Who Pays for the Flower Girl Dress?

There are plenty of costs to factor into your wedding budget. But is the flower girl’s dress one of them? Here’s Zola’s guide.

By The Zola Team

Who Pays for the Flower Girl Dress?
Photo by Vero Suh Photography

The First Look ✨

The flower girl has a very important place in your wedding. She parades down the aisle before the bride tossing flower petals from a decorative basket. Flower girls are meant to symbolize good luck and fertility for the couple. She’s usually a young relative or the child of a close friend of the couple.

Further flower girl traditions dictate that the bride selects the flower girl’s dress, but the flower girl’s parents pay for the dress. However, this doesn’t always have to be the case. Here, we discuss:

Flower Girl Protocol

When you decide whom you’d like to be the flower girl at your wedding, the first thing you need to do is ask her parents if they’ll allow her to participate. Once you’ve cleared that hurdle, you can open the discussion of who will pay for the dress. While traditionally the parents of the child pay, circumstances—economic or otherwise—can change this.

Alternative Arrangements

If you’d like to make alternative flower girl dress payment plans, here are three suggestions:

  • The Couple Pays: If you want to show her parents your appreciation for allowing you to have their child in your wedding, you and your partner can offer to pay for the flower girl’s dress. This also gives you the option of buying a more expensive flower girl dress without having to worry about passing that cost on to her parents.

  • Split the Cost: You might also want to ask the parents if they’d be willing to split the cost of the flower girl’s dress. If you’re on a tight budget, this is one way to limit costs without placing a large burden solely on her parents.

  • Homemade Dress: Don’t underestimate the talents of the crafters in your family. If you have any relatives who enjoy sewing, ask them to make the flower girl’s dress for you. You’ll need to provide the fabric and other materials, but that won’t cost you nearly as much as a brand new dress. Bonus: Your flower girl will end up with a treasured, handmade piece to wear.

How Much Does a Flower Girl Dress Cost?

As you might imagine, the cost of a flower girl dress ranges widely. Off-the-rack dresses start around $40 and go up to about $150 for very intricate, fancy designs. A custom dress can cost up to $500. If alterations are needed, you’ll pay more.

If you’re not too choosy about the style or color, one way you can save on the flower girl’s dress is to check resale shops near you. Sometimes you can find a great deal on a gently used children’s dress.

It’s important to discuss the budget for a flower girl’s dress with her parents before making a final selection, especially if you expect them to pay for all, or part, of the dress’s cost.

Tips for Selecting an Exquisite Flower Girl Dress

Along with the budget, there are some other considerations that should go into selecting an amazing dress for your flower girl. These include:

  • Style: You’ll want a style that goes with your wedding aesthetic. For example, a rustic wedding would pair with a flowy dress in a pastel color. On the other hand, simple monochrome and minimal accessories would suit a more modern affair.

  • Length: When you’re deciding on the right dress, consider the age of the flower girl. If she’s younger, a long dress might not be the best choice, as her little feet are more likely to trip over the hem. An older flower girl can probably handle a longer dress in stride.

  • Fabric: The flower girl is going to have to be in her dress all day. She’s going to run around to receive hugs and kisses from proud relatives, eat cake, and dance her heart out at the wedding. You want to make sure the dress isn’t made of a fabric that’s too thick, itchy, or otherwise uncomfortable. You should also stay away from fabrics that tear easily.

  • Season: You also want to select a dress that’s seasonally appropriate. For example, a velvet dress, while adorable, isn’t a good choice for a summer wedding. Don’t forget to take the venue into account as well—is it outdoors with minimal shade? Indoors with plenty of climate control? Wherever she is, you want your flower girl to be comfortable throughout.

  • Timing: Kids grow seemingly overnight. Make sure there’s enough time between buying the dress and the wedding to have it altered if needed, but not so much time that your flower girl can outgrow their dress.

  • Age: If your flower girl is older or a little choosy, there’s no reason you can’t allow her to have a say in what she wears for your wedding. After all, you want her to be confident and comfortable, so she can enjoy the wedding and the important part she plays in it.

Before You Pick a Flower Girl Dress...

We know that you want every element of your wedding to fit together like the perfect pieces of a puzzle. For this to happen, you need to be strategic in your planning. For example, before you can brainstorm ideas for flower girl dresses, you need to decide on a theme, date, and venue for your wedding. These three components will help you to narrow down your style options to those that will be appropriate for the ceremony.

If you need a little help finding an ideal wedding venue, Zola’s list of pre-screened venues is the best place to start. You can sort by location, price, size, and more.

Fantastic Flower Girl Dresses

After you know when and where your wedding is going to be, it’s time to have fun planning the wedding party’s clothing. Here are some of our favorite flower girl dress ideas for every wedding venue and style:

A Mini Version of the Bride

Little girls often look up to the older women in their lives and want to grow up to be just like them. If you have a close relationship with your flower girl, don’t be surprised if she wants to wear a dress that looks like yours.

