Aren't flower girls one of the most quintessential (and adorable) parts of a wedding? Brits often use them as bridesmaids, which Kate Moss, the Duchess of Cambridge, and Poppy Delevingne can all attest to. But stateside, they're the sweet pre-bride ceremony entrance, usually alongside the ring bearer. As standard as they seem, flower girls are not part of every wedding. When should a couple opt out of having one? This is one of the most important etiquette questions that brides and grooms should consider. What other flower girl concerns must they address? We culled a few pressing ones:
Generally, child attendants should be between the ages of four and seven. Children younger than four, unless extremely grown-up for their age, don't take direction (or deal with 150 strangers staring at them) very well. You stand a good chance of getting a shy flower girl who refuses to walk down the aisle or a ring bearer who ditches the pillow at the first pew. Kids older than seven feel a little too grown up to be taking on these roles; give them the more adult jobs of junior bridesmaids and groomsmen.
There are at least two reasons why a lone child at an adult affair is not a good idea. First of all, guests who were asked not to bring their kids will likely feel annoyed to see a flower girl at a supposedly child-free reception. Second, your little flower girl may feel lonely and bored without any playmates to keep her company. If you like the idea of a flower girl, then we suggest you open up your wedding to include a small group of little ones — just kids from your immediate family or bridal-party members. You needn't let everyone bring children. If you are set on a kid-free wedding, however, you may want to drop the flower girl idea. Kids are unpredictable and if you don't feel relaxed having them around, even a single flower girl may add too much to your wedding day stress.
Junior bridesmaid is traditionally a role for young ladies aged 9 to 14. A junior bridesmaid walks down the aisle with the other bridesmaids wearing a dress that's perhaps not as grown-up or sexy as the other dresses. She can be involved in planning the shower and help with other pre-wedding tasks (she'd probably get such a kick helping you shop for your wedding dress!).