents should also be invited to the rehearsal dinner. If the evening gets late, however, couples should not expect them to stay for the entire event.
Practising the Buddy System
Never underestimate the power of the buddy system. We love the idea of having two flower girls or pairing up ring bearer and flower girl so that they can proceed together, side by side.
Partnering will give them added confidence. Of course, there’s no need to limit the age of the flower girls, either.
Ask their parents about the role if you have a young flower girl in mind for your ceremony.
There’s nothing wrong with mom or dad walking down the aisle with the flower girl as she tosses petals!
Younger children often struggle to understand the weight of their roles, so having parents close at hand will keep the risk of a tantrum to a minimum.
If possible, arrange to have the flower girl attend the shower and the bridesmaids’ lunch (if the bride has one) to boost her comfort level around the other (more significant) bridal attendants.
Seeing friendly, familiar faces on the big day will help to ease any anxiety.
Seat the flower girl’s parents toward the front of the ceremony so she can focus on them and be encouraged by their smiles of reassurance.
The very young flower girl should sit with her parents after she walks; poised little ladies may stand at the altar with the other bridal attendants.
Pep Talks and Presents
For particularly young flower girls, you could offer up a treat in exchange for good behaviour.
Toddlers will respond better to these offers if there’s a visual reminder at the front of the aisle.
Asking your maid of honour to hold a piece of candy or special gift is a great way to entice your flower girl down the aisle.
On the other hand, older flower girls may mature enough to grasp the delayed gratification of a post-wedding treat.
Promise them a small toy or gift after they complete their duties, and ask their parents to be in charge of doling out the goods at the reception. Looking for the Best Photobooth Hires in Melbourne? We have compiled an exclusive list of some of Melbourne’s best photobooth hire suppliers to capture your special day.
Keep it all in perspective – children always bring some level of spontaneity and unpredictability to wedding ceremonies.
Keep Kids Busy
Once your flower girl has completed her duties, it’s a good idea to have toys or games to keep her occupied during the ceremony.
This is especially true for toddlers who have little concept of what is going on around them.
Have snacks on hand to keep mouths full, and consider supporting a tablet or phone nearby for entertainment. Then, when crying erupts, you’ll be glad you had a backup plan.
Flower Girl Age Recommendation
The flower girl is generally between the age of three and eight. However, keep in mind that the younger she is, the less likely she is to stay focused.
Young children at weddings are unpredictable, so discuss whether they feel she can handle the responsibilities with her parents.
While there is nothing to worry about most of the time, you should be prepared for all likelihoods.
Flower Girl Gifts of Appreciation
When choosing bridal party gifts, don’t forget something for the flower girl. Jewellery, music boxes, bridal dolls, or even fun games and toys are all wonderful ways to thank the special girl for partaking in your wedding day.
Flower Girl Fashion
Flower girls aren’t limited to wearing mini replicas of the bride’s dress. Tea-length white dresses with a bonnet or satin bow are standard and sweet, but many little-girl looks to choose from.
Keep in mind that having children in the ceremony means there’s only so much one can control.
Rest assured that whatever the flower girl does (cries, drops the basket, lifts her dress), her personality and preciousness will make the guests smile.
Flower Girls Frequently Asked Questions
What Does the Flower Girl Do on the Morning of the Wedding?
It’s up to you and the flower girl’s parents what she does on the morning of your wedding.
If the flower girl’s mother is one of your bridesmaids, then the flower girl might love to be part of the busy morning with all the other girls.
However, if she is particularly young or you think it would be more stressful than fun to have her there, the flower girl can get ready with her family and then arrive a little before the ceremony, ready to start her flower girl duties.
When Should the Flower Girl Walk Down the Aisle?
Traditionally the flower girl walks down the aisle with a page boy or ring bearer after the maid of honour but before the bride.
However, it’s entirely up to you! If you are worried your flower girl might feel a bit intimidated (or might be naughty!), then it might be best to walk down the aisle holding the hand of an older bridesmaid with who she is familiar.
If you are not sure how your flower girl will react walking down the aisle, then speak to her parents and perhaps have a contingency plan in case she feels overwhelmed on the day.
What Is the Difference Between a Flower Girl and a Junior Bridesmaid?
Flower girls tend to be girls under the age of seven; if you have some younger members of your family who are older than seven or eight years old, then they tend to be called junior bridesmaids – it makes them feel more grown-up and part of the bridesmaid squad!
A flower girl may wear a white dress or something fun and pretty, while a junior bridesmaid is more likely to match the colour of the older bridesmaids, although possible in a different style of dress.
What Does the Flower Girl Wear?
As mentioned above, the flower girl can wear pretty much whatever you like.
You could choose a traditional white dress or something fun and sparkly that a little girl would love. Alternatively, you might want a dress that is a nod to your chosen theme or colour scheme.
Who Pays for the Flower Girl’s Dress?
Tradition used to state that the parents of the flower girl would pay for her dress.
However, most couples are happy to pay for the dress for the flower girl as they want to have some control over what she wears and for it to match the style of the wedding.
What Does the Flower Girl Carry Down the Aisle?
The flower girl traditionally carries a pretty basket that is filled with petals to sprinkle down the aisle.
If you decide you don’t want to have petals sprinkled, then she could always hold something like a tiny posy of flowers or even a fairy wand to add some magic to your day.
Do We Buy the Flower Girl a Gift?
There’s nothing to say the happy couple has to buy the flower girl a gift, but you may want to give her a little souvenir to remember your wedding day and as an excellent way to thank you for playing a particular part in your wedding ceremony.
If you are on a budget, then a lovely photo from your wedding with the flower girl in a pretty frame will be a cute way to say thank you.
If you are looking to spend a little more, then a unique piece of engraved jewellery will be a nice gesture and something that she can keep and wear when she is older.
Can I Have More Than One?
Definitely! If you have a big family or many nieces, it might be a good idea to include everyone to avoid anyone feeling left out.
If you’ve decided to include several little attendants in your bridal party, there are many duties they’d no doubt love to take on.
Ask one flower girl to walk with you and carry your train while another helps escort a beloved pet down the aisle.
They can hold hands with each other as they walk down the aisle or opt for a wagon ride with the eldest flower girl pulling the littlest ones.
How Will They Process?
If the flower girl is old enough to walk independently, she should head down the aisle after the wedding party and before the bride.
If they’re too young to walk or tend to be a little fussy or shy, involving their mom or dad to help carry or hold their hand is also an option.
My clients’ biggest concern is wanting assurance that the flower girls will fulfil their duty without getting stage fright.
We assure you that’s not a concern because, inevitably, guests will coo at them or coax them down the aisle somehow.
Flower Girl Alternatives
You can choose to skip out on having flower girls altogether, or you can get creative by giving the role to a friend or family member that isn’t already a part of the wedding party.
You can even give this role to a trained pet who can follow the cue of when to walk down the aisle.
Some people are inviting their grandparents to walk down the aisle instead. The idea is to incorporate them into your big day and honour them in some way.
The act became somewhat of a trend last year and has made the concept of “flower grandmas” a thing.
If you still want the little ones to be a part of your wedding, but you’re not into the origins of the flower-girl tradition, you can also have them be greeters at the wedding, waving to guests as they arrive to set a fun, cute mood. Looking for a wedding photographer in Melbourne? Look no further. Brighton Savoy has compiled an ultimate list of Melbourne wedding photographers to help you choose.
Or, if they’re older and capable enough, recruit them to be the ushers who are typically responsible for handing out programs and escorting guests to their respective sides.