When planning a wedding, you’ll have to think about what kind of floral arrangements you’ll want for your venue and wedding party, but you should also think about who you might want to waltz down the aisle sprinkling soft petals along the way. Flower girls have been a part of wedding traditions for centuries, and if you plan to carry on the custom, there are a few things you’ll want to work out before your special day:
How do you choose a flower girl? What duties are they responsible for fulfilling? What are they expected to wear? We’ll walk you through everything you need to know about flower girls, including outfits, origins, and etiquette.
Many of us know flower girls as the adorable little girls who walk, crawl, or sometimes zig-zag down the aisle at a wedding, tossing petals to the best of their ability. It’s nearly impossible not to let out an audible “aww” as they strut in—they may even set off the waterworks long before the vow exchange begins.
Sometimes we’re so captivated by the cuteness of the little flower girl that we forget about what her responsibilities actually are. Here are the details:
Flower girls are often closely related to the soon-to-be-married couple. They can be a daughter, niece, goddaughter, cousin, or the daughter of a close family friend. When choosing your flower girl, talk with their parents about what’s expected to see if they’re up for the job.
Flower girls can range in age, but most tend to be between the ages of three and eight. If you have a close relative who’s a bit older but would still like them to be a part of the bridal party, consider including them as a junior bridesmaid or person of honor.
Wedding processions are bound to differ from one to the next, but traditionally, the flower girl enters just before the bride and just after the ring bearer.
Most flower girls decorate the aisles with precisely what their titles suggest: flowers. However, if you prefer to use something other than florals, consider lining the aisle with these alternatives instead:
You and your partner are bound to look absolutely wonderful at your wedding, but all eyes will certainly be on the flower girl, too. Whether they’re coming down the aisle in a wagon or accompanied by a sharply-dressed ring bearer, there’s just something so special about a team of petal-tossing tots helping to welcome the spouses-to-be to the altar.
Since no one will want to miss such an adorable sight, it’s important to make sure your flower is outfitted properly. Consider the style you’ve chosen for your wedding day and adapt the flower girl’s attire accordingly. Need some outfit inspiration for the flower girl’s dress? Consider these elegant ensembles:
Traditional Trappings: Wearing white to a wedding is a major faux pas, in most cases. The flower girl, however, may be one of the few attendees that gets a pass in this area. In a traditional ceremony, the flower girl dresses typically resemble the bride’s gown. Whether you opt for something with cream-colored tulle or powdery satin, make sure to find something your flower girl will be comfortable in throughout the day.
Jazzy Jumpsuit: Speaking of comfort, flower girls who want to frolic and dance the day away might be more at home in a jumpsuit. It may break a bit from tradition, but it’s the ideal aesthetic for a modern wedding—and it can be easily dressed up with a few accessories and accents. Plus, it’s a party outfit that can easily be worn again and again.
Floral and Bohemian: If you’re celebrating in a lush garden space or hosting a tropical destination wedding, consider dressing your flower girl in something light, flowy, and floral. Instead of a solid color, opt for a cute flower girl dress with subtle peony or wildflower accents. Top the perfect flower girl dress off with a flower crown for an added bit of bohemian flair.
Country Chic: If you’re exchanging vows in the countryside or with a rustic barn as your backdrop, match your flower girl’s outfit to the occasion. Choose a simple white or cream-colored party dress, but combine it with a pair of leather boots and a denim jacket. Or pair tiny overalls with lace pockets or crocheted knee patches and sparkly Mary Janes. It’s a look that’s both casual and chic.
Talk to your flower girl’s parents to find out more about their budget and to see if they have any style preferences for their child. Otherwise, feel free to find creative ways of coordinating their attire with the rest of the wedding party. Don’t forget to use Zola’s vendor search tool to find a photographer in your area. These outfits are meant to be captured and kept in a photo album for years to come.
By now, you’ve settled on what your flower girl should wear and how they’ll pitch in to help make the day one to remember. You’re probably also aware, however, that weddings are all about details. Well, that and celebrating you and your partner’s once-in-a-lifetime love, of course.
For everything else you didn’t know you needed to know about flower girls, read on:
Make Them Feel Welcome at the Reception: Flower girls play a key role in the success of your ceremony, and they should probably be on the invite list for your reception, too. Some couples, however, are keen on having a kid-free soiree. If that’s the case, consider saving a spot for them at the cocktail hour. This way, they’ll still feel like they’re part of the celebration.
Include Them at the Rehearsal Dinner: Just as your flower girl should feel welcome at the reception, the same goes for the rehearsal dinner. They’ll need to attend the rehearsal, of course, in order to run through the details of the day with the whole group. Afterward, be sure the rehearsal dinner guest list includes not only the flower girl, but also their parents. If they’re able to attend, consider setting up some kid-friendly activities to keep them entertained throughout the night.
