Everything You Need to Know about Flower Girls

Little girls wearing the most adorable dresses while walking down the aisle with flowers on their heads can be a super cute addition to your wedding ceremony. So if you or your beloved have a daughter or maybe some adorable nieces or younger cousins, we’re sure you’ve thought about including them in your wedding party as a flower girl. While we all know a flower girl should look sweet, what do you need to think about to make sure your flower girl is cute and up for the job?

In this post, we’re going to look at everything you need to know when it comes to flower girls, including what they do, how old they are and whether or not you need to have one at your wedding.

What are flower girls?

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Flower girls have been a common role at weddings dating back to ancient Rome, when young girls would carry bunches of wheat and scatter herbs down the aisle before the bride joined the groom at the altar. This was a symbolic gesture to wish the couple good luck in their life as they looked to start a family.

This has evolved over time, but only slightly. During medieval times, flower girls would ward off sinister spirits by carrying garlic. Only during the Victorian era did flower girls start to resemble those of modern times, becoming part of the bridal party to carry and scatter flowers and petals. While what the flower girl carries has changed over time, it continues to symbolise good luck and fertility – for those looking to start a family, of course.

What does a flower girl do at a wedding?

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A flower girl is usually the daughter of a friend or relative, and is someone happy to play a part in your wedding. The flower girl will walk down the aisle, after the bridesmaids but before the bride, holding a basket of rose or other flower petals, which they’ll scatter on the floor. They will then either stand with the rest of the bridal party, or rejoin their parents to sit and watch the rest of the ceremony.

Some flower girls may also be given bubbles to add an extra touch of magic. This is particularly beautiful if you have two or more flower girls, with one scattering petals while the other blows bubbles. 

How do you choose a flower girl?

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A flower girl is often someone who’s close to you, such as a younger sister, niece, cousin, or daughter of a close friend.

Sometimes it will be an obvious choice. But, if you’re part of a large family, and have more than one potential flower girl, don’t panic, this will only work in your favour. It can be a little overwhelming for one flower girl to be the centre of attention, especially if she’s very young or shy. This is why it’s nice to have a pair of flower girls, so that they can look after one another and help each other with their duties. Besides, if there’s a little group of flower girls, they’re guaranteed to have more fun and look extra cute as they walk down the aisle in their gorgeous dresses.

How old can a flower girl be for a wedding?

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Traditionally, a flower girl is somewhere between the ages of four and nine. Any younger and they might find your wedding a challenge and any older and they’re more likely to be promoted to junior bridesmaid. 

Do you need a flower girl at your wedding?

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Flower girls are frequently seen at weddings around the world. It’s a great way to involve younger guests in your wedding, as well as to introduce the bride. But, if you don’t have any girls under nine in your family or friends circle, you’re hosting an intimate wedding or you simply don’t want a flower girl, then it’s not something you should feel obliged to include. While having a flower girl at your wedding is a cute addition, it’s not something that will impact your big day in any way should you not have one.

How many flower girls can you have at your wedding?

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The traditional number of flower girls to have at your wedding is one, but it’s becoming increasingly more common to have two or even three. Basically, if you have several cute contenders and you can’t decide who gets the part, you can have as many flower girls as you like. That being said, you might want to avoid things getting out of hand if you have too many, so it’s probably best to stick to a smaller number. If there are older girls in your family and you’d love for them to be a part of your wedding, why not ask them to be a bridesmaid instead?

What is the flower girl etiquette?

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Flower girls may not play a large or key role in your wedding, but it’s still important and requires them to follow a few simple rules. So, your chosen flower girl will need to follow a few guidelines so you can be confident everything goes to plan, such as:

  • They’re happy to have attention on them from admirers at your wedding, including during the ceremony as they walk down the aisle.
  • They can follow instructions and are happy being told what to do.
  • They can attend any rehearsals you might have.
  • They’re enthusiastic and excited to play a part in your big day.
  • They can be on time and well-behaved.

They’ll also need to be happy to be included in the customary photo shoot, which usually requires a little more patience than it does for other guests, as the wedding party invariably are usually featured in more photographs.

What does a flower girl do on the morning of the wedding?

