Echoes of “Isn’t she precious?” and “Look at that handsome little man,” are music to your ears as you walk down the aisle. You are happy you chose children to join your walk to your beloved…a brief walk, yes, but time for you seems to stand still.
Choosing a young flower girl and ring bearer adds the cuteness factor to your wedding, but can become fraught with unexpected problems. By nature, children are unpredictable. Are you prepared with a Plan B should the shy, cherubic ring bearer bolt before he reaches the altar, maybe upsetting the applecart of your lovely flower girl’s courage? But they are so adorable and add another level of friend/family participation and the ensuing “aww…” element to your ceremony. What to do?
What is the customary age for flower girls and ring bearers?
The usual age of these darling participants is between four and eight years old, but brides are selecting even younger flower girls and ring bearers. If you are flexible and can sail through any minor mishaps like sweet Jenny abandoning her basket of rose petals and running to mom, ask that three-year-old niece to be your flower girl.
Are you considering an infant flower girl or ring bearer? Although adorable, no doubt, don’t expect the child to actually perform any usual duties.
Every bride wants her wedding to be perfect. When you plan for a very young attendant, things might NOT go as expected. There are ways to minimize the risk of glitches.
Be courteous. Ask the child.
You ask your other attendants. It’s only common courtesy to ask the young one. You need to avoid the impression that he/she is being forced. Ring bearer or flower girl duties may appear huge to one so small, especially for a child who may have never been in the spotlight before. First, of course, ask the child’s parents, then be considerate of the child’s feelings and talk to him/her about being a part of your ceremony.
Give them a chance to learn.
Carefully and patiently explain the duties of being a ring bearer or flower girl, outside of the opportunity to wear fancy garb. This little talk is designed to share your excitement without frightening the youngster and hopefully avoid incidents by making them aware of what is expected of them. Knowing is half the battle… for everyone, including children.
Practice, Practice, Practice.
Expose them to the venue and educate them—on the spot—about their responsibilities. They’ve practiced with you, mom and dad, but at the ceremony, walking down the aisle tossing petals or carrying a fancy pillow, with all those people watching, could easily spell stage fright. Be sure that they participate in the rehearsal, hopefully sidestepping the fear/flight response. What if your flower girl does toss her prop to the floor and stand in the middle of the aisle wailing, or your ring bearer drops the rings and flees to his parents in tears? This is the kind of scenario we are trying to avoid by planning ahead.
Don’t Expect Them to Stand with You.
They’re precious in their wedding finery, and the walk has been a beautiful success, but children are children. They get tired and fidget. Allow them to retire to their parents as soon as their duties are done. Arrange for a reserved seat for the parent; a location in easy view of the anxious child.
Most importantly, have a Plan B.
Be prepared for something to happen. The ring bearer fails to make an appearance, or the flower girl refuses to budge from mommy’s side. Try not to be upset or blue. And, if you are dismayed, don’t by any means let it show. An alternative plan can save the day. Have someone dressed and ready to step in. No matter the final scene, be sure to reward your tiny wedding participant with a token of appreciation. Something as simple as stuffed animal or a quiet activity to be done during the reception will go far to impress your small performer AND the anxious parent.
Bring your shy flower girl and lively ring bearer to the scene of their performance. The Roof Garden welcomes young attendants, encouraging them to learn and enjoy their duties.
About Roof Garden
The Roof Garden is a charming, vintage wedding venue and sophisticated corporate/private event facility located in the heart of The Strand overlooking Galveston’s Historic National Landmark District. Our elegant, signature Galveston architecture creates a warm, inviting atmosphere your guests are sure to enjoy. Learn more about our venue and view facility photos to understand the true essence of the Roof Garden.