Coordinate Where to Stand or Sit: Being a flower girl might not seem like hard work, but it is when you’re a little one. They spend most of the morning getting combed, curled, and coached for the main event. By the time they make it down the aisle, they’re probably overwhelmed and possibly ready for a nap. If your flower girl is just a toddler, arrange to have them sit with their parents after making their entrance. Otherwise, assign them a spot to stand alongside the rest of the wedding party.
Feel Free to Have Multiple Flower Girls: If you have several young relatives or close family friends who you’d like to incorporate into your wedding day, there’s no one stopping you from having more than one flower girl. If you do decide to have multiple, however, make sure each one has their own responsibilities. Enlist a couple to line the aisle up and down with petals and a few others to blow bubbles or hold signs. However you choose to arrange your wedding processional, make sure you do it in a way in which everyone feels equally included.
Don’t Feel Like You Need to Stick to Tradition: Flower girls can add an extra dose of cuteness to any wedding event, but if you’d rather not have one at all, that’s perfectly okay. Some couples who opt for a more modern wedding style might ditch the idea of having a flower girl entirely, or may even find an alternative and include their cat or dog in the ceremony instead.
Your flower girl is probably delighted to take part in your special day. As exciting as it may be, however, it’s still a lot of work for both them and their parents. From picking out and paying for a dress to rehearsing the entrance (maybe just a few times over), it’s a responsibility that most of your regular wedding attendees don’t have.
Sometime before or after the wedding, be sure to say thank you in a way that feels right for you and your partner. You don’t need to spend lavishly on gifts, but a simple note or small memento is a nice way to let them know that you appreciate the time and effort spent. Browse the selection of thank you cards at Zola to find one that matches your wedding aesthetic or read on for a few simple gift ideas that any flower girl would love.
A Small Hair Accessory: At some point before your nuptials, choose a hair accessory that the flower girl can pair with their wedding day outfit. Opt for a delicate crown for a more bohemian style or a simple barrette for a timeless look that your flower girl can wear over again.
Jewelry to Match Their Outfit: Another gift option that not only shows how much you appreciate your flower girl, but also completes the look for the big day? A small piece of jewelry. Find a dainty bracelet or a necklace with a charm that could be worn even into adulthood. It’s something that will remind them of your wedding day for years to come.
An Embroidered Handkerchief: One day, your flower girl may even decide to hold onto something from your wedding for their “something old” on their special day. If you’re handy with a needle and thread, turn a handkerchief into a DIY gift by sewing a simple pattern, their name, and your wedding date into one of the corners. Otherwise, entrust a local crafter with the task for a gift that’s truly memorable and unique.
A Personalized Stuffed Animal: Find out what your flower girl’s favorite animal is and shop locally to find a stuffed animal you think they’ll love. Give it an extra personal touch by customizing it with their name, initials, and the date of your wedding. Whether they choose to snuggle up with it every night or display it on a shelf, it’ll be a gift that will always remind them of the special part they played in your ceremony.
A Matching Robe: If you’re giving your wedding party matching robes to get ready in the morning of your ceremony, help the flower girl feel included by gifting them a kid-sized robe of their own. Whether you choose something silky and floral or plaid and plush, coordinate design and sizes to make sure there’s one that fits right for everyone.
An Activity Kit: Pack a few different surprises into a personalized flower girl tote. The bag itself can be re-used for school, toys, or travel, and the contents inside could include activities to keep them busy throughout the wedding weekend. Include a flower-themed picture book, coloring books, and personalized crayons, for example. Add in a few sweets, and it’s sure to be a hit.
Again, don’t feel like you need to overextend your wedding budget, but try to find some way of showing your flower girl how much you appreciate their involvement in your special day. Talk to your partner about how much you’re comfortable spending, and decide on the best type of gift for your budget from there.
Long before the weddings of today, flower girls were an integral part of elite Greek and Roman ceremonies. Instead of flowers, ancient wedding guests would find them carrying baskets of things such as wheat, rosemary, or an assortment of grains, tossing them along the wedding aisle just before the bride’s entrance.
Centuries ago, however, they were seen as a symbol of fertility that would bring blessings of a fruitful future for the married couple. Nowadays, flower girls are often chosen to take part in the wedding ceremony as a thoughtful way of including a close family member or friend.
Whether you’re looking for the perfect accessory to pair with your flower girl’s outfit or are in search of your dream wedding venue, you can find everything you need right here at Zola. We are your love-filled hub for all things wedding-related and can hardly wait to help couples just like you. Here’s why people are saying “I do” to planning their weddings with Zola:
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