Considering whether to include children in your ceremony as flower girls, page boys or ring bearers? Sophie Andersen guest blogs this week with advice on how figure out the best kiddie candidates for the task, and how to prepare them for their role in the big day.
Most people consider their wedding day one of the most special occasions of their lives, and – more often than not – they are practically obsessive about everything going exactly as they planned it. While including children in the ceremony can be somewhat risky, as kids’ behaviour can be a bit unpredictable, it certainly adds a lovely and warm note to a wedding and provides for a personal touch by introducing your guests to some of the most important little people in your lives. Likewise, parents of the child you choose would be quite honoured by your choice, not to mention the fact that your wedding photos would look much better with a couple of smiling children’s faces in them.
If you are thinking about having a flower girl and a page boy at your wedding, here are some tips on how to choose the perfect little candidates and what you can do to ensure that everything goes smoothly.
Finding the Perfect Candidate
Most of the time, the choice of little wedding helpers is not completely up to the bride and groom. Some of your friends or family members might want their child to be a part of the ceremony, and it could be difficult turning some of them down. You might think that younger children are cuter, but you should make sure that they’re old enough to understand what they are supposed to do, and to be able to stay (at least relatively) focused for the duration of the ceremony.
Naturally, any behaviour that a child could possibly get up to on their walk up the aisle would be met with tolerance and understanding by your wedding guests; however, you’re no doubt feeling your wedding day is not the time for incidents, not even the cute ones. That’s why you should ideally try to include kids between the ages of five and fourteen, although this is just a general guideline. Anyone older or younger might be either too disinterested, or too difficult to guide through what they are supposed to be doing. Naturally, the age plays no difference when you know the child well and feel that he or she would be perfect for the role.
It goes without saying that if you want your two-year-old niece to be a part of the wedding, you can always find a suitable chaperone: her big sister or brother, for instance. If they don’t have any siblings, they could also be escorted down the aisle by one of your bridesmaids or groomsmen.
More important than their age is how well behaved they are and how focused they can be during the ceremony. If you do have a choice, try and find kids who will actually enjoy their duties and who don’t mind the fact that they’ll have to follow instructions. While shy kids might accept your offer, being the center of attention could be uncomfortable for them, even if they don’t say so, so you should probably choose extroverted kids for this task.
Generally, the most important thing to remember is that you shouldn’t care about what other people are doing, or expecting you to do, as much as about what will make the day as special as it can possibly be. This is to say that you shouldn’t worry about small irregularities in the ceremony, as anyone who would object about minor issues hasn’t really gotten into the spirit of the event anyway.
Regardless of the age of your little helpers, you should make sure to guide them through the entire ceremony during the rehearsal. Someone else might have to help out, as chances are that you’ll have your hands full at the time, but try to make it as much fun for the kids as possible. If you need help in this department, as you probably will, you could put a close relative or bridal party member in charge of them for the rehearsal and ceremony itself. You don’t want them to be nervous and find the experience stressful. They should enjoy themselves and be able to share in the joy of the moment, and not feel like they’ve been burdened with an uncomfortable responsibility.
If your flower girl or page boy is having trouble staying focused on the walk to the altar, and you don’t want a chaperone to accompany them, you should make sure to place a close family member of theirs at the end of the aisle, which will give them focus, motivation, or in some cases, confidence they need to make the walk.
Kids should have had a good night’s sleep before the ceremony, but while you do want them rested, it might not be ideal if they are too awake. This is to say that if you don’t want a runaway flower girl situation on your hands, you should probably make sure that your precious little assistant hasn’t consumed too much sugar before her contribution to the ceremony… but by all means reward her for her generous help with a big slice of cake afterwards.
While choosing a perfect flower girl or page boy may be somewhat demanding, as can going through the steps with them, putting the effort in is more than worth it. Aside from making them and their parents feel special, your wedding will be adorned by one of the greatest sights in the world, happy children’s faces. That’s why you shouldn’t hesitate to go the extra mile and find the perfect little assistants.
This article is written by Sophie Andersen. Sophie is a fashion blogger based in Sydney. She found these great flower girls and page boys styles at Stellina Cute Couture Gallery. Check more of Sophie’s updates on @andersen_sophie or follow her on Facebook.
(All images provided by author.)