How to Make Your Wedding a Great Experience for Your Flower Girls and Ring Bearers
Having flower girls and ring bearers as part of your wedding can be a lot of fun. They look adorable in their outfits and add warmth, charm, and often humor to proceedings. But kids can also be a bit of a wildcard. Keeping them well-behaved when there’s so much waiting around (not to mention a crowd of people staring at them) can be a challenge. But there are some steps you can take to keep them smiling and avoid meltdowns. Here are my top tips to make your wedding a great experience for flower girls and ring bearers.
‘Propose’ to your mini attendants. Start things off on the right note by making each flower girl or ring bearer feel special when you ask them to be part of your wedding party. Get the go-ahead from their parents, then ‘propose’ with a special gift. It’s also important to take some time to explain what being a flower girl or ring bearer means and what it involves. I wrote my picture books, ‘Goldie the Handpicked Flower Girl’ and ‘Jack Brings the Rings’ to make understanding these roles easy and fun. They make perfect proposal gifts.
Involve them in decisions. Making children feel involved before the wedding makes them feel valued and appreciated. For example, you could ask their help in choosing their outfits by offering them two options to pick from.
Make comfort a priority. They might look adorable in that dress or tux but if clothes are scratchy or uncomfortable in any way, get ready for them to squirm and complain. The same goes for any accessories and for their hairstyle too. Make sure they try on their outfit a few times before the big day to get used to it. You may also want to leave dressing them until just before they walk down the aisle. Have their parents also bring a change of clothes for the reception, just in case.
Practice makes perfect! Send the parents the music ahead of time and ask them to practice walking down the aisle (or just the corridor!) with their little one. Then, make sure they attend the rehearsal so they can have a trial run in the actual space.
Recruit adult helpers. You won’t have time to look after little ones on the wedding day so be sure that you have help, whether it’s their parents or a hired babysitter. For shy flower girls and ring bearers, make sure there’s a familiar face waiting for them at the top of the aisle.
Keep them rested and fed. The best way to avoid kid meltdowns is by ensuring they’re never hungry and that they’ve had enough sleep. Set aside a time and space for them to nap and have their favorite snacks on hand throughout the day.
Keep them occupied. Between hair and makeup, photos, vows, and more photos, there’s a lot of waiting around for flower girls and ring bearers. Be sure to provide them with simple activities like storybooks, stickers, and colored pencils. An iPad also often does the trick!
Give them a task. One of the best ways to distract a child from becoming overwhelmed is to give them something specific to do. Of course, there are the traditional roles of carrying the rings or scattering petals, but if you won’t have them doing that, make sure you give them something to carry like flowers, signs, or vow booklets.
Give them plenty of praise. Just like the rest of the bridal party, flower girls and ring bearers should receive a thank you gift. Once the ceremony is over, be sure to take a moment to thank them for their help, give them a high five, and tell them they did a great job!
Be flexible. Finally, know that whatever you do to prepare, children can be unpredictable. And that’s okay. Be patient and flexible and try to go with the flow. Often the things they do when they deviate from the script can provide the best memories!
Image by Jose Villa