Flower girls and page boys: Help your petal enjoy the big day

When your sister asks if your little girl will be a flower girl in her upcoming wedding or you’re approached by a giddy aunt begging for your son to be a ring bearer, your natural response is “of course”, thinking about the cupcake pink dress or the adorable suspenders they’ll wear.

But being part of the wedding party is more than just poofy pink tulle and flower crowns. For both flower girl and page boy and their parents, being part of the wedding is serious business, and as this video shows, doesn’t always go off without a hitch...

While she may not necessarily throw up or yell, “Dad, I need to go pee!” halfway down the aisle, there are a few things you should know beforehand to prepare your kids and yourself.

1. You might have to pay for that dress

When someone asks if your child will be in the wedding party, consider that you may have to pay for parts of, if not the entire outfit.

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Which makes sense, considering you’ll be able to keep the outfit (hopefully you like it!). Some brides will be able to cover the expense of having special outfits made, but others may not, so best test the waters and be completely honest if you're unable to contribute. There will also be shoes, hair accessories, a hair cut... This isn’t a once-off contract you’re entering. These are multiple transactions.

2. She might have to go to petal-throwing rehearsals

You’d think that once you’ve agreed and sorted out their outfit all that’s left is to show up on the day and have them scatter a few petals down the aisle. Well, you thought wrong.

You’ll probably have to drive them to the dressmaker a few times, and take them to rehearsals where they’ll practise walking down the aisle. 

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Seems extra but if you don’t want them to be confused on the day, speed-walk to the altar or throw petals at people instead of scattering them on the floor, it might be a good idea.

3. Just before they walk down the aisle – a checklist

Before the ceremony, make sure they’ve:

  • Been neatened up, especially if there’s been some time in-between getting ready and walking down the aisle. They may get sweaty playing outside or lose a bobby pin, letting a few curls sneak out of their bun.
  • Eaten, but haven’t had too much sugar lest you want them to sprint towards the groom.
  • Had a good nap. You don’t want them frowning at all the guests or throwing tantrums because they’re tired. Weddings days are usually long, and all the guests fussing over them can be overwhelming.
  • Gone to the loo. Or they may end up making an oopsie or start whining for the toilet when they're at the altar.
  • Been reminded of where to go after successfully making it down the aisle so they don’t end up standing at the altar about to exchange vows with the groom.

4. Be prepared to walk down the aisle with them

Although you’ve pretty much given your all and turned into a full-on Toddlers and Tiara’s pageant momager by the time the big day arrives, sometimes things don’t always go down the way they did at rehearsals.

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Remember that although they might have practised a million times, a 2-year-old might be a little anxious and shell-shocked walking down the aisle in front of a hall full of people, especially if you deceived them and didn’t have all those people at the rehearsal. 

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You could offer them incentives (“walk down the aisle and mommy will get you an ice cream tomorrow”) but if they’re genuinely startled, offer to walk down the aisle with them. If they’re still not keen, don’t force them. Rather no flower girl than an unhappy toddler living up to her terrible-twos.

5. Find out what happens after the petal-throwing

After posing for the pictures and playing their part in the wedding, make sure the kids are taken care of. Will they sit with you at your table, or with another table with other kids? Will there be a lawn to safely run around outside? Entertainment like a TV room with suitable shows for small eyes? If not, take their bag with colouring-in books or a tablet with games.

If kids aren’t invited to the reception, arrange for a babysitter at the house or hotel.

Even if kids are welcome at the reception, most weddings tend to continue into the night so you might want to organise for someone to pick the kids up and take tuck them into bed. They’ll be knackered – I mean, they did just play a vital role in the wedding party, delivering only the best petal-scattering services, without throwing up during those soppy vows.

Do you have any hilarious flower girl or page boy fails you'd like to share with us? Or tips and tricks we might not have thought of? Tell us by commenting below or emailing chatback@parent24.com and we may publish your comments.

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