There is absolutely nothing cuter at a wedding than the Flower Girl or Ring Bearer. Today whether they’re incorporated into a wedding seem to depend on the region your getting married as well as how many young girls and boys you have in your family. We’ve seen multiple girls and bearers although normally it’s suggested that you choose one and find something else for the remaining little ones to perform in a wedding ceremony. After all, the scene can be quickly stolen by a youngster dressed up and being adorable (or not!), so why make it harder to regain the spotlight with lots of kids on display?
Although some sources suggest that the “flower girl” owes her start to British custom, some say young attendants made their first appearances at weddings in ancient Rome. During that time, they carried sheaves of wheat and herbs to ensure blessings of prosperity and fertility.
Why not provide your flower girl with a small posy of wheat and herbs to carry down the aisle? A lavender and wheat bouquet would be gorgeous for a summer wedding and the traditional wheat sheaf would be lovely in fall. Another idea is to provide her with a basket of grains to sprinkle instead of flower petals.
During Medieval times, young attendants carried garlic which was believed to ward off evil spirits. I love the idea of sending the flower girl down the aisle with a small garlic braid as a nod to this ancient tradition. Braids can easily be decorated with fresh or dried flowers. If you are concerned about the smell or want something more subtle, try adding garlic blooms to a small posy or flower arrangement for the flower girl to carry.
During the Elizabethan era, brides followed a petal strewn path from their homes to the church. Flower girls followed the musicians in the wedding procession carrying a gilded rosemary branch and a silver bride’s cup adorned with ribbons. I will share more about the tradition of the Bride’s Cup in another post, but for today’s purpose, there is a photo of one below. You could substitute a vintage silver cup or seek out an actual bride’s cup for your flower girl to carry. Filled with flower petals or rosemary leaves, the cup offers a unique and meaningful alternative to a basket. Likewise, a small bunch of rosemary sprigs would make a sweet posy, or you could simply work some fresh rosemary into a small floral bouquet for the flower girl to carry.
The Victorian flower girl is probably the one who most resembles the flower girls of modern day. She is young and innocent…dressed in all white with perhaps a sash of colored satin or silk. Her dress, likely made of muslin, is intentionally left simple and intended for future use. The Victorian flower girl carries a beautifully decorated basket of fresh blooms or a floral hoop who’s symbolic circular shape echos that of the wedding ring…symbolizing that true love has no end.
Make your flower girl feel comfortable— part of your special day. Try not to overly stress her out too much by making her feel like she could ‘ruin’ the wedding ceremony. Allow her to be herself and remember that no matter what you do…….. the unexpected always happens! Embrace the participation of the younger members of your wedding party and know it will all be good fun. You may see your flower girl for the first time in your wedding photos since she’ll be heading down the aisle in front of you. Be in the moment and enjoy every second!