They play the supporting role to your leading lady - and that’s big pressure for a pre-schooler. We’ve got some buds of advice to help your
As you proudly watch your flowergirl scatter petals down the aisle, it’s likely you’ll feel a swell of both love and relief. Because, while her playful innocence is precious, it may well be unpredictable in equal measure.
Wedding florist Jo Parker of Driftwood and Daisies says she’s noticed brides are more inclined to invest in blooms for older bridesmaids rather than flowergirls, which often means they miss out on their childlike charm. “Many of our clients are worried their little ones won’t want to carry flowers,” says Jo. “But we want to show that brides aren’t restricted to buying large, expensive structured arrangements, just a few simple blooms can create an inexpensive and beautiful effect.”
We’ve thought of some innovative ways to celebrate your flowergirl’s namesake...
If your leading lady is still very young, you could ask your florist to make a small posy using the leftover blooms from your bouquet.
“Anything too polished might be a bit ambitious – but the just-picked look is perfect for children,” says Jo. “Brides often order hand-tied posies for children of five years and older, because they know they’ll be more aware of their special role, but even younger ones can clutch some fresh flowers. Small roses are perfect with gypsophila, and blue muscari and forget-me-nots are also very sweet for children.
If you think your flowergirl will find it hard to resist playing with the flowers, you could try sewing them onto her shoes. Florist Emma Dodd says she came up with the idea as a pretty way to protect the petals: “The fact they are on their feet means, all importantly, they aren’t in their hands!” she says. “Children love to watch them as they walk, and after a while they’ll forget they are even there.”
Just don’t go for anything too big and bold. “Spray roses work well because they have small heads, as well as anemones and hare’s ear.” Simply wire the flowers, then sew the wire onto the outside of the shoes, not too near their toes, advises Emma. “This idea works really beautifully for really young flowergirls who are being carried up the aisle as their feet will be quite visible.”
Floral circlets are hugely popular right now but it’s best to keep them on the small side if you don’t want them discarded out of hand. Wedding and events florist Katie Griffiths says the key is making sure the crown isn’t too cumbersome. “Delicate but robust flowers such as berries, hypericum, waxflower, scabiosa and craspedia look beautiful on smaller circlets,” says Katie. “Small spray roses and rose buds last well and also look pretty when dried. For older children, you could try a more substantial circlet of garden roses, dahlias and lisianthus."
And the good news is, you don't need to worry about them being carried, dropped or clutched with little fingers because a circlet is strengthened with wiring, she says.
THE MAGIC TOUCH
Wands are a pretty and playful way to incorporate fresh flowers. “You can keep them clean and simple with just one flower and ribbon wrapped along the stem,” says floral designer Elizabeth Marsh. “Nerines are ideal because they are so intricate and detailed, but you could also use roses or peonies which fold in on themselves, making them more robust. You might want to avoid flowers which are open or flat, such as gerbera daisies, as they are more likely to get damaged.”
The good news for your budget is they are an inexpensive detail, so if they end up getting thrown around, or even discarded, it won’t be too heartbreaking. “Give them the best chance by ensuring your florist makes the wand on the morning of the wedding, as anything wired tends to only last for a day.”
IT’S IN THE BAG
If your flowergirl is at the older end of the age spectrum, she might not want to be too cutesy. Rebecca Meddings from The Floral Design Company says she’s seen an increase in bridesmaids carrying floral bags down the aisle.
“A nice idea is for the flowergirl to carry a scaled-down version,” she says. “I’ve previously created a flower bag by cutting a small wreath in half, then picking carnations apart and gluing them on to create a ruffle effect. This works really well because the glue locks the moisture in. You could even use dried and preserved flowers to create a keepsake which will last forever, perfect for girls who are heading towards their teenage years.”
The rule book
- Comfort is key: Big might be beautiful but in this instance you’ll just want to keep the garland on the head, and the posy in her hands.
- Robust is a must: You will have to come to terms with the fact your flowers may well end up being thrown to the ground and (wince!) possibly even trampled under foot. Ask your florist for flowers which will last, but don’t invest too much love – or money – in them.
- Petal power: Some blooms are more prone to bruising under the touch of little fingers – closed flowers like roses and peonies are more likely to withstand the pressure.
- Pristine dream: Even if your wedding style is practically perfect in every way, this aspect of your day will need to allow for a little bit of wayward wild.
Image: Eliza Mabel