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How to Make Your Flower Girl + Ring Bearer Feel Included

Flower girl dress ideas Photograph:

Your wedding day is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to celebrate your love and commitment among your closest friends and family. But it’s not just your guests who will show up to support you! Your wedding party members are hand-selected to stand at your side throughout the planning process, all the way to your final dance. And while you might have plenty of ideas to involve your bridesmaids and groomsmen, let’s not forget two of the most cherished attendants for your big day: the flower girl and ring bearer!

Inviting children to join your wedding party offers an unforgettable experience, not just for you but for them. However, it’s not just a matter of assigning roles and expecting the little ones to play their parts. It’s a big day for them, too! So it’s up to you and your partner to ensure your flower girl and ring bearer feel genuinely included in the festivities.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you need to plan a kid-friendly bach party or skip the pre-wedding mimosa brunch. Rest assured that you can involve your youngest attendants without sacrificing adult activities! Here are a few ways to show your flower girl and ring bearer how much they mean to you.

Pop the question

A quick scroll through Pinterest will reveal countless versions of elaborate wedding party proposals. And while champagne bottles and cigars aren’t suitable for kids, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t shower your flower girl and ring bearer with the same attention.

In fact, Nora Sheils of Rock Paper Coin and Bridal Bliss encourages couples to go the extra mile when asking children to join their wedding party.

“Surprise a little girl with flowers, pretty shoes, a little tiara, or something they are interested in,” she says. “For potential ring bearers — a funny t-shirt, his favorite cars (but with cans attached to the back), etc.” Sheils recommends getting creative while “fine-tuning your gift with however the child identifies and their favorites at the time.”

Of course, discussing your proposal with the children’s parents is imperative. They know their kids best, so they can help you plan the perfect way to get an enthusiastic “YES!” when you ask.

Involve them in the planning process

While tossing flowers and carrying rings are day-of responsibilities, that doesn’t mean you can’t include your littlest wedding attendants in the days leading up to your big day. Assigning them small tasks (with the help of their parents!) can make them feel like a significant part of your planning process, filling them with pride when the big day arrives.

“Most children love the opportunity to feel like they have real responsibility,” assures Keith Phillips of Classic Photographers. He suggests helping them feel like part of the wedding party by “making sure they are included in the rehearsal and maybe even practicing one-on-one with them.”

Ring Bearer Pillow Photography:

You could also ask them for input on flower baskets or ring pillows, which they’ll love carrying down the aisle even more.

Jamie Chang of Mango Muse Events also urges couples to include flower girls and ring bearers in pre-wedding events, like the bridal shower and rehearsal dinner. “Just because they’re little doesn’t mean they aren’t excited to be celebrating,” she says. “Just make sure to have some kid-friendly activities within the party so they aren’t bored.”

However, The Garter Girl’s Julianne Smith cautions against bringing kiddos for everything. “Be very mindful of situations where their attendance or input might not be helpful for you or fun for them, such as wedding dress shopping or cake tasting,” she notes. “Many wedding vendors have rules for appointments, and dragging your ring bearer or flower girl along for the sake of inclusion is not good for anyone.”

Again, look to their parents for guidance about how and when to include them. That way, you can invite them only to age-appropriate activities and avoid uncomfortable situations.

Ask for input on attire

Your wedding will be a chance for the little ones to play dress-up, so consider letting them have their say when picking day-of clothing and accessories. Walk them through the wedding timeline, explaining their role and expectations for the day.

Bite Catering Couture’s Vijay Goel recommends talking about how they’ll join for portraits with the wedding party, helping them understand their role's significance.

“You can involve them early in potentially picking out things like a dress, a tie, suspenders, special shoes, a basket, or a pillow,” Goel adds. “The more they feel like they've been involved for a period of time, the more likely this will be a special experience for them to remember!”

If you were a flower girl or ring bearer in the past, pull out the photo album and tell them about how excited you were to dress up and pose! They’ll see how much the pictures mean to you years later, building even more excitement for their moment to shine.

Flower Girl Wedding Ideas Photograph:

Treat them like wedding party members

When the big day rolls around, it’s easy to get lost in champagne toasts and dance competitions. And while you should enjoy every moment of your wedding, try to include your flower girl and ring bearer at each stage of the celebration.

For example, Jen Sulak of Weirdo Weddings recommends giving them “a special gift you present to them either before the wedding or during the wedding day,” just as you would for adult wedding party members. “Every little loving detail goes a long way!”

Another sweet way to include the children is to “have your beauty/grooming team sit them in the chair and have them pampered and coifed with other members of the wedding party, focusing attention on them and praising how sharp they look,” says Sarah Chianese of Mangia and Enjoy!. It’s likely the first time they’ll participate in a wedding, so why not make sure they feel like a million bucks?

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Once the ceremony is over, the flower girl and ring bearer have fulfilled their roles and celebrate at the reception. But before setting them free, Sarah Jobe of Twickenham House and Hall suggests inviting them to join the wedding party for the grand entrance.

“Having the kids get hyped up at the reception alongside the wedding party during introductions is a perfect way to feel honored, included, and excited to party after the ceremony and get their wiggles out,” she promises. “Have them go first, and with their parents close by and ready to guide them away from the dance floor or entrance to ensure the couple has the center of attention when they enter.”

Flower girls and ring bearers are integral to the wedding party, offering a sweet prelude to the ceremony (and laughter in most cases!). More than just a photo op, including children dear to you makes for a memorable experience that nobody will soon forget — especially the little ones! So, before making it official, take some time to plan how you will cultivate a special experience for the kids you can’t imagine celebrating without.

Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting. Ely is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast.

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