10 Flower Girl & Ring Bearer Tips & Tricks
This March Adeline booked her first flower girl gig. My first cousin Leanna got married and we had the honor of participating in her big day!! When my Aunt was pregnant with her we drove down to the shore together and I remember laying in the back seat just listening to her move and feeling her kick. It was incredible and then to have my baby walk down the aisle before her (technically Addie walked before her dog Grady - the ring bearer) really felt special. I have to admit, I was panicked about the entire thing. Would she walk down the aisle? Would she behave? Would she be well enough to go? ( She is medically complex) Even though everyone told me cute stories about flower girl and ring bearer fails, I wanted our story to be a success!! I knew she could do it and so this is what we did to get her ready!!!
Most toddlers have never been to a wedding, so this entire experience will be completely brand new for them. This means we need to teach them what this wedding business is all about! Get some books about being flower girl, ring bearer, and add them into your regular bedtime routine. I made it easy for you and you can just click to shop!
2. Watch wedding Videos
One thing we did was make playlists of wedding videos on YouTube. If you think about it, they do not know what a wedding ceremony will look like, what an aisle is, etc. So we watched flower girl and ring bearer videos, watched quick wedding ceremonies, and showed the fun parts of the reception. Just be careful, there are tons of videos out there of wedding bloopers and I didn’t want her to see what not to do. I few I liked are here, here, and here!
3. Plan with the bride
I may have drove my cousin crazy, but I needed all the details of the day. I requested a schedule, figured out what her expectations were of Addie, and we kind of worked together to figure out the best schedule for her. We had her arrive last to hair and makeup. Most of the girls started hair at 7:00 am, but photos did not start until 11:30, so we had her get there at 11:00 am. Little things like this would mean that when it came time for the ceremony she was not totally over it.
4. Schedule a Break
If your child still takes a nap or has a rest time, I strongly suggest on a wedding day that you keep that in place. It’s a really long day, even for adults. It was hard to figure out with getting ready, photos, and then the wedding. But thankfully the bride was all about it, so we reworked the schedule to fit it in. So many of my friends said by the time their little one walked down the aisle they were so overtired, cranky, wild, and it was a disaster.
5. Limit Photos
Have you every tried to take photos of a toddler?? You’ve got two minutes, top. There are HOURS scheduled of wedding photos. Talk to the bride to see which photos they NEED to participate in. We participated in the getting ready photos, took a nap while the couple did their first look, and then did a few photos after the ceremony. Another wedding they just had the ring bearer show up at the time of the ceremony, take some group shots immediately following, and then he was done! Check out Addie’s face when she saw the bride for the first time!
We figured out the song Addie was walking down the aisle to, got a basket and fake petals, put her in her flower girl shoes, and practiced all the time. We made it really fun, and kids love to perform at the toddler and preschool age. We could give her feedback such as “do not THROW the basket!” in the moment and make sure she knew what to do. At first we just had her walk, then added in throwing the flowers. We got super fancy and added a little twirl to the end of the aisle.
7. Sit in the front row
We sat in the front row towards the aisle. This way, when she walked up the aisle she could see John and I. Then during the ceremony if she wanted to come sit with us, she could. She did sort of a musical chairs between us, my parents, and the bridesmaids throughout the ceremony. If you end up watching any of the wedding fail videos usually as soon as the ring bearer or flower girl sees their parents, they’d go right to them!
We set up little rewards throughout the day, with a big reward at the end. Adeline loves Hatchimals, so after each step of the day she earned a little prize. You could also use small treats, etc. We gave her a prize after she got her hair done, took getting ready photos, after the ceremony, etc. If she earned all her little prizes she got a big reward she chose; Little Live Pets.
9. Be prepared
Have all the tricks packed with you during the wedding day. Snacks, drinks, change of clothes, back up tights, activities, etc. During dinner, Adeline had toys to play with. No kid is prepared for a 4 course meal! We were ready for everything and especially because of Adeline’s medical needs, we had backups. I even had rain boots in case it was supposed to rain so she didn’t ruin her ivory lace shoes out and about during photos and whatnot.
10. Have Fun!
I was so nervous for Adeline to be in a wedding, I may have been more nervous than I was for my own. It’s such a special honor and a fun day, so enjoy it. Adeline was not feeling the cocktail hour, so we let her run around in a big empty room chasing her Daddy for an hour. We also scheduled a babysitter at the hotel so when she had enough, she could go to bed and the parents could start to have some fun!!!!
Watch the video to see how she did!!
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Here she is, our flower girl!!!! For those of you who do not know her, it’s just a 3 year old walking down the aisle at her first flower girl gig. But for those of you who know her and her story, it’s so much more than that. #laxgetmarried #shegotguts #thattwirl 🎥 by @daaa_v