It’s important to every couple that their wedding day go smoothly. With so many details to tend to and people involved, it can sometimes be a worry that the little ones in a wedding will have trouble making it down the aisle seamlessly. While a snafu with a kid in your wedding party certainly wouldn’t totally derail your day (it may even make a good story!), it’s still something you surely want to avoid if you can. Since kids can be unpredictable, we’ve compiled a guide of how you can ensure good behavior and a seamless performance from your ring bearers and flower girls on your big day.
Practice Makes Perfect
The first rule of thumb to follow in helping your ring bearer and flower girl march down the aisle proudly is to allow them to practice. Invite them and their parents to your wedding rehearsal so that the kids have some exposure to how they’ll walk down the aisle and where they will stand or sit once that job is done. Let them even hold their props during the rehearsal so they know exactly what they’ll be doing. You want the kids in your wedding party to feel comfortable the day of, and some practice helps that happen.
Involve Them in the Planning Process
Especially if you’re dealing with a very feminine flower girl, you may want to involve the kiddos in the planning process when it comes to choosing their attire. This is a fun way to get them excited about their job and involve them in the experience even more. Let them be a little fashion model with the different options and really bring out their personality and sense of style in what they get to wear on the big day with this step.
Assign a Helper
You’ll want to assign an adult member of your wedding (or two, depending on how many kids are in your wedding) to help the little ones leading up to their walk down the aisle. This could also be a good job for your wedding coordinator. Make sure the kids feel comfortable with this person or people and that the helper totally understands the schedule with the kids, when they need to be present for photos, their processional order, where they’re sitting, and everything they need for their big debut.
Respect Their Schedule
Little kids have a tendency to get cranky if they’re over-scheduled or if they don’t get their daily nap in. In scheduling the kids into your day—whether it be for getting ready photos or for them to get their hair done—consider what their daily schedule is. As much as possible, accommodate their schedule to allow them to participate in their daily routine so that they’re well-rested for their big moment. Over tired children will have trouble following instructions, sitting still, and posing for photos, so keep that in mind!
Be realistic about how long you need the kids in your wedding party around for different parts of your day. Kids have limited patience for things like photographs, so to keep them happy, try not to schedule them for long periods of your photography sessions. The less scheduled the day is for these kiddos, the more happy and natural they will be both at the ceremony and in your photos.
Have Some Goodies
In your wedding suite, have some goodies for the kids who will be present to keep them busy and excited. Have some kid-friendly (but not messy!) snacks and beverages so that they are fueled up for their role. Also, consider having some little toys or activities ready for them such as a coloring book or puzzle so that the kids are entertained while they wait for the festivities to begin.
Talk up the Job
Kids love to feel important and like they have a big job to fulfill. Talk up their role as a flower girl or ring bearer in the weeks leading up to the big day so that they feel pride in what they’ll be doing that day. Plus, being in a wedding is a big deal! Allow them to learn and feel that fact in order to get them excited and to ensure that they’re on their best behavior that day.
Good Old Fashioned Bribery
Kids can never resist a good old fashioned bribe. Talk to the kiddos about a special treat they’ll get at the reception if they fulfill their job well during the ceremony. This could be a goodie bag of little toys at their reception seat or something as simple as stickers, a lollipop, or bubbles presented to them after the ceremony. Don’t think of it so much as a bribe, either, and more of a reward for the great job they will do walking down the aisle.
These small measures can make a large difference when it comes to ensuring the kiddos that are a part of your big day are on their best behavior as they make their way down the aisle.