Come forth, fairy gowns and flower crowns. A little girl has been asked to be a flower girl at a wedding…and you are in charge!
Yay. Both fairies and little girls are notoriously full of mischief and moods. There’s no question they’re cute, but getting a wee one to do the following is a feat of almost mythical proportions:
- Walk down a straight path to music
- Throw some petals on the floor
- While continuing to wear what they were dressed in
So here is some friendly advice borne out from experience. Ivy has been asked to be in two weddings before she was 3-years-old to the delighted mania of I, her mother. It was definitely a lot of fun! I even made the dress she wore (you can find the original sewing pattern here). No, everything did not go perfectly because weddings, like most events, never do. (You’ll notice that the word “perfect” in this post’s title is in ironic quotation marks.) But, she did very well and helped make the occasion a lovely one.
MY 10 TIPS
- Choose a Simple, Comfortable and Practical Look
Ideally, you want a dress and accessories you can toss on and a hairdo that can be done in a few minutes. This is a kid we’re talking about. It needs to be comfortable so your flower girl is happy. It needs to be simple enough that it still looks straight after she rolls around on the floor—and/or it is easy to readjust. Ivy’s dress was designed with this in mind, hence it was simple and stretchy. Cumbersome looks that take a lot of preparation are an impractical choice. Pick something that both holds up and is easy to quickly fix or redo.
- Don’t Forget Yourself
This isn’t just a self-affirming exercise. You are going to end up in a lot of pictures next to your coifed and charismatic child, so have some fun with your hair and clothes too. Since you are still on kid-wrangling duty, use the same advice as when choosing the flower girl’s dress and hairdo, and make sure it’s relatively foolproof and practical as well as elegant.
- Flower Girl Training
I had Ivy watch videos of other flower girls marching down the aisle in order to get the idea in advance. Do not wait until the dress rehearsal to teach the flower girl her duties. We practiced at home for a few minutes here and there over a few days and I tried to build it up as a fun activity where one gets to dress up in a “princess dress” and throw things on the ground.
- Dress Rehearsal
You should also have her wear the dress at home a few times and do a test run of hair and accessories. If there are issues it is better that they happen at home first. If she refuses to wear that flower crown or thinks the lace is scratchy on her dress, better to know now and alter plans accordingly.
- Get Your “Kit” Together
Keeping things in one place and as rummage free as possible on the big day is essential. I preferred to keep my own dress and things separate from the flower girl gear in order to avoid a jumble. So, I’d suggest tidily packing in a single bag or case (Along with the typical diapers, extra clothes, sweaters, etc.):
- The complete flower girl uniform (including stockings, shoes, etc)
- A small pouch of hair accessories (pins, clips, brushes and combs)
- Toys and amusements (like books, dolls, puppets)
- Snacks and hydration
- Baby wipes
- Needle and thread (for repairs)
- Stain remover (oh the horror)
- Don’t Be Too Early
Time your arrival so that you are safely on time, BUT not so safe that you are waiting around forever. You don’t want to get into a “hurry up and wait” situation with a progressively cranky toddler dressed to the nines. Again, bring toys and books.
- Dress Close to the Ceremony
Dress yourself first, and I’d suggest waiting until it is really getting close to the ceremony before you put your girl’s outfit on. We want to minimize the chances that she’s going to get fed up before the wedding even happens OR some mishap befalls her dress.
- Consider Escorting
It just wasn’t feasible for Ivy to walk down the aisle by herself and still stay on track, so I actually walked with her during her flower girl duties. This took a lot of stress out of the process because I knew that an adult would be there to make sure she kept moving and encourage her to scatter her flowers. If you have a shy, clingy, or sporadic kid, this is a very good option that will make everyone’s life easier.
- Pre-Aisle Emergency Items
These are some items I wish I had stashed next to us just before she walked down the aisle. It is by no means an exhaustive list. Keep them handy and toss them in a bush or under a chair afterwards if you have to.
- Hairbrush and comb (for obvious reasons)
- Hairpins or alligator clips (for errant hairs)
- Baby wipes or washcloth (for any dirt or stickiness)
- Water (especially if it’s outdoors and warm)
- A mirror (to check how I looked too)
- Roll With Trouble
Accept that it won’t be a breeze and don’t get upset about it. Trust me, frustration and anger will ruin the moment much more than any other mishap or funky thing your child chooses to do. Keep it light. If the flower girl refuses to budge and has to be carried at the end of the line like a sack of potatoes, OR if she has a meltdown right before walking down the aisle (not that I’d know about that…), it will just add spice to the occasion! Ah spice. Spice is good, right?