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Flower Girls, and the parents who love them...

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CNOS128

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So, say you have a young child in your family who''s not really old enough to be a flower girl. But her parents insisted that she would do a great job, and basically forced their way into having their child be a part of your wedding. But say you''re still worried (read: certain) that the kid''s not going to be able to walk down the aisle by herself, at least not without a lot of drama & coaxing. What would you do?

Would you insist the parents hold the child''s hand all the way down the aisle?
Would you just let the kid try to make it on her own, figuring she''ll probably get scared and cry, and her grandmother will come rescue her?
Other?


Thanks!!
 

CNOS128

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Date: 3/24/2009 9:45:13 PM
Author: kittybean
Can she walk with a bridesmaid? That would be pretty cute!
She potentially could, and I agree that would be cute - especially since her mommy is a bridesmaid and their dresses coordinate.
The only potential problem is that said mommy is thoroughly convinced her little one is fully capable of carrying out her flower girl duties, including walking down the aisle on her own (and tossing flower petals?!).
 

CNOS128

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Date: 3/24/2009 10:00:54 PM
Author: fieryred33143
How old is she?
Ah, glad you asked! I forgot that part. At the time of the wedding she'll be 17 months. She can walk and everything, but not like a pro.
 

honey22

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Sweetie, this is your wedding and if you don't want the child in the bridal party, politely explain to her Mum that you have decided againt having a flowergirl or pageboy. If her Mum gets married in the future, she can have her in HER bridal party.

Sheesh, I don't know where people get off making demands on other people regarding the choices for their weddings. You need to be firm and nip this kind of thing in the bud earlier, as it will snowball out of control. Be strong, it's your day.

Maybe you can have a darling little dress made for her, but not having her in the party per se?

ETA - just saw your post about her age, this is crazy! She's way too young to be doing this, and her Mum shouldn't be putting pressure on your about it either!
 

fieryred33143

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Date: 3/24/2009 10:08:25 PM
Author: TheBigT

Date: 3/24/2009 10:00:54 PM
Author: fieryred33143
How old is she?
Ah, glad you asked! I forgot that part. At the time of the wedding she''ll be 17 months. She can walk and everything, but not like a pro.
At 17 months I think that is too young to assign a task too. She can probably walk down the isle but one look at mom, she''ll go walking back to her.

If you want her to be part of it maybe you can do one of those wagon things? But even then it would take a lot of effort to do that.
 

lauralu

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well if she could do it, it would be the cutest thing EVA! But, highly unlikely. You might try having her walk right after her mum? Than maybe she will just follow her up the isle?

IMHO her mommy is all to excited about her own child doing this. Yeah it would be cute, but she should know that there is little chance this little girl will make it past people and up an isle when everyone is looking at her.

roped into it or not. I guess if it's agreed upon. I would make the most of it and either send her with her mum, right after, or right before you and have her mum clearly planted at the end so she will concentrate on walking to her mother and not all the people.

sorry you have to worried about this. As if there isn't enough to worry about planning a wedding
 

CNOS128

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ohhh, it''s so much more complicated.

So, the flower girl''s mother is my fiance''s sister. So she and my future mother in law are really pushing to have the kid in the wedding. And my fiance of course told them that would be jut great! Because I don''t think he really thought it through. This child is the first in her generation and she''s been the center of attention at every family gathering since her birth.

I don''t mind having her in the wedding -- I just really don''t like when little kids are in weddings and start crying, or decide to sit down in the middle of the aisle, or walk off somewhere and have to be guided back to their tasks. Some people think that''s cute -- I just have no patience for it. But I''m not sure what kind of family drama I''d cause by changing her role in the wedding.

Is it too bridezilla-ish to tell the mother that the child either (a)holds her hand to walk down the aisle or (b)will have to sit with her grandmother during the ceremony and not participate?
 

choro72

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I'm personally very relaxed about these details. I agree that she is very young, but I also think that it's not a big deal for the girl not following orders properly. If she cries, then someone can carry her away.

How about telling the mom that the girl can attempt to walk down the aisle, but if it becomes obvious that it isn't going to work, someone is going to have to hold hands, coax her, whatever it takes.
My friend had her nephew as a ring bearer, and on the day of the boy decided to throw a tantrum. They nixed the ring bearer, and nobody noticed. After the ceremony he was calm enough for the pictures.

ETA: I just read about the part that you can't stand kids not preforming predictably. Then my new opinion is to discuss it with your FI, and if he agrees with you then have him break the news. If he still thinks it's a good idea, pick your battles. Sorry it's so stressful.
 

CNOS128

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Date: 3/24/2009 10:40:28 PM
Author: lauralu

IMHO her mommy is all to excited about her own child doing this. Yeah it would be cute, but she should know that there is little chance this little girl will make it past people and up an isle when everyone is looking at her.

Yeah, I think her mommy is a little jealous that the attention will be on someone else for the day. She''s been the one with all the focus on her for several years, now...
 

lauralu

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Every wedding I have ever been to once the flower girl and ring bear are up the isle that is it. If they need to go sit w/grandma, aunt, uncle whatever. They do so and no-one cares from there. They just want to see them get to the alter. After that I have even seen them disappear for the rest of the ceremony if they can''t sit still, cry ect. If, you can have a plan for someone to take her other than her mum so her mum can still participate in the ceremony. That to me would be ideal.

I have seen them walk up the isle, leave for the ceremony and get tucked back in line to walk back out again. At 17 months she will definitely need someone to take care of her during the ceremony. She is not going to just stand there.

