Photo Courtesy Teleflora

There is nothing sweeter than a little flower girl walking down the aisle spreading her petals in the path of the beaming bride. Usually the young lady chosen for this task has some close relationship to the bride and for many they hold their breath in anticipation as they watch her wind her way to the ceremony spot. I have seen many different versions of this trip down the aisle over the years. Once, the little girl ran out of petals so decided to stop right there and go back and pick them up to use again. A shy little one was so frightened she clung to the Maid of Honor all the way, yet another so very brave as she lifted her head and smiled brightly to all watching her.

Photo Courtesy Anthony Vigliotta

The tradition of the flower girl is timeless. She scattered herbs and grains in classical Greek and Roman times, where medieval flower girls carried sheaths of wheat. A floral hoop, which symbolized eternal love, was her bouquet in Victorian times, or she could have carried a basket and scattered petals.  Through the twentieth century flower girl fashion mirrored the styles of the times. Often, especially in society and celebrity weddings, the only attendants to the bride were children. Today, we still love flower girls as they bring a special beauty, innocence and whimsy to the wedding ceremony.

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Selecting flowers for these special little ladies is one of the most fun and important decisions made when choosing the overall wedding flowers. Will she carry a little nosegay or will she actually strew petals as she walks? Will blooms be woven into her hair or will she wear a crown of flowers with ribbons cascading down her back? Will she carry a basket, box, heart, wreath or pomander?  If she is very young, three or under, I recommend a small pomander (a round ball of flowers attached with a ribbon) or little basket filled with a pretty bouquet. She has enough to accomplish just walking that sometimes intimidating trip down the aisle and following the many directions that she has been given. Wearing her very first fancy dress, new unfamiliar shoes and other adornments, to ask her to throw petals as well is sometimes just more than she can handle. A pomander or basket is easy to carry and she doesn’t even have to worry about holding it up or straight as she would if she was carrying a bouquet or loose petals. Consider her hairstyle when deciding whether she will have a crown. Can the crown be properly secured? If not, a few lovely flowers attached to a barrette or headband may be a better choice.

When making selections for the flower girl we can look at several possibilities.  Often she is dressed to match the bride in color and style, however, another option is to coordinate her dress with the bridesmaids.  There really is no rule as to which is correct. Whatever the bride prefers is the right choice.  The flower girl can even have a color of her own, either contrasting or blending with the colors of the bridesmaids.  Same goes for her flowers. She can have a miniature of either the bridal bouquet or the bridesmaid’s flowers, or something totally unique just for her. I like to know a little about the flower girl when I am helping a bride make these choices. Working with her personality can bring a whole new dimension to the experience, both for her and the bride. Today’s trends steer us away from “cookie cutter” choices, and your florist can help you with ideas. The flower girl and her relationship with the bride is special and brings a lovely tradition close to the heart.

Tell us about your flower girl.