“They’re so cute!”
Yes, if you’ve chosen little ones to be your flowergirls, on your big day they’re certain to raise some ooohs and aahs as they follow you down the aisle. Mind you, to get to the picture-perfect stage, we’ve a few tips to offer you.
“Dressing flowergirls, bridesmaids and pageboys can be a stressful business, particularly if you have different ages, sizes and various strong opinions to deal with. Having said that, young children can be an excellent way to link you, the star of the show, with the older bridesmaids,” says flowergirl dress designer guru Nicki MacFarlane.
Nicki would know all about the stress of dressing flowergirls, as she had the monumental task of creating the dresses for the Duchess of Cambridge’s mini maids at the Royal Wedding!
“Remember that children grow, so it’s important to leave buying outfits for little ones to as near to the wedding as possible,” says Nicki. “We recommend no more than three months before the wedding and make sure that, if possible, the children try them on before the big day in case alterations are needed.”
Comfort should always be a factor when it comes to dressing the wedding party, but Nicki believes this rings particularly true for the younger members. “If the children are wearing something scratchy and uncomfortable all day they’ll be miserable!” she adds. “Make sure you buy something lined and the best quality you can afford.” Why not check out Nicki’s flowergirl line for Dessy?
It’s YOUR choice
“When it comes to choosing your flowergirl dresses, don’t be overly influenced by the children’s parents – or the children themselves,” advises Nicki. “Remember, it’s your wedding – you can choose whatever style or colour you like.” We couldn’t agree more!
One style does not fit all
There are many ways to dress your flowergirls, bridesmaids and pageboys so that they complement you in the most effective way. If you have different aged children, or even a mix of adults and children, don’t be afraid to mix and match styles of dresses.
“It looks very chic to have all your attendants in the same fabric but different, age appropriate styles,” says Nicki. “A wedding I did recently featured girls in different pastel shades – it looked stunning. Alternatively, dress older bridesmaids in a colour and then choose a white or ivory dress for the flowergirls and pick out the colour in the sash and buttons.”
Keep them entertained
If you’re having young children at the wedding, you’re always going to have to consider entertainment. Nicki recommends providing paper and pencils in the ceremony to help keep little ones quiet.
“If possible, it’s a good idea to have a separate ‘playroom’ at the reception for toys and DVDs,” she goes on to say. “Some people hire a nanny for a few hours, which means that mums and dads can enjoy the celebrations too!”
At Wedding Ideas magazine we always say little children need ‘time out’ to relax and recover. They are probably going to want to run around excitedly at the reception, so it’s good if you can have an area where they can burn off that excess energy. If the weather is fine that could maybe be the garden of your venue (although make sure the photographs are all done first, for obvious reasons!) or if space permits, maybe you could have an indoor bouncy castle – with an adult monitoring proceedings!
“To keep your little ones amused, you can have traditional board games, card games and colouring books set up – although I would recommend no felt tips!” says top blogger Daniela of Bridesmaid.com.
“Books are a great idea, if you know your girls love to read. Give them as a gift and make sure they have them to look at while the chaos of getting ready ensues around them.”
Failing that, turn to the old failsafe – technology! “Electronic devices always keep kids distracted and occupied,” agrees Daniela. “Have an iPad set up for the kids to watch a movie or play a game on. Or put a DVD on the television or a laptop.”
Choosing flowergirl frocks
When it comes to choosing the dresses, Daniela believes that the girls should have some say in what she wears. “Pick at least three different styles for the flowergirls to try on, letting them choose what they feel best in,” she advises. “I would recommend flat shoes or ones with a tiny heel.”
With so many styles to choose from these days, what does Daniela recommend for the perfect flowergirl look? “Personally, I love princess-like gowns on flowergirls – ones with lots of layers of tulle,” says Daniela. “I’ve seen flowergirls have the same shade as the bridesmaids’ dresses or completely white like the bride.”
“Don’t forget to have a photograph of you and the groom taken with the flowergirls. You’ll get top marks for cuteness and they’ll love being involved,” says Daniela. Just remember to do it as soon after the ceremony as possible, while they are still neat and tidy.
Who do you choose?
Here at Wedding Ideas, we know that choosing your flowergirls can be a delicate process, and we recommend you think carefully about your decision. You may have a very cute little niece, goddaughter or family friend, but you really don’t want a tiny one who’s likely to be overcome by shyness and refuse to walk down the aisle.
Even the most outgoing of little girls might be a little overcome when they see a sea of faces looking at them as they enter the ceremony venue, so pick a fairly confident type. Also try not to pick children who are just too young – we wouldn’t advise a toddler, for example. Have a couple of rehearsals beforehand so that your young ones know what to do and what to expect – this will help them feel prepared for the big day.
Also keep in mind that it’s your decision, and that you shouldn’t have to bow to pressure from friends and family. There’s a good discussion on how to deal with this going on at our Forum at the moment.