A mini version of your dress is appropriate for any wedding style and will ensure that your flower girl feels special because she gets to dress just like you.

Little Bridesmaid

You can also model the flower girl’s dress after the bridesmaids’ dresses. It can be the same color in a style appropriate for a little girl, or the same dress in a tiny version. Either way, your wedding party will be gorgeous.

Ballet Style

This is a darling choice for younger flower girls. A leotard top and tulle tutu will be comfortable and won’t cause her to trip when she walks down the aisle or dances the night away at the reception.

Two-Tone

If your wedding has a modern look, a two-toned approach to the flower girl’s dress is an excellent complement to the rest of your decor. We like a dark-colored top with a pale skirt or the other way around. The contrast between the two pieces will be striking.

White Lace

A white lace dress is one of the most flexible options for flower girl dresses. This look can fit with any wedding and dress style. White lace is lovely for:

  • Full-Length: For the older flower girl, a long dress with white lace accents on the skirt and bodice will make her feel just like a princess. This timeless look is perfect for classic, elegant weddings.

  • Short and Frilly: Younger girls will look darling in knee-length dresses with plenty of lace and ruffles. This style will also allow her to move freely without the risk of stumbling over the hem of the dress.

  • Boho Style: Rustic weddings call for a simple dress with pretty white lace accents. Think shift dresses or simple sundress styles with a touch of lace on the straps.

White lace is popular, because it works for many aesthetics and is easy to find in many bridal shops. It’s also appropriate for just about any theme, so there’s a lot to love about it.

Pretty in Pink

If you have a flower girl who’s known to get a little messy, pink is a smart alternative to white, since it’ll hide stains a bit better. You can go with a pale pink or a striking fuschia, depending on the color choices you make for your wedding.

Pastels

Many couples choose pastels for spring and summer wedding colors. The wedding party outfits will typically follow the same palette. This presents an ideal opportunity for you to match your littlest attendant’s dress to the bridesmaids’ dresses. Some of our favorite pastels for spring and summer weddings are:

  • Mint green
  • Lavender
  • Peach
  • Sky blue
  • Lemon yellow
  • Light pink

You can even have each bridesmaid and the flower girl pick their own pastel color or dress style for a more diverse look.

Velvet

While velvet isn’t a good choice for summer or spring weddings, it’s divine in fall or winter ceremonies, especially in cooler climates. Velvet will help keep your flower girl cozy during the ceremony and reception in cold weather. It’s also elegant and timeless. If you’re planning a traditional black-tie affair, a velvet flower girl dress will fit right in.

Bold Silk

Another style we love for weddings that feature bright colors is a bold silk dress. While many flower girl dresses tend to be white or pastel-toned, there’s no reason you can’t think outside the box and go with a dark color for the dress. The bold colors will make your wedding photos really shine.

Floral Sundress

A floral sundress is a winsome and affordable choice for rustic, summer, or beach weddings. Some of our favorite flower designs for floral sundresses are:

  • Bright, happy sunflowers
  • Delicate pink roses
  • Sprays of lavender
  • Simple, yet sweet daisies
  • Lilies
  • Green leaves and wildflowers
  • Bold tulips

Another nice thing about sundresses is they’re typically cotton, linen, or another comfortable material. This means your flower girl won’t feel like she’s stuck inside a stiff, itchy dress all day.

Glitter

Glittery dresses are sure to be a hit. You can find a dress with a sparkly skirt or sequined top. Your flower girl will be ecstatic when she notices how her dress shines in the light. This is a darling choice for formal weddings where she’ll be able to show off her dress during the reception as she dances.

Ballgown

Nothing will make your flower girl feel more like a princess than a full-length ball gown with lace, bows, ribbons—the works. Keep in mind that she’s going to have to be able to move around freely during the ceremony and at the reception afterward, so this style may not be appropriate for more active little girls.

White With a Bold Ribbon

If you’re planning an edgy, modern wedding, continue the look with your flower girl’s dress. A white dress with a thick, boldly-colored ribbon around the waist will be stunning. Some of our favorite bold colors to really stand out against a white dress include:

  • Black
  • Teal
  • Forest green
  • Red
  • Violet
  • Fuschia
  • Navy
  • Royal blue

This is also an easy way to incorporate your wedding colors into your flower girl’s dress.

What Else Does a Flower Girl Need?

The dress is just one component of a flower girl’s wedding day needs. Here’s what else you should consider:

Comfy Shoes

If you’ve ever been on your feet for hours in uncomfortable shoes, you know how awful it feels. Make sure your flower girl doesn’t get pinched toes or blisters from her shoes. There are plenty of cute options that are also comfortable, including:

  • Ballet slippers
  • Cushioned Mary Jane-style flats
  • Soft slip-on flats
  • Sandals (beware of tight straps)
  • Boots
  • Cute sneakers

It might be best to enlist the help of her parents when it comes to the right style and fit for flower girl shoes, as they’ll know what she’s most comfortable in.

