Including children in your wedding party is such a lovely idea, it allows the little people in your life to have a role in your big day, and also those cute little outfits make for great photos! How old can a flower girl be?
Here we discuss how old a flower girl typically is, and other considerations for including children in your wedding ceremony.
So, How Old Can A Flower Girl Be?
Typically, flower girls are aged four to eight years old.
You may have some advanced two and three-year-olds who are up to the task, but this will depend on the child.
What About Ring Bearers?
The same ages apply for your little ring bearers, usually male children – so you’re looking at boys aged four to eight.
If you have multiple boys that you are asking, make sure that you give the actual wedding rings to the oldest (or most responsible!) child.
Practice Makes Perfect
My biggest piece of advice is to practice with your flower girls and ring bearers, no matter their age!
Ideally, you will do a full rehearsal so that they get to know the space and understand the flower girl role, but timings and location may not allow for this. At the very least, it would be helpful for them to see the room and be shown exactly where they will be walking and where they need to go when they reach the end of the aisle.
I had six precious children included in my ceremony and to be honest – it was a total disaster because we didn’t practice in the ceremony room! My four-year-old niece threw a massive tantrum just as we were about to walk down the aisle. She was overwhelmed by the whole day and seeing 100 people was just too much for her.
Then my 20-month-old daughter must have sensed the nerves and having seen her cousin have a tantrum, she also started crying and couldn’t be put down by me. Not ideal. We waited it out (whilst my husband-to-be and all our guests patiently waited for us) and in the end, two family members came out to take a crying child each and let us get on with it.
Never work with children or animals they say – well now I understand why! It’s important to be prepared for this kind of situation, and also to remain calm.
My advice is to have the backup family members in place in advance so everyone knows Plan B!
So, aside from the possible tantrums and stage fright, you’ll want to consider if your very young flower girls will be able to hold a basket and throw petals whilst walking. If that might be a bit too much, consider another option like having your littlest girls hold a small bunch of flowers each instead, or give them flower crowns to make it a bit more simple.
For ring bearers that are under five, you may want to give them faux rings to carry, just in case! Your best man could then have the real wedding bands safely in his suit pocket!
Think about having a treat for the little ones ready to go just before the ceremony, or a favorite toy that may keep them calm.
Young flower girls could also be teamed up with slightly older flower girls to hold their hands and guide them down the aisle.
Remember, even if your flower girl runs toward the aisle, it will still be a really cute moment to look back on!
Children between five and eight years old make the best flower girls and ring bearers as the likelihood of meltdowns is generally a lot less!
They’re now old enough to walk down the aisle as instructed and should be able to be trusted with the task you give them, whether that is tossing petals, blowing bubbles, or holding the rings. They can also be in charge of any younger children walking down the aisle.
It is still useful for them to practice their role before the actual ceremony so they know exactly what they are doing and where they need to go. It’s likely even the most mature child will get a little nervous on the day, especially if it’s a large wedding. Make sure you give them a little pep talk before they walk down – and tell them to smile!
If the important girl in your life is over eight or nine years old then you may want to consider making her a junior bridesmaid instead. This will depend on the ages of the other flower girls; for example, if you have several girls aged 4-9 then it’s fine to keep them all as flower girls.
Junior bridesmaids can wear the same dresses as the bigger bridesmaids (or as similar as you can get the dresses!) and they will walk down the aisle in the bridal procession, typically holding flowers rather than scattering petals. They also stand at the front with the other bridesmaids.
Who Else Could Be a Flower Girl?
If you don’t want to include children on your wedding day (and may I just say this is TOTALLY understandable!) but you still like the idea of having flower girls, then don’t worry – you have alternative options.
Family friends, aunts, uncles, and grandparents can make amazing flower ladies – or should I say, flower people?
In fact, I adore the idea of having your grandparents in this role. I think seeing the bride’s Nana all dressed up in her best frock, walking (or wheeling) down the aisle with flowers can be just as adorable as having a little one as a flower girl!
If you do consider this, make sure the grandparent is comfortable with the role. It would be a good idea to have a walkthrough, and make sure you have a chair waiting for them!