Children + Wedding Party Doesn’t Have to Equal Disaster!

It can be difficult to know the challenges that  come along with inviting children to be a part of your wedding party, since many couples planning their wedding don’t already have children.  As a wedding planner, a mom of two girls (see adorable flower girl above), let me break it down for you!

Choosing attire
This may seem like the easiest part. Just choose something you like that fits with your over all look/color scheme, right? Sure. But it might be really helpful to have a chat with the parents of your flower girl or ring bearer to get a little bit of input.  Some (most!) kids are sensitive to itchy fabrics, and some have a hard time with certain sizing (think little boys who need slim pants). Mom or dad should be able to give you some helpful hints about things to look out for when choosing mini attire.
Getting Down the Aisle
This is really dependent on the age of the children, but as a general rule of thumb: the lower the age of the child, the lower your expectations should be. I’ve seen flower girls and ring bearers do all sorts of things ranging from running down the aisle straight to their parents, bursting into tears and not making it into the ceremony at all, and of course those who get it just right. If you go in with the attitude that whatever ends up happening will be cute (And it will! People love to see little boys in suits and little girls in fancy dresses regardless of what they are doing!), and not worry too much about whether they pull of their duties perfectly, you’ll be in good shape. Kids are just too unpredictable to get too caught up in a perfect performance.
Even after months of practice, my daughter (then 2) didn’t drop a single petal. However, at my wedding,  my little cousin, who was around 5 at the time, was very meticulous with her petals.  She dropped petals so slowly and carefully that after several minutes, my husband had to coax her to walk to the end more quickly just to keep the ceremony moving!
If its possible for them  to attend your rehearsal, this is a huge plus, and if you can have the child’s parents seated near the front of the room so that they have someone familiar to focus on – even better. And last of all, when in doubt, the promise of treats for good behavior can be very motivating!
After the Ceremony
This is also very dependent on the age of the children in question, but if they are very young, it is likely that they don’t typically stay up very late. Some parents are ok with keeping their kids at a lively reception until the wee hours, but many will want to either take the children home to a babysitter. If your flower girl or ring bearer is coming from out of town, it would be really thoughtful to offer to help their parents arrange for babysitting at the hotel so they can enjoy the rest of the evening.