When there are young children in the family, they add much to the beauty and charm of a traditional wedding dressed as flower girls and pages or ring bearer. Of course all this depends on if they may be trusted to preserve the dignity of behavior necessary to the occasion. More important than beauty or grace are the children’s good manners and their ready obedience to a look of direction or guidance, which is not happening in the photo to the left.
A frequent and a charming practice of a traditional wedding is to have one or more picturesquely gowned children as flower girls to precede the bride from the altar scattering rose petals from delicate baskets in her path. The vintage flower girl dresses are typically miniature reproductions of the bridesmaids’ costumes or the little girls can be dressed in white, with sashes of the color predominating in the gowns of the bridesmaids, and wearing picturesque flower wreathed hats. They carry baskets of loose blossoms, the baskets either of wire, enmeshed with foliage, straw of some pretty shape, or sun-hats, painted pale pink, white, mossy green, or the natural color of the straw. The wedding baskets can also be filled with pink rosebuds and ornamented with rosettes and streamers of narrow satin ribbon in colors that match the bridesmaids and flower girls dresses.
When two little flower girls are to walk side by side they should be as nearly as possible of the same height and dressed in the same flower girls dresses. Their place in the procession is directly before the bride, and, as they advance, they scatter handfuls of blossoms in her pathway—a pretty and traditional wedding custom that has graced the weddings of countless generations of brides. Tennyson said of a bride, in words appropriate to the little flower girls:
"Welcome her, all things youthful and sweet,
Scatter the blossoms under her feet.
"Wake, happy earth, into earlier flowers!"
Flower Girl Duties
After the flower girls arrive at the altar, they separate and stand at the rear of the bridal party, at right and left of the bride and groom. After the ceremony, the flower girls follow the bride directly or take their places between the maid of honor and the bridesmaids. Someone naturally takes them in charge when about to leave the church, and at the reception, after standing a few moments in front of the bridesmaids, they are at liberty to wander at will. A separate table, with a special menu and attendant, is the best disposal to make of these younger members of the bridal party at the wedding reception, where some pretty souvenir or gift may be found at their places.