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Children In Your Wedding Party: Flower Girls And Ring Bearers
Is Having Children In Your Wedding A Bad Idea?
They're adorable, right? Those precious little tykes in their Sunday best solemnly strolling down the aisle in time to the music, dropping flower petals, blowing bubbles, or carrying little satin pillows...just adorable. All heads turn and smile because , they are just too precious for words as they perform the duty they've rehearsed a million times with their mommies at home...SCREECH! Wait a minute! Wake up! This is a DREAM, bride-to-be, do you hear me? A dream!
Rarely, if ever, do those adorable tykes behave the way you had hoped in your wedding fantasies. So if you're thinking they will, get over yourself, girl! I personally have seen flower girls completely balk when the music started,burst into tears, fling their flowers on the floor, and bolt out the front door of the church. I have seen ring bearers with cherubic faces untie the ribbons on the ring bearer pillow and turn it into a spin toy at the front of the church during the ceremony. I've seen fluffy dresses with big satin bows pulled up halfway to chubby little necks, because "it was itchy, Mommy!" All as the wedding guests looked on while these little attention stealers took the focus off of the star of the show...THE BRIDE. Hello!? I'm over here, the bride, remember me?!
Should I Have Toddlers In My Wedding?
Don't choose children who are too young. Two and three year olds can be adorable, but their behavior may be too unpredictable for such a long drawn out affair as a wedding. Best to let them give out favors or blow bubbles at the reception. Four to eight is a good age to shoot for with flower girls and ring bearers. At this age, they can understand the proceedings, and most importantly, they are starting to understand that it's not really appropriate to pick your nose in front of a church full of people!
Practice with them and not just at the rehearsal the night before the wedding. Help them understand they have a special job to do. Explain to them there will be people watching them as they walk down the aisle, but they are all friends who are there to celebrate the day with them.
How To Choose The Children For Your Wedding
Children in weddings can best be described as some actors describe working with children or animals...they will almost always upstage you! So what's the best way to insure the attention stays on you and not on those cute little crumb crushers?
Choose the children you want to have in your wedding CAREFULLY! Don't succumb to pressure from friends and relatives who want you to have little Billy as ring bearer, because he's just so cuuute when you know you;ve seen little Billy torturing small animals and pulling the wings off of flies. Choose children that you have been around before and seen "in action."
New Trends In Weddings: Bubble Girls
Several new trends have emerged for children in weddings. Traditional flower girls are still in vogue, but some brides are opting to have "bubble girls" who walk down the aisle blowing a flurry of bubbles to prepare for the bride's entrance. Although this could look charming, I am seeing bubbles being spilled on expensive flower girl dresses or equally expensive carpet in the church, so beware! For those brides who think a child may be too timid to walk down the aisle, but still want them to be included, the child may love to hand out programs at the front of the church or pass out favors at the reception instead.
Cross Your Fingers...And Pray!
Station mom and dad up close to the front of the church, so if they get fidgety during the ceremony, they can quietly slip away and sit with mom or dad. Or mom and dad can be close enough to come to the rescue if a meltdown should occur! Supply mom and dad with some coloring books and crayons (washable ones!), they can quietly color in for the remainder of the ceremony. Have your photographer be prepared for those many Kodak moments that children always seem to provide whenever they're around!
Most importantly, relax! If something should happen, barring an unexpected vomiting spell, it's not the end of the world. Your wedding guests will think they are "just precious" no matter what they do. So take a deep breath...and plot your revenge for when you have children and their parents have a new car...dress...carpet...you get the picture!