Children have been offered the roles of flower girls and ring bearers for a long time, because it’s not only adorable, but adds a level of warmth and amusement to your special day. Whether they’re your own, a relative, or a friend’s, kids can be extremely fun to have around at the wedding.
However, keeping children behaved and amused at the same time can be challenging. There’s a lot to consider, from their age and personality, to their needs and wants. So, if you need a few ideas for keeping your flower girls and ring bearers happy during your big day, we’re here for you!
1. Make Them Feel Special
Once you’ve been given the go-ahead to appoint your niece, nephew, cousin, or other small child as the flower girl or ring bearer, it’s time to officially ask them. When you do, really talk it up and make them feel special. Let them know what an honor it is to be part of the wedding, and how much fun they’ll have. Make sure to also explain what the role involves, whether it’s tossing petals or carrying the rings down the aisle, and how important it is. You should also ask their parents to talk about it frequently leading up to the wedding so they don’t forget.
2. Get Them Involved
Instead of just taking over all of the decisions that involve them and their role, get them involved! This will give the child ownership of the roles and make them feel like they’re valued and appreciated. That doesn’t mean you have to let them choose their outfit completely, but offer up a couple of options.
3. Choose Comfortable Clothes
Children are less interested in style than comfort. If they’re uncomfortable because their outfit itches or gets in the way, they’ll let you know, a lot. So, make sure their outfits fit well to avoid any tears and screaming. The same idea goes for any accessories, their shoes, and hairstyle. While you will want them to look special, they will not put up with unpleasantness as well as adults. This is also why it’s a good idea to have a few options when trying on outfits at the store.
4. Give Them a Chance to Practice
Planning ahead and having them practice their role will make for a much smoother performance the day of. They’ll know what’s expected of them and therefore won’t need as many instructions when it’s time to walk down the aisle for real. Even better, ask the parents if they can also practice at home.
5. Have Patience
Children are easily distracted. They won’t always know how to pose in photos or be able to stand still, so you’ll need to be patient, especially on a busy day when so much is going on.
6. Ensure They Get Plenty of Rest
While it’s up the parents to ensure the children get a good night’s rest the night before, set aside time and a space for them to nap, if needed, or at least have a break. Weddings are extremely busy and overstimulating, especially for little kids who can’t mentally prepare themselves like adults can. Overtired kids turn cranky, a cranky kid won’t want to listen very well. Making sure they get plenty of rest the day before, and throughout the day, will help keep them happy.
7. Keep Snacks Available
If you’ve never seen a kid go hungry, you’re lucky. Hangry is a real term when it comes to kids; they can turn from sweet and loving to complete terrors, yet they won’t even know themselves why they’re so miserable. Avoid this by having healthy snacks available at all times during the day, so their parents can keep them fed.
8. Offer Child-Friendly Activities
Weddings are a lot of fun for most adults, but kids need to be amused in different ways. They get bored easily, and while some might be happy to dance with the grownups, others might want something more child-friendly to do. Even between photos, vows, and traveling between locations, kids will need something to entertain them. Consider packing sticker books, small toys, or other simple activities for them to play with.
9. Appoint Adult Assistance
You’re going to be busy getting married, and unless they’re your kids, it’s not your job to keep them behaved and focused. Always appoint an adult to keep an eye on them during the day. This could be their parents, if they aren’t already in the wedding party, or another friend of the family that the child is comfortable with.
10. Reward Them
The flower girl and ring bearer should also receive a gift, just like the bridesmaids and groomsmen. This will make them feel like they’re part of the wedding party, which they are, and it will give them something to look forward to for a job well done. At the same time, you should still give them plenty of praise throughout the day for all their help in making your wedding extra special.