Accessories

The accessories your flower girl will need can cover a wide range of items, including a:

  • Flower crown similar to your wedding flowers
  • Purse that coordinates with her dress
  • Tiara with sparkles and rhinestones
  • Bracelet that matches her dress
  • Necklace with her name or the words flower girl on it
  • Hat with ribbons for a beach wedding
  • Bouquet that matches the bride’s
  • Pair of earrings, if she has pierced ears
  • Gloves for cooler weather or more formal occasions
  • Headband or barrettes to keep her hair back

These will vary depending on your overall wedding aesthetic and the age of your flower girl. Who pays for these things is also up to you. Keep in mind that you’re asking a lot of her parents already, so anything you can help pay for will be a good way to show your appreciation.

Basket and Petals

Her job is to toss petals as she walks down the aisle ahead of you. Therefore, the flower girl will need a basket and some petals to toss. You’ll want to check with the venue ahead of time—some places don’t allow petals or other items to be thrown around, because it creates a mess for them to clean up later.

If the venue allows, you can deviate from traditional petals in the basket and have the flower girl toss one of these instead:

  • Rice
  • Feathers
  • Leaves
  • Confetti
  • Glitter

You can make the basket out of many different materials to go with your wedding style. You’ll just want to make sure it’s an appropriate size for a little girl to carry as she walks.

If your venue won’t allow tossing of petals or another material, you can have her carry something else, such as a:

  • Cute sign with a funny or touching saying
  • Photograph of a deceased loved one
  • Handful of balloons
  • Magic wand with satin ribbons
  • Bouquet of flowers
  • Single stunning flower

If she really wants to carry a basket, try giving her one without anything in it, so that she’s not tempted to toss things on her way down the aisle.

Hair and Makeup

While it’s up to the flower girl’s parents, she’ll probably love the chance to get her hair and makeup done with the rest of the bridal party. This is another area where the payment options should be discussed ahead of time to avoid awkward questions on the day of the wedding.

Alternatively, you can also ask one of the bridesmaids if they’d be willing to help the flower girl get ready. She’ll love having her own personal helper and can still have her hair and makeup done without the additional cost.

Thank You Gift

Something that you’ll definitely pay for is a gift for your flower girl. It’s important to show her that you appreciate her participation in your wedding. If you need gift inspiration, the Zola boutique has a bunch of customizable options for wedding party gifts. Some of our favorites for flower girls are:

  • Flower Girl Robe: She’ll adore a personalized robe that says flower girl on the back. She can wear it while she’s getting ready for the wedding and keep it afterward as a reminder of the fun time she had. Bonus points if her robe matches the rest of the bridal party.

  • Gift Box: Kids love to have their own place to keep things. You can present your flower girl with her own special box with her name on it to store her treasures in.

  • Tote: Instead of a box, you can also give her a bag that has her name embroidered on it. You can fill the bag with small treats such as chocolate, stickers, and a stuffed animal.

  • Jewelry: Older flower girls might appreciate a necklace with their name or a special message on it. Charm bracelets with little flower charms are equally delightful.

  • Slippers: Fluffy slippers are a winning flower girl gift, especially if your wedding is in the fall or winter. They’ll keep her toes toasty in cold weather and are available in just about any style and design you can imagine.

  • Personalized Water Bottle: You can have your flower girl’s name printed on a reusable water bottle in her favorite color. There are many styles out there that can be customized. For younger girls, you’ll want to select an option with a straw included for easier drinking.

  • Books: If your flower girl is a book lover, you can give her a customized book that includes her name as one of the characters. Alternatively, if there’s a book series you know she loves, you can contribute to her collection.

Hotel Accommodations

If the flower girl and her family are from out of town, then they’ll need a place to stay. Typically, the parents will pay for the family’s hotel room, but you can offer to cover one night as a token of your gratitude for their participation in your wedding. It can be quite expensive to travel for a wedding, so any assistance from you will be appreciated.

Get Answers to All Your Wedding Questions With Zola

Money is always a touchy subject, even at weddings. You can avoid conflict by communicating clearly about who will pay for the flower girl’s dress and other needed materials from the start.

The flower girl’s outfit is just one tiny piece to the wedding puzzle. When you need inspiration or advice for all your wedding needs, we’re here for you.

At Zola, we strive to make your wedding dreams come true. When you register with Zola, you can access our free website building tool, wedding vendor lists, and other resources. This makes your planning job much easier, so that you can relax and enjoy your beautiful wedding day.

Simplify Your Wedding Planning at Zola