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On the morning of the big day, it’s common for the flower girl to get ready with the rest of the bridal party. It’s a great way to help your flower girl feel included and a big part of your special day. This does depend on your relationship with the flower girl and if she’s old enough and has enough confidence to spend time away from her parents (unless she has other relatives, such as her mum, who are also part of the bridal party).

If your flower girl can’t get ready with the rest of the bridal party, then ask her parents to arrive at the venue in plenty of time to make sure they’re happy and settled before their big moment.

Do flower girls walk down the aisle before the bride (and bridesmaids)?

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Yes, the flower girl usually walks down the aisle before the bride, but after the bridesmaids, maid of honour, page boy and ring bearer.

How do you prepare your flower girl?

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As the youngest (and most adorable) members of your wedding party, your flower girls may not fully understand what’s expected of them on your wedding day or why it’s such an important role in your wedding. A nice way to get your flower girls excited ahead of the big day is to present them with a children’s book about flower girls (this is one of our favourites). This way, you’re giving their parents an opportunity to fully explain what’s required of them on the day of the wedding, to calm them if they’re feeling nervous and make them feel special. After all, if a book is written about their role, it must be important!

Another nice idea is to organise a lunch with all the flower girls before the big day. That way everyone can become besties beforehand and you can talk them through what they have to do.

On the day itself, it’s a good idea to allocate one of your bridesmaids to look after them and make sure they walk at the right time, know where to sit and feel happy about what they’re doing.

How do you dress your flower girl?

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Traditionally, a flower girl’s dress has to strike a perfect balance between the bride’s and bridesmaids’ dresses. The majority of flower girl dresses have the long puffy skirt silhouette with a high neck, with or without sleeves, depending on the weather. While the long skirts look absolutely lovely and make the flower girls feel like princesses, make sure you choose carefully so they don’t trip as they make their way up the aisle. We also find that while the majority of dresses are white, they will have a sash, or another small pop of colour, that ties them together with the bridal party.

Can your flower girls match the bridesmaids?

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If you’d like your flower girls to look less like the bride and wear a dress similar or identical to that of your bridesmaids, then you can absolutely do this. Not only will this look beautiful, but your flower girls will love wearing the same dress as other members of the bridal party. 

Who buys the flower girl dress?

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Traditionally, the mother of the flower girl pays for the dress, while the couple or the bride’s parents (whoever is footing the bill) cover the cost of the flowers, basket and anything else the flower girl might need.

However, this all depends on your budget. These days, more and more couples are paying for their own wedding. For more information, read our post on who traditionally pays for what at a wedding.

Do you buy the flower girl a gift?

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In a similar way to how you might give your bridesmaids a token gift to show your appreciation for being a part of your wedding, you may also want to do the same for your flower girls. It’s by no means a requirement, but it’s a kind and thoughtful gesture that shows your flower girls how much it means to you that they were there to play a role in your special day.

A gift for your flower girls doesn’t need to be anything big or expensive. A small toy, a book, or a teddy bear is more than enough so it doesn’t need to add too much to your wedding budget.

5 tips for a successful flower girl experience

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If you’re excited to ask one of the little girls in your life to be a flower girl at your wedding, bear in mind the following five tips to make sure everything is as close to perfect as it can be.

  1. Don’t ask more than two or three girls to be flower girls at your wedding. Any more and it might be difficult to get them to do what you need them to do. Plus, the more flower girls you have, the more they’re likely to get up to mischief.
  2. Be as open and honest as possible with your flower girls, and invite them to make decisions so they feel part of your day. They’re probably used to being told what to do, but they’ll be far more enthusiastic if they feel empowered by being allowed to make some decisions, no matter how small they might be.
  3. Make sure you order the dresses as close to the wedding date as possible, as children grow exceptionally quickly! The shop assistants will be able to help you, as they have years of experience in this. Be prepared to go up a size from the girl’s current age when ordering, to make sure the dresses won’t be too small once the big day arrives.
  4. Make sure that the dress design you choose is a practical and comfortable one. Kids run around, fidget and generally don’t have the patience for restrictive designs, so prevent any tantrums ahead of time and think cute but comfortable.
  5. Instead of (or as well as) a book, some brides give a piece of jewellery or a small gift to the little ones to say thank you for being part of the wedding. Obviously, they love this and feel very important!

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