They say there’s a wild card at every wedding, and it’s fair to expect your flower girl and ring bearer to throw you for a few loops. Traditionally, these roles are filled by little kids, and their age can make them unpredictable. But these simple tips will help ensure that they make it down the aisle smoothly.
Don’t Have the Ring Bearer Actually Carry the Rings
First, we recommend not giving the actual rings to the ring bearer. Small children tend to put small objects in their mouths, which can put both the rings and the ring bearer in danger. It’s typically better to give him a cute, decorative wedding pillow and have the best man hold onto the rings instead.
Choose Their Order in the Procession Carefully
It’s tempting to choose to have the flower girl and ring bearer start out the wedding ceremony by proceeding down the aisle first, but depending on their age, that may not be a good idea. If they’re under the age of the three, they’re very likely to get distracted by all the guests and panic when they search the crowd and can’t find their parents.
To avoid two panicked children throwing a wrench into the wedding, we recommend having them walk after the majority of the wedding party has walked down the aisle, but before the maid-of-honor. This way, they’re sandwiched between responsible adults. They can easily follow the grown-ups in front of them while having another grown-up close behind them to keep them moving.
If you’re really attached to the idea of the kids walking first, we recommend choosing several ring bearers and flower girls. Strength in numbers tends to be very effective for little kids. It’s also a good idea to have a trusted adult seated toward the front of the aisle to give the ring bearers and flower girls a sign for when it’s time to go.
Make Sure Their Special Outfits Aren’t Too Intense
Dressing children for a fancy event is tricky. You want your ring bearer and flower girl to be dressed appropriately for the importance of their role, and you may want them to fit in with the rest of the wedding party, but you have to bear in mind that they’re just kids, and little things like itchy fabric or tight collars might make it hard for them to perform their duties.
If you want your ring bearer in a tux or suit, we highly recommend making sure their parents get it well ahead of time. This will allow them to search for the right fit and try it on several times and get a little more comfortable. It’s perfectly okay to email their parents a few weeks before the wedding to make sure the outfit is ready and the ring bearer has tried it on a few times. Just make sure you have their email address, or another reliable means for contacting them, ahead of time.
As for the flower girl, one popular option is to have her dressed as a mini bride. This means finding her a dress that looks very similar to the bride’s. However, you’ll want to consider the cost when it comes to this option. Bridal dresses, even in miniature, can be rather expensive. If the price is prohibitive, you can also choose a more affordable dress that is still special in some way. Include lots of glitter, lace, or their favorite color to let them know their role is very important. Again, just make sure it isn’t too terribly itchy.
Include Them In the Wedding Party For the Ceremony Only
In general, it’s best to only include ring bearers and flower girls in the wedding party when it comes to the actual wedding ceremony, not for the reception after. Your bridesmaids and groomsmen will likely sit together, away from their families. If your ring bearer and flower girl are little kids, they’ll likely want to keep their parents close, since receptions are often noisy, crowded, and generally overwhelming for small people. Remember, they are cute and happy to help, but they didn’t sign up for an entire day away from their parents