There’s nothing sweeter than a flower girl walking down the aisle and spreading petals to announce the coming wedding party and bride. It’s been a tradition for millennia, beginning in ancient Roman times when young girls carried sheaves or baskets of wheat to symbolize fertility and prosperity for the bride and groom. During Medieval times, the girls carried garlic to discourage evil spirits.
As eras passed and times changed (no more garlic, thank goodness), baskets of flowers became the tradition, with colorful petals dropped to soften the bride’s path and add to the festive ceremony. Today, the littlest members of the wedding party bring smiles to all the guests as they begin the procession.
Dressing a flower girl is a delightful task, and flower girl dresses come in so many variations that it can be hard to choose among them. But choose you must. So here are some guidelines:
Should the Flower Girl Match the Bridesmaids?
In general theme and color palette, yes. In style, not necessary. Whether you’re having a very traditional church ceremony, a laid-back affair in a country meadow, or one of the many other options out there, the whole wedding party should dress with the same degree of formality. In other words, you don’t want to dress the bridesmaids in silk charmeuse and the flower girl in gingham. But the matching aspect stops there.
Even if you think it would be cute to dress the flower girl identically to the bridesmaids, the thing to remember is that the flower girl is, by definition, a child. She’s not a miniature grown up. That means that there are styles that just aren’t going to be appropriate for her. A strapless gown on a 7-year old? Not the greatest idea. The charm of a flower girl is her youth and innocence.
Can the Flower Girl Wear White?
Absolutely. White is otherwise for the bride alone, and unless there’s an all-white theme, no one else at the wedding should wear it. But flower girls are the exception. It’s that innocent thing again. A breath of fresh air.
Then What About Black?
If it’s a formal wedding and the bridesmaids are wearing black, then the flower girl can wear it, too. But lighten it up with a wide sash in white, pink, or another color that goes with your color palette. Alternatively, you can dress her in white with a wide black sash and a big bow in back.
What About Accessories?
For her hair, a fresh floral wreath with streamers is the classic look for a flower girl. But there are lots of variations with headbands, barrettes, or simply weaving flowers into her hairdo. As you might imagine, Pinterest has enough inspiration photos on the subject to make your head spin!
As for footwear, ballet slippers and tights are always adorable, as are Mary Janes with frilly white socks.Again, remember that the flower girl is a child, so forgo the mini heels.
Must the Flower Girl Toss Petals?
Some houses of worship and other venues don’t permit petals to be strewn on the aisle for fear of people slipping, not to mention that flowers can stain runners and be a nuisance to clean up. If that’s the case, your flower girl can simply carry her basket, or carry a bouquet, a pomander, a wand wound with blooms and streamers, a dressed-up teddy bear, or anything else that’s appropriate. A pinwheel can be cute for an outside wedding. The flower girl could also carry a basket of whole roses or other flowers and hand them to the guests in aisle seats or to the mothers of the bride and groom when they get to the front. It’s the thought that counts.
And, Oh, Dear, What if She Balks?
We’ve all seen the youngest flower girls begin marching to their own drummers and not quite following the plan. All the guests will understand completely, and unless you’re an absolute control freak, it’s no big deal. The nearest bridesmaid can take her by the hand and lead her on, or one of her parents (seat them on an aisle) can simply swoop her up. To avoid potential issues with flower girls barely past toddlerhood, you might consider having them drawn in a cart rather than walking down the aisle on their own.