Photo: Anna Palma
They're one of the cutest parts of a wedding, but flower girls and ring bearers can also be some of the most needy and hard-to-handle members of a wedding party. They're tiny, energetic, need snacks and attention, and aren't quite old enough to power through if they haven't had their nap. So what can you do if some of the littlest members of the wedding party aren't so excited about their big moment? Our experts have a few tips.
If it's a slightly older child, the best place to start is always with snacks. Natural gummy snacks are a great option (and are more parent-friendly than the artificial variety). Hand a few out to the ring bearers or flower girls before the ceremony, and put extras in a bag beneath a seat in the first or second row (the mother of the bride, mother of the groom, or a grandmother's seat). Be sure to let the occupant of the seat know they're on snack duty, of course! Then let the kids know that they can have a few bites now, and will get more once they've finished their job.
If your flower girl or ring bearer is younger, pair them up with an older wedding party member (either an additional flower girl or ring bearer or someone like a junior bridesmaid or usher) to head down the aisle. That very cool big kid will be able to lead the way, as well as set a good example and provide some encouragement.
If Mom or Dad is in the wedding party, be prepared to make a last-minute change to the processional in the event of an inconsolable flower girl or ring bearer who really insists on being carried. If you're concerned whether the youngest members of your wedding party will be able to get down the aisle alone, you may want to build this in to your processional plan from the get-go.
And what if, halfway down the aisle, all of the oohs and aahs and strangers simply becomes too much and there's a meltdown? First of all, remember how incredibly adorable these photos can be! Then just roll with it. Whether Mom leaves the altar for a moment to come to the rescue or Grandpa steps out of his seat, it's usually nothing a familiar face can't fix.