Petals on the Pathway: Nurturing Confidence in Your Flower Girl

In collaboration with Oscar Collins

A flower girl adds a charming touch to any wedding. If you know a little girl you want to walk down the aisle before you, preparing her for the role can be challenging.

Kids are unpredictable and might experience meltdowns or stage fright. Consider these strategies to help your flower girl remain composed and confident on your big day.

What Is a Flower Girl?

A flower girl precedes the bride down the aisle, showering her path with petals. Her age typically ranges from 3 to 8, but feel free to go with someone younger as long as they can fulfill the role well.

You can have your niece, cousin or a friend’s daughter as your flower girl. You can have more than one, especially if you have a big family and want to avoid anyone feeling left out.

How to Nurture a Flower Girl’s Confidence

Don’t let tantrums or shyness ruin your wedding’s fun. Here are five ways to ensure your chosen flower girl feels great at your wedding.

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1. Explain Her Responsibilities

Your flower girl will appreciate it if you talk to them a few weeks or months before your wedding. Choose a time when she is rested and happy. You can also provide a treat to get her to listen better to you.

First, explain how she can help make your big day more special by throwing flower petals or blowing bubbles as she walks down the aisle. 

Then, tell her about the required outfit — make the little girl excited about looking like a princess in a gown. If possible, show her the layout and the aisle to help build her confidence during the ceremony.

Lastly, listen to her concerns and fears. She might have stage fright, be shy or feel uncomfortable in a dress. The most important thing is to validate her feelings and ask how you can help.

Consider having her parents walk with her down the aisle if she’s a toddler. You’ll never know when temper tantrums will arise. Most tantrums last up to 15 minutes, and no better person can handle such behavior than mom or dad.

2. Choose the Right Dress and Shoes

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Involve your flower girl in the dress selection process. Provide her with options and ask for her opinions. Ensure the gown is comfortable, made from breathable fabric and aligns with your wedding theme. Ask the parent about your flower girl’s sensory sensitivities. Perhaps she dislikes wearing a belt or when socks slide down in her shoes.

Buy age-appropriate, comfortable shoes. Avoid high heels to prevent trips and falls. Flats and ballet slippers make excellent choices.

3. Practice the Walk

Before your big day, have your flower girl practice her walk several times with her parents. You should guide and shower her with encouragement. Don’t reprimand the child if she makes mistakes. Instead of pointing out her shortcomings, focus on positive reinforcement — cheer for her wins and reward her for trying her best to boost her confidence in stepping out of her comfort zone.

If you’re hosting a ceremony rehearsal, encourage the child to walk down the aisle in her gown and shoes to make her more comfortable. Walking in front of an audience is an excellent way to overcome stranger anxiety, a normal emotional phase in which a child becomes distressed in the presence of an unknown person. This will help her warm up to new faces and prepare her for the big day.

4. Have a Plan

Kids are unpredictable. A flawless practice doesn’t guarantee a perfect walk on your big day. Pack small, quiet toys, snacks, and bubbles in case of boredom or a meltdown. There’s a lot of waiting involved in a wedding, so having these items can help keep your flower girl in a good mood during the ceremony.

You can ask fellow parents for advice or help because they have firsthand experience with what it’s like to deal with meltdowns, tantrums and boredom. If you’re providing snacks, don’t forget to ask your flower girl’s parents about any dietary restrictions.

5. Show Your Appreciation

Instill confidence in your flower girl before and after your big day. Praise her efforts and remind her of her abilities. Say how stunning she looked and how pretty she smiled while walking down the aisle. You can also provide a small token of appreciation to make her look forward to more flower girl duties in the future.

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Enjoy the Process

Preparing your flower girl can be challenging, especially when dealing with a toddler.  You can make the child more comfortable in this exciting role by explaining her responsibilities, familiarizing her with the venue, practicing the walk and instilling confidence through encouragement.



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