Information Regarding Flower Girls | Born Gifted
As a prominent retailer of Flower Girl gifts we often get asked 'what is a flower girl?' particularly with regards to appropriate ages and duties. There is rather a lot of confusion around this subject, so we decided to publish this handy guide, which will hopefully answer all your questions concerning Flower Girls at your wedding.
What are the origins of a Flower Girl at a wedding?
So exactly what is a flower girl and where did she come from? Flower Girls are represented throughout history going back at least as far as the ancient Romans when they would traditionally carry a sheaf of wheat and herbs during the wedding ceremony in order to bring prosperity and fertility to the bride and groom.
During the superstitious medieval times and around the Renaissance period, Flower Girls carried bouquets of garlic to ward off evil spirits!
In the flamboyant 16th Century around the time of Queen Elizabeth I Flower Girls followed the wedding procession carrying a gilded branch of Rosemary and a silver wedding cup filled with petals and tied with ribbons. Again the sentiment behind this was good luck and future fertility.
The Victorian Flower Girl is more akin to the modern day role whereby the little girl wears a simple white dress accessorised with a bonnet or sash to resemble a miniature version of the bride. The Flower Girl would carry a large hoop or basket of flowers with a ring-shaped handle to represent the wedding ring and eternal love.
Although there have been some differences throughout the centuries, the underlying symbolism is the same; luck, prosperity and fertility for the happy couple. The young girl dressed to look like a younger version of the bride symbolises the transition from the innocence of childhood to womanhood, marriage and eventually motherhood.
Do I have to have a Flower Girl at my wedding?
No! This is completely optional and many couples choose not to involve young children in the wedding ceremonies either because they don't know any suitably-aged children or just through personal preference (aka fear of potential sabotage!)
Can I have more than one Flower Girl?
Yes it is quite common for multiple Flower Girls at a wedding, particularly when there is more than one little niece in the family! You can have as many Flower Girls as you like; just divide up the duties and ensure they all have some rose petals or rice to throw.
In many western High Society or Royal Weddings it is commonplace for there to be large numbers of young wedding attendants present.
How old should a Flower Girl be?
There is some debate on the exact age range for Flower Girls but generally they should be aged between three and eight years old. Any younger and you could potentially run into problems with tears and tantrums; any older and the child may feel a bit silly.
How to choose a Flower Girl
The Flower Girl is normally a close relation of the bride and groom such as a niece or perhaps a Goddaughter or cousin. Some couples choose a close friend's daughter for the role and in other cases it might be the daughter of the happy couple themselves!
Make your decision wisely so as not to upset relatives; for example if you have more than one little niece in the family then consider having multiple Flower Girls to ensure nobody is disappointed. Alternatively you could choose not to have a Flower Girl at all.
What exactly does a Flower Girl do?
Obviously the primary duty of your Flower Girl is to be super cute and adorable! Secondary to this there are some simple and fun duties which are traditionally performed by the littlest of female wedding attendants. It should be noted however that there are no 'official' duties assigned to the Flower Girl so you can have them do as little or as much as you think appropriate (taking their age in to consideration).
Ideas for duties for your Flower Girl
Walk down the aisle in front of the Bride carrying a posy of flowers or basket of petals
Walk down the aisle in front of the Bridesmaids carrying a posy of flowers or basket of petals
Scatter rose petals (for luck) down the aisle/walkway
Scatter grains and herbs (to symbolise fertility and everlasting love)
Hand out confetti to wedding guests
Blow bubbles as she walks down the aisle
What is the difference between a Flower Girl, Junior Bridesmaid, Bridesmaid and Maid of Honour?
Age is the main factor in determining these female wedding attendant roles.
Flower Girl: 3-8 years
Junior Bridesmaid: 9-14 years
Bridesmaid: 14 years +
Maid of Honour: Married
The duties differ slightly in that the younger the attendant the less of a 'supporting role' they provide, rather they are there for the tradition, symbolism and 'cute' factor. Its also a lovely way to include those close trusted friends and younger family members at the same time.
What should a Flower Girl wear and who pays for the dress?
The bride usually opts for a similar colour/style to her own wedding dress but this is not always the case. The key factor is to make sure the child is comfortable wearing the dress. These days there a countless Flower Girl dresses available but most brides opt for a tea-length ivory/white dress with matching bonnet or bow.
It is not normally expected that the bride and groom foot the bill for the dress, however if they have a particular dress in mind it is not uncommon for them to purchase it for their Flower Girl and an extra 'thank you'
Where should the Flower Girl sit at the wedding reception?
General wedding etiquette dictates that the Flower Girl sits on a standard table with her parents or the 'youngsters' table if you are having one, not on the top table which is where the Bridesmaids sit.
How do you prepare the Flower Girl for her role?
Many couples find it helpful to include the Flower Girl in some of the preparation stages and invite them along the rehearsal. It can also be a nice idea to include them in other ways such as helping put together the wedding favours etc.
What to do about a naughty or bored Flower Girl
The key here is to try to keep them busy with little jobs because bored children quickly become naughty children! Have some activities prepared for very young children such as colouring books to keep them occupied if they decide not to cooperate. Bribery works wonders if you are desperate - bring out the secret stash of Haribos if you have to!
Who is responsible for the Flower Girl?
Ultimately the parents of the child will be responsible if they are attending the wedding. it's a good idea to let them know that they may need to calm/remove and unruly offspring in danger of sabotaging the ceremony! It's a nice idea to ask one of your trusted and responsible Bridesmaids to take keep an eye on your Flower Girl during the important part of the ceremony.
How to thank you Flower Girl
We think a Flower Girl adds something special to your wedding day and most couples who opt for this don't regret the decision. It is a nice gesture to present your Flower Girl with a little gift as a token of your appreciation for adding so much to your special day. Thank you gift ideas include jewellery (which she can wear on the day) or a soft toy or dolly, or perhaps a personalised gift which will also serve as a lovely memento of the special day.
We offer a large range of gorgeous Flower Girl gifts to suit most budgets and are guaranteed to make your Flower Girl smile.
Hopefully this article has sucessfully answered your question 'what is a flower girl?' All that remains to say is good luck on your big day!
Updated September 2018