The Littlest Wedding Party Members
The cutest couple at the wedding may not be the bride and groom. It may be the ring bearer and flower girl – and with good cause. Kids are cute, and they’re even more adorable walking down the aisle in what is probably their first time wearing formal outfits. Even when they need help carrying the ring on a pillow or sprinkling rose petals down the aisle, little people seem to make a special day even more precious.
But how do couples go about choosing who gets to be the little mister and miss? Are kids only confined to wearing formal outfits? Do you have to have a flower girl and ring bearer at all? And if you do, who has to pay for their outfits? What do you have to provide for them, and what should their parents offer to do?
Bye, Bye Rings and Roses
Because wedding trends change, so do those concerning kids. For example, today’s flower girls and ring bearers may not be carrying the ring or roses at all.
“The last few years have been filled with ring bearers and flower girls skipping the usual petals or pillow, and carrying funny signage or wearing adorable outfits with the words ring security written across the front,” says Megan Velez with the event planning firm Destination Weddings Travel Group based in North America. “That trend will remain a popular choice among couples, and we expect to see even more creativity with outfits and accessories.”
Velez notes that flower crowns, cowboy boots and balloons are other props that couples are choosing for their little ones to display as they stride down the aisle.
Etiquette for Little Ones
There’s etiquette for these situations, but not really, says Emily Sullivan of Emily Sullivan Events in New Orleans.
“In the last few years, couples have really started thinking outside of the box with whom they pick. From grandmothers to pets, it really depends on the couple,” Sullivan says.
One thing is for sure: Parents of the little ones will pay for their outfit. That’s not to say that the bride and groom cannot pay for it as a gift.
“If you have a specific outfit in mind that may be a little bit of a high price tag, go ahead and take care of it,” she says.
A nice gesture to extend is childcare for the day, according to Heather Jones of Wente Vineyards in California.
“Having kids at a wedding can be a great deal of fun, but it can also be a challenge to make sure they are entertained and behaving for so many hours,” Jones says.
If it’s in the budget, hiring professional childcare for the day will help lift the weight off not only the couple’s shoulders, but also the parents, she says.
“They know the kids are close by, but are also able to let loose a little bit and enjoy the evening. If childcare isn’t in the budget, then having a dedicated area at the reception, like a kids table, that is full of activities for them like coloring or crafts will keep them occupied for hours,” Jones says.
Good news if you’re into an adult-only affair: You don’t have to have a ring bearer or flower girl at all.
“When it comes to choosing which little ones you want to have as your flower girl and ring bearer, there really aren’t a specific set of rules to follow,” Jones says.
Whether or not you choose to have young folks at your wedding, you can certainly still add touches that will make your day just as elegant – and super-cute, too.