Top 10 Flower Girl Dress Disasters (and how to avoid them!)
If you are planning a wedding, take a few minutes to read our article on Flower Girls and how to avert potential disaster!
Problems range from toddlers' tantrums to motherzillas and you do want everything to go smoothly on your special wedding day, don't you?
1. The flower girl's mother
However cute your proposed flower girl is, do consider her mother before you ask her daughter to play such an important role in your wedding. Is she going to be helpful or will she turn into the flower-girl-mother-from-hell refusing to dress her daughter in the dress that you have chosen? We have read some real horror stories of family feuds arising because the flower girl's mother and the bride disagree on the flower girl's dress.
Decide at the outset who is going to pay for the flower girl dress and make this clear. If you expect the mother to pay then do tell her at the same time as issuing the invitation. There is nothing worse than resentment simmering when the child is already excited about being a flower girl but the mother is then expected to pay for the dress at a later date unexpectedly. Let the mother have all the facts before she has to accept or decline the invitation!
Decide also who is going to choose the dress. We heard of a bride who was horrified when the flower girl's mother pulled an old crumpled dress out of the loft which she had worn as a child which she said would do perfectly well for her daughter. Apart from being rather old fashioned in style, it did not match the colour scheme or theme of the wedding!
Beware also the lazy mother who will not go and dress shop until you literally escort her to the boutique. Ideally, you need to pick the mum who will do as she is told, rather than pick the daughter for her cuteness factor!
2. Large children
Some children are big for their age. Off the peg flower girl dresses rarely come in plus sizes. If you have one flower girl who is a bit chunkier than the others, please sort her dress out first. Many brides come totally unstuck because they are on a never ending quest for a dress which will fit and such dresses may not even exist. We have heard many brides saying that they wished they had not asked a particular child because finding a dress for her was impossible. This is obviously not a nice situation to be in for child or bride. Apart from being utterly demoralising for the child in question going from shop to shop where nothing fits, it is also added stress for the bride in something which should be an enjoyable experience.
If you have a large child, please consider having a dress made for her. Adults' clothes are even less likely to fit because adults have curvier proportions.
Flower girl dresses tend to be white or ivory. Some of the fabrics are quite sheer. It is wise to remind the mother of the flower girl to bring some plain preferably flesh coloured underwear. The effect can be ruined by bright pink cartoon embellished knickers underneath!
The best time to buy flower girl dresses is about four months before the wedding. If you are having dresses made, you will need to allow six months.
Make sure the flower girls try the dresses and all the accessories a month before (not the night before) the wedding. This will allow you time to sort out any clothing which no longer fits because of a growth spurt.
If your flower girl dresses need pressing, then either take them to a professional dry cleaners or iron them carefully!
We will never forget the frantic bride who rushed into our shop the day before her wedding, having embellished her flower girl dress with one large brown iron shaped mark!
If you need to iron, keep the temperature low and iron either inside out or over a clean cloth.
Children are prone to lots of coughs, colds and tummy bugs, especially in the winter months. Have a contingency plan if one flower girl has to drop out at short notice. It is probably best to select them from different families so that one family pulling out of your wedding does not mean you have no flower girls at all.
Decide carefully how many flower girls you are going to have. The more flower girls you have, the more it is going to cost and the more potential problems you may have. Their hair, accessories, bouquets and baskets are all going to add up. One, two or three flower girls is probably sufficient. Wait until closer to the wedding before you ask them in case you change your mind once the expenses start to add up.
We had one bride who regretted asking 25 of her friends' children to be her flower girls, especially when she couldn't find dresses the same to fit them all.
Small children do not always behave how you would like them to.
Be careful again when selecting your flower girls. Two year olds are the most likely to be uncooperative and have a tantrum at a crucial moment because they are beginning to have their own opinions at that age yet don't have sufficient understanding to be reasoned with.
Consider also the timing of your wedding and the fact that small children often need sleep during the day. A tired, hungry or bored child is not going to make your wedding into a fairytale experience.
From school age upwards you are going to be on safer ground.
9. Trying on dresses
You might think that going on an expedition with flower girls is going to be a "nice" experience. More often than not, this is not the case. Many small children absolutely detest getting dressed and undressed and even more so when they are being forced into uncomfortable clothing which feels strange to them with lots of people gawping at them.
If you must buy from a shop then:
a. do a recce in advance to save the child being dragged from shop to shop
b. pick one or two dresses to try on. Most children will get fed up by the time the third dress goes over the heads so make sure you try the two favourites on first.
c. make sure the child has had a nap, been well fed and her nappy has been changed (if applicable)
d consider buying the dresses online from a reputable online store which has the dresses in stock such as www.demigella.co.uk or www.justdresses.co.uk. The children can then try them on from the comfort of their own home and it will be a far less stressful experience.
Check with the mother if there are any fabrics which the child is allergic to or which the child has an aversion to.
Some children can't wear synthetic fabrics and finding a cotton dress or a silk dress which is affordable can be difficult.
Tulle dresses - made from various strengths of netted material - may look angelic but the fabric has its drawbacks. First, the fabric is delicate and can easily snag. You need to ensure that your child has nothing sharp such as shoe buckles which is going to snag the dress. And this type of dress should be ruled out in favour of something more robust by the tree climbing types. Secondly, children do not like the feel of the netted fabric.
Puffy dresses - consider that the puffiness comes from layers of netting underneath the skirt. This is not the most comfortable fabric to sit on, especially for babies who can't move a lot. Don't make the discomfort worse by adding extra petticoats. Most children will not like it!
Sleeveless dresses - these can be cold so make sure you buy a wrap, cardigan or outer garment to keep your little ones warm. Cold blue shivering teeth chattering children will not look nice in photographs!
Those are our first ten problem areas when it comes to dressing your flower girls. We can easily think of ten more but will leave those for another article another time.
If you have found this article helpful, please leave a comment below. Thank you for reading.