|STEP #1: EXPLAIN THE BASICS
When your daughter finds out she’s going to be a flower girl, there is often excitement. The fashion! The glamour! The spotlight! But once the initial thrill dies down, she may have no idea what a flower girl actually does. Take the time to explain the responsibilities that go along the role – you’ll thank yourself as each petal hits the floor.
*Tip: Feel free to sing, act out, or be silly as you discuss the points below – whatever works best for your little girl.
Before the wedding, she might be expected to:
- Try on and get fitted for a dress
- Attend pre-wedding events with other members of the wedding party
- Attend a rehearsal for the wedding, where she will be instructed when and how to walk down the aisle
On the wedding day, she will probably be expected to:
- Arrive early, at whatever time the bride and groom designate
- Smile for photographs with the wedding party
- Stand quietly before the ceremony and wait for her turn to walk down the aisle
- Walk down the aisle while performing a flower girl task (sprinkle petals, hand flowers to guests, etc.)
- Sit or stand through the ceremony
- Walk back up the aisle at the end of the ceremony
At the reception, she might be expected to:
- Enter with the wedding party when the DJ or band leader calls her name
- Pose for more pictures
- Dance and have fun!
STEP #2: MANAGE HER EXPECTATIONS
Now that your flower girl knows the basics, your next step is to explain her place in the wedding hierarchy. She might think of herself as the supreme belle of the ball – and truthfully, the flower girls often do steal the show – but she has to understand that the day belongs to the bride. You can explain it in royal kingdom terms: the flower girl is like a young princess, but the bride is the Queen, so she gets to rule the day.
STEP #3: SPEND TIME WITH THE BRIDE
To help reinforce Step Two, make an effort to spend time with the bride before the big-event. It doesn’t have to be wedding-oriented. A lunch, nail appointment, or a game of Chutes and Ladders can be fun for all the girls involved. And don’t worry if you live far from the bride. Phone and video calls with Skype are good ways to connect, but letter writing (or picture drawing) correspondence will leave both bride and flower girl with keepsakes of their special relationship.
STEP #4: PRACTICE
The walk. The smile. The petal drop. Every aspect of the flower girl’s performance should be rehearsed so she will feel ready and relaxed for the big day. If possible, have her practice her moves in full costume. It’s important that she feel comfortable in her dress, shoes, and hair accessories. Worried about keeping the dress clean? We are too! As soon as she’s made it down the pretend aisle to everyone’s liking, give her a quick costume change back to play clothes.
*Tip: Have her practice looking adults in the eye and saying “thank you” for the inevitable compliments she will receive.
STEP #5: CALM HER NERVES
It’s normal to have butterflies in your stomach before any big event. For a child in one of her first big moments “on display,” it can be pretty nerve-wracking. You can help prepare her by listening to her fears, assuring her that they are normal (even the grown-ups have them!), and letting her know that no matter what she does, it will be okay. If you can, shift her thinking towards all the great parts of being a flower girl. You’ll be amazed how quickly anxiety can shift to excitement.
STEP #6: MANAGE YOUR OWN EXPECTATIONS
Your outgoing daughter might suddenly freeze when confronted by a room full of wedding guests. Alternately, your shy daughter might burst out of her shell as soon as she enters that room. Who knew?! On the day of the actual wedding, all bets are off.
As a parent, you might help your flower girl most by being ready for anything. When the ceremony ends, your daughter will look to you for approval. And your smile and welcoming arms will tell her all she needs to know. She can be proud of how she fulfilled her flower-girl duties, no matter how precisely she scattered those petals. And you can be proud, too.