Planning on Having a Flower Girl at Your Wedding? Here's What You Need to Know

How to handle the tiniest member of your bridal party

Updated 11/24/17

Photo by Olivia Rae James

Flower girls are one of the most quintessential—and cutest—parts of a wedding, and are often a young girl’s first introduction into the dream world of weddings. What’s not to love about frothy dresses, crowns of baby’s breath, and a basket full of petals? While they seem pretty standard, not ever wedding features flower girls, meaning you might have a few questions about the role they play. We’ve rounded up the basics to help you decide if this tiny attendant is right for your wedding.

How old should a flower girl be?

Flower girls (as well as ring bearers) are usually between the ages of four and seven. Children under four, unless they’re extremely grown-up for their age, don’t usually perform well on such a big stage. With so many strangers staring at them and lots of direction, having a flower girl who is too young runs the risk of a melt down at the top of the aisle. On the other end of the spectrum, kids who are older than seven might feel too big to take on the role. If you have a child in mind who is between eight and 16, consider giving her the role of junior bridesmaid instead.

What’s the difference between a flower girl and a junior bridesmaid?

A junior bridesmaid walks the line between a flower girl and a bridesmaid. Her dress should match the ‘maids, though it often features a higher neckline and different hemline to make it more age-appropriate. She walks down the aisle alongside the bridesmaid, either leading the pack and standing farthest from the altar, walking just before the maid of honor, or escorting the flower girl and ring bearer down the aisle. She can be as involved in the planning as you’d like, whether she tags along for dress shopping or helps decorate at your bridal shower.

Can we have a flower girl at an adults-only wedding?

While you can definitely opt to have a flower girl, even if she’s the only child in attendance, it’s important to make accommodations for her. Will she be invited to the reception? If so, consider inviting her siblings to the wedding, as well, so she isn’t alone. If not, make sure you arrange for a babysitter so her parents can still attend the reception, and know that she might make an appearance on the dance floor anyway. Be prepared to get push-back from other guests with young children, as they might wonder why their own kids didn’t make the cut.

If you’re really committed to a child-free celebration, you may be better off skipping the flower girl altogether. Hey, your dog can always take on the role instead!

What should the flower girl wear? Who pays for her attire?

The flower girls’ attire traditionally echoes the bride’s gown, whether that means similar lace accents or a matching full skirt. You could also choose, instead, to dress her like the bridesmaids. Many bridesmaid designers also include flower girls’ dresses in their collections, making coordinating the dresses easy. Either look for a matching fabric and color, or choose a print with a similar color scheme to make her stand out. Not sure what she should wear? There’s nothing more classic than a white organza or tulle dress with a sash that matches the ‘maids!

As far as costs go, follow the same rule you’re using with your bridesmaids and groomsmen. This most likely means that the flower girl (well, her parents!) will pay for her own attire. Of course, you might opt to purchase the outfit as a gift, or could pick out a sweet accessory (we love a monogrammed or pearl necklace!) that will become a cherished favorite.

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