Though undeniably cute, a flower girl doesn’t exist simply to charm the guests—her duties, and what she represents, are an important part of the wedding ceremony.
Over the years, what the flower girl carries has changed and varies from culture to culture. She used to carry and scatter wheat and herbs symbolizing hope and fertility—and since she walks before the bride, she was meant to represent the transformation of a child to an adult.
In modern times, the flower girl, usually eight years old or younger, scatters rose petals as she walks down the aisle, which symbolizes new beginnings and uniting of two families. She also signals the arrival of the bride. Aside from rose petals, she can also hold a bouquet of flowers, a pomander or a ball of flowers, balloons, or a sign that says “Here comes the Bride.”
Asking a flower girl to be in your wedding party honors the little girls closest to you. It can be a niece, cousin, goddaughter, or even the child of one of your close friends. Some go a different route and ask their grandmothers to be their flower girl, which is also a sweet gesture. Others opt to have their fur babies fill the role.
Here’s a breakdown of the tasks of a flower girl:
Gather dress, shoes, and accessories. Some brides prefer the flower girl’s dress to be a mini version of her wedding dress, but it can also be any age-appropriate dress that’s the same shade as the other bridesmaids.
Ask the bride or maid of honor about the hairstyle on the day of the wedding. Some brides prepare a headpiece, whether a wreath of flowers made by the florist, a hat, or a mini veil to be pinned on the head of the flower girl. It’s best to know this in advance to avoid last-minute changes before the ceremony.
Attend the bridal shower or luncheon, if invited. This is a great time to meet and get to know the other members of the bridal party, even if she’s way younger than the other bridesmaids. This may also help the flower girl feel more comfortable on the wedding day when she sees friendly, familiar faces.
Attend the rehearsal. This gives the flower girl the chance to practice walking down the aisle and helps the flower girl’s parents understand where the flower girl should be and when.
Line up along with the bridesmaids. The flower girl is usually at the end of the line, right before the maid of honor.
Walk down the aisle and charm the crowd while scattering flower petals along the way. Other alternatives include holding pinwheels or balloons, blowing bubbles, or even ringing a bell. Toddlers can be pulled in a cute wagon or walk with her parents. Just remember: It’s good to have them close by to keep the flower girl comfortable and avoid tantrums
Your flower girl is part of the wedding party—and, as such, should take pictures with the wedding party after the wedding ceremony. She is not required to walk back during the recessional, though some school-aged flower girls do.
Be part of the grand entrance at the reception, depending on her age and if she is comfortable to participate.
From dressing up to getting treats, there are a lot of ways to make this experience special and memorable for a flower girl. Here are some ideas to make it fun:
Make sure to pick out a dress that’s nice and comfortable for the little one. Consider pairing it with ballerina flats or Mary Janes.
Tell her about her the importance of her role and why she was chosen as a flower girl. Make her feel included in the bridal party along with the grown-ups.
Have a treat at the end of the aisle. Candy or a small toy provides motivation for her to make it all the way down the altar.
Save a spot near the front for her parents. Knowing they are close by will help ease her anxiety.
Keep her busy with an activity kit at the reception. A few crayons, coloring pages, and a cookie or two will surely tell her that she did a great job.
Keep calm and relax. Kids will be kids, and even if she chooses to run instead of walk or lifts up her dress for everyone to see, she will be adored by guests.
Not sure what a flower girl wears—and looking for some outfit inspiration? Here are some outfit ideas for you to consider:
A tulle ball gown is the kind of dress that many flower girls dream of—so why not give them what they want? A flower girl dress with a tulle skirt is a classic choice for flower girl attire.
She is the flower girl—so why not have her walk down the aisle in a floral-patterned dress?
As mentioned, some brides opt to have their flower girls wear a miniature version of their own dress—and because many wedding dresses are white, having your flower girl wear a white dress is an obvious choice.
Alternatively, you could also have your flower girl wear a dress that matches your bridesmaid dresses and wedding color palette.
Your flower girl outfit doesn’t stop with the dress. Consider having your florist create floral design to compliment your flower girl’s outfit—like a flower crown, which works especially well for boho weddings.
In the process of building your bridal party? Check out the ring bearer duties so that they can work seamlessly side by side.