5 Fabulous Flower Girl Tips - Tips and Tricks on Somewhat Cooperative Flower Children
I think flower girls and boys are just so adorable and having one (or many) gives you the opportunity to invite another special someone in to celebrate your wedding day. This can be your own kiddo, nieces/ nephews, cousins, friend's kids...it's really a great way to incorporate more people you love into sharing in the wedding day. But, I hear so many hesitations from brides and grooms on bringing flower children into the wedding because they worry about behavior. That is a valid concern, but not one that should deter you from having flower children at your wedding!! Here are a few simple tips that you can do to help guide behavior in a positive direction and include those little kids we love so much!
1. Prepare the parents ahead of time on what you expect.
Make sure you are clear on what you are wanting your flower kids to do during the wedding ahead of time. If it is holding a sign, throwing petals, or something else, communicate this to the parents so they can let the kids know and practice ahead of time! It is so much fun to practice dress up and flower girl before the wedding so they get a feel for what they are actually supposed to do but also get excited about their role!
2. Give them a job to do (but give them input).
Kids really need something to do when they are walking down the aisle and they want to be in control of what that is. When sharing with kids what you are expecting them to do, just make sure to give them choices on HOW they want to do it that way they are a part of the experience and are more likely to remember what they are supposed to do. This doesn't have to be throwing petals, it can be blowing bubbles, holding flowers, holding a basket, holding hands with another kid, it is really anything to keep their hands occupied if they are feeling a little nervous but also take their mind off of it for a bit! Little kids have busy hands and minds, walking down an aisle of adults can be incredibly uncomfortable. If they have a job to do, they are more likely to make it down the aisle without a meltdown. If there is a meltdown though, embrace it for what it is because most of your guests will actually think its super cute!
3. Bribe them (but not before they arrive to the venue and not too much).
This tip can definitely back fire if you do it to soon, the important thing with bribery is that you dangle a small carrot and a big one after they've finished what you want them to do, which is walk down the aisle and possibly get a few portraits. What can happen if you bribe kiddos too soon, especially before they even arrive to the venue, they only concentrate on the reward and check out from the task at hand! As you consider bribery, think about things that they can do during the ceremony itself that does not involve sugar. If you give them sugar right after they make it down the aisle, you might find you have a wild toddler on your hands pretty fast! New games, sticker books, activity books in their favorite characters are all great things that will help reward the kids for doing a great job and keep those hands busy!
4. Two is better than one!
Okay, hear me out. I know one little kiddo can be a lot to handle, especially if he/she is a toddler. However, if there is more than one kiddo there, they are more likely to behave and get a little confidence boost. Having a flower girl and ring bearer, multiple flower children, any combination of kids
5. Have someone wait for them at the end of the aisle/ give them a destination.
Okay, this is when you can pull out the bribery with a destination in mind by letting kiddos know that as soon as they get to this person or this place, they get some treat or toy. The person at the end of the aisle should be waiting to act though if needed and should not have a phone or camera in their hands. I know if it is the parent of the kiddo, that can be challenging to ask them to put their phone away, but another phone or camera in the face of the child can cause a bit of stress. Kids want to see the familiar face of their parent at the end of the aisle, not a phone! Once they make it down the aisle, however that happens, give them lots of praise on how well they did and have an immediate reward ready for them. Check out tip 3. for my thoughts on what that should be!