If you are getting married, there is a pretty strong chance that you have been in a wedding yourself over the years. Therefore, you have some idea of how your bridesmaids should or should not be treated, because the memories are still fairly fresh in your mind. However, fewer people are ever flower girls than they are bridesmaids, and if you were a flower girl when you were younger, it was probably at least 20 years ago! Thus, understandably, you might be a little fuzzier on the proper flower-girl etiquette when it comes to your littlest members of the wedding party.
That’s where we come in, here to answer all your flower girl questions before you can even ask. Most of these tips will apply to the ring bearer as well, but for ease of read, we will stick to referring to the flower girl. We're sharing wedding etiquette tips and tricks related to dresses for flower girls, how a flower girl's role should be organized on the big day, and so much more. If you still need to ask your flower girl to be in the wedding, we share that etiquette information on the site as well! Bottom line: Ask their parents' permission first, make them feel special, and include them in the big day! It's very similar to proposing to your bridesmaids, but with more parental involvement of course.
Photo by Jay Lawrence Goldman Photography; From Real Wedding: Rustic, Vintage Outdoor Ceremony & Tent Reception in Palm Springs
Traditionally, the flower girl’s parents will pay for the flower girl dress. It is polite to provide a few options for flower girl dresses or let them choose for themselves in a certain color palette if they are paying. If your dress of flower girl dreams is something very specific and you want the child to wear it no matter what, it’s proper for the bride or groom to offer to pay. As always, it’s nice to offer to pay in any circumstance if it fits in your wedding budget.
Invite flower girls to the bridal shower so they'll be more familiar with the bridesmaids, and give them a little job to do to hold their attention. For example, if you're following the tradition of the rehearsal bouquet, she can collect the bows and ribbons. As with asking flower girls to be part of the wedding, you'll want her to feel special even before she walks down the aisle.
The role of a flower girl is typically to walk down the aisle and toss flower petals. If your little one is nervous before the ceremony, a bride can help her prepare to walk down the aisle. Help out her parents by meeting with the little girl to practice her walk down the aisle, which will also allow for some extra bonding time. If it's already been purchased or you're deciding between a few dresses for a flower girl, consider asking her to wear the gown (or even don various flower crowns) during the practice run!
It's up to the bride and groom whether to invite the flower girl and her family to the rehearsal dinner, but make sure it doesn't go too late so she can be well-rested! In the case of a destination wedding, it's a nice gesture to always invite flower girls and their families to the rehearsal dinner as they've traveled to not only attend, but also have the girls be part of the ceremony. If the flower girl's parents are also in the bridal party or would otherwise be invited to the rehearsal dinner, the flower girl should definitely be included as one of the rehearsal dinner guests.
After getting ready with your bridesmaids, allow the flower girl to spend time with you and the bridal party. She doesn't have to be there for the entire portion of the morning, but asking her to come join and maybe even paying for her hair and makeup will make her feel extra special. Having flower girls spend this extra time with the big girls will also both increase her comfort level and make her feel like her role is just as important as the bridesmaids in helping the bride.
This depends on the circumstance, the age of the flower girls, and the personal choice of the bride. Particularly with younger flower girls, it's customary to have them sit with family and the rest of the guests instead of standing with the bridal party after their walk down the aisle. It will also be less noticeable if she’s fidgety throughout the ceremony. For older flower girls, they can stand with the bridal party at the end of the aisle.
Once they're dressed and ready go in flower crowns and dresses, flower girls will join the wedding party for formal photos or getting-ready shots. As the bride, it's not your responsibility to watch them, but make sure you know who is accountable for making sure they're safe. If one of the parents isn’t also part of the wedding party, have them around to supervise during photos so everyone feels comfortable.
Yes! Even if you are having a no-kids reception, those in the wedding party should still be invited.
In the case of a head table, flower girls don't need to sit with the wedding party. Have children attendants sit with their family instead, unless both parents would be at the head table regardless.
Whether or not you paid for the girls' flower dresses, it's still polite for a bride to give a gift to the flower girl to thank her for walking down the aisle and being part of your celebration. A small gift is totally fine, like you would a bridesmaid. Just be sure that it is age appropriate or something she can have as a keepsake – for example, a pearl necklace that can become a bracelet later in life.
For more ideas, discover unique duties to give your flower girl on the wedding day besides walking down the aisle and take a look at playful flower crown accessories to go with adorable flower girl dresses. Looking for more wedding inspiration for the littlest members of your bridal party? View real wedding photos of flower girls and ring bearers in real weddings!