Wedding Party Etiquette & Guidelines – The Ring Bearer & Flower Girl

We usually pick our very best friends and closest family to be a part of our wedding party.  We have a set plan for our special day and need the other players, like our party, to play along to have it happen.  So what do you do when the maid of honor can’t stand wearing green?  Or when your fiancée thinks someone should be in the party and you don’t agree?  Here are some common wedding party issues and the best way to handle them.

The Ring Bearer and Flower Girl

Kids are highly unpredictable.  It is part of their charm.  Your adorable little niece may walk down the aisle beautifully ten times at the rehearsal and decide she doesn’t feel like that is what she wants to do when it really counts.  There isn’t really much you can do about it but there are a few precautions you can take.  First, choose a ring bearer and flower girl that are between the ages of four and eight if possible.  Children under four are more likely to need more guidance and be even less predictable.  Children over eight may see the role as too babyish.  Of course the children in your family and circle of friends may not conform to this so use realistic discretion.

Having someone close to the child at the front of the aisle that they know has candy or a treat for them can help at least get them down the aisle.  Have the person discreetly lead the child away when they make it to the front and give them their treat.

Best of all be prepared for things to go wrong and be able to laugh at it and find the humor.  It will make a great story when you show people your wedding video.  Make sure to have a copy for the offending child for when they get older!

Plan an extra rehearsal with just the flower girl and ring bearer a week or so before the wedding if you can.  Children don’t always do well with last minute expectations.  After the mock ceremony take them out to lunch or give them a special gift.  Maybe even mention that there will be another gift in it for them if they behave the day of the ceremony.  Bribery? Maybe, but as a member of your wedding party they will be getting gifts anyway and it works!

If you are having a reception where you will not be allowing children you may want to drop the flower girl and ring bearer as well.  It is inappropriate not to invite any member of the wedding party to the reception no matter how young.  Consider having a small group of children that is just family at the reception as well.  Besides not being appropriate, one or two bored children with no other playmates will quickly get restless and unpredictable.

If there are a few children who could fill this role in your family, it is perfectly okay to use more than one flower girl or ring bearer.  Other little boys can serve as pages escorting the flower girls down the aisle or even helping to carry the train on the brides dress if you feel they can handle it.  Having a groomsman circle around to help them with this may be a good idea or just another honored guest.  If they are the children of either the bride or the groom it is a good idea to find a way to include them all.  Older children can be given the roles of junior attendants, candle lighters, junior ushers or readers at the ceremony.

Related Blog: Wedding Party Etiquette & Guidelines – Bridesmaids & Groomsmen

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