I just hope her mum agrees. I luv kids in weddings at weddings ect. However, I do not like it when they cry , or run around or just be plain annoying and no-one takes them out. Just rude IMHO anyway
 

havernell

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Since it sounds like you and your FI have basically already told his sister and mother that the 17 month old can be the flower girl, I don't think you can take it back now without creating more drama than it's worth.

Perhaps have this little one's Dad (or other relative if the Dad's in the wedding party too) stand at the back of the church with her while she's waiting to walk down the aisle. If she starts walking down the aisle fine by herself, then her Dad can just let her go and quietly walk up the side aisle back to his seat. If, however, she starts crying/sitting down/what have you, you can instruct her Dad to come from behind her and either firmly hold her hand down and walk her down the aisle or (in case of a real tantrum) just carry her away.

I agree with you that 17 months is way to young to be a flower girl, and I also hear you on not loving the 5 minute-long "coax the flower girl down the aisle" spectacles that I've seen a various weddings. But hopefully the above plan with the Dad would minimize a such a show. Good luck with it!
 

honey22

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I don''t know if this would work with a child so young, but I read somewhere recently, to keep the child focussed on the ''task at hand'' have a small handfull of lollies (non-staining jelly babies are a good idea) in her flower basket (whatever) and tell her that when she gets to the end of the isle she can eat them. It will keep her quiet and entertained for a while. It really depends on how advanced she is for her age, I doubt this would work with someone so young, unless she was fairly intelligent.
 

Haven

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I like the idea of having a bridesmaid hold her hand.

Honestly, I think it''s really cute when the little guys do something spontaneous during their walk down the aisle. At my own wedding we originally told our two flower girls that they would have stemmed roses, and their job was to give them to the people sitting at the ends of the aisles on their way down. Well, we ended up using flower petals instead of full roses, so the girls handed out fistfuls of petals to people, instead. It was *really* cute.

A friend of mine was at a wedding where the ring bearer stopped every few steps down the aisle, raised his hands in a claw-like gesture, and roared at the guests. When they asked him why he did that after the ceremony, he said "I was the ring bear. I thought that''s what bears do!" So. unbelievably. adorable.

In the end, you''ll be married to the love of your life, and if having his very young niece take a few minutes to walk down the aisle or whatever it is she ends up doing will make your FSIL and FMIL happy, I say just let it go. I like to choose my battles, and I''d definitely decline to participate in this one.
 

Mediterranean

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hoo-boy!

There''s an old, old showbiz saying about not working with kids and animals, and his brings it to mind!

Self-control is very new to kids this age, and most don''t have it down pat by the age of 17 months.

It double-sucks that the FI consented without thinking of the logistics and potential pratfalls.

The biggest issue I see here (aside from the in-laws presumptuousness--wow, I''d be too embarrassed to foist my hypothetical toddler onto someone''s really freakin'' expensive event!)is that you don''t particularly dig the hijinks, and you''re not into having your wedding turn into one of "America''s Funniest Home Videos"

First, and I guess most importantly, is to weigh your options: is it more important for you not to have a toddler''s foibles become the focal point of the beginning of your ceremony? Or is it more important to avid WWIII with the inlaws? Obviously, you don''t have to post the answer to that, but you do have to ponder it for a moment.

If you conclude that you really feel strongly enough about not having the baby participate, and that it mars the vision you have for your wedding to the extent that you think you''d regret having her participate, I guess the only real answer is to completely cut out the "flower girl" function. As in, tell FMIL and FSIL that there is no flower girl. Get your coordinator on your team here. They''re paid enough money to take a little heat


Blame it on the venue''s strict timeline, blame it on some imaginary and arbitrary "liability clause" that doesn''t allow unattended children to be unaccompanied for fear they will trip and fall, or simply add something totally different and really creative in lieu of the flower girl function.

Have the coordinator deliver the bad news. Fake ignorance and disappointment. Crisis averted.

Jeez, I dont even know if that would work, but it''s the best I can come up with. Maybe you could hire a pair of trumpeters to walk down the aisle and "herald" the beginning of the ceremony. Damn, I''m bad at this. Sorry....
 

meresal

Ideal_Rock
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17 months, wow that is young. I can understand why you think that she won''t be able to walk down the aisle by herself. What if you propose that she do a "mock" run thru at the rehearsal, and if she can''t do it, then she will walk down the aisle with her mom during the actual ceremony, and then be handed off to another person at the end of the aisle??
 

CNOS128

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Thank you all for your responses. I should tell you that this isn''t causing me all that much stress, it''s just that now that I''m down to planning the day''s schedule and our posed photos, it''s been on my mind!

I think having someone walk with her from the beginning, or follow closely behind her, is probably the best option. I don''t think we''ll be giving her a basket of flower petals, though.

Honey22 - That''s not a bad suggestion! She''s not advanced for her age, but candy can be a great draw for children. Maybe we can have a relative at the other end hold candy, and she''ll happily run right over to it.

Haven - I agree that roaring at the guests like a good ring bear is adorable - what I''m more worried about is a total breakdown. This is one stubborn little girl (just like her mommy
), plus she''s quite young and slightly developmentally delayed [according to her doctor (doesn''t speak at all yet at 15 months, etc)]. But, you''re right - I''ll still be married to my pookie no matter what! I suppose some of my frustration comes from the fact that I myself am quite stubborn, and the more they push this flower girl thing on me, the less I like it.


Mediterranean, thanks for understanding. My mom just made the same suggestion you did - to tell the flower girl''s parents that the restaurant has a "no unaccompanied minors" policy because it''s too much of a liability to have them running around. I''d feel weird saying that, but I suppose it''s an acceptable social lie.

Meresal, a rehearsal isn''t a bad idea. It would either demonstrate to the parents that they''re wrong and their child cannot perform her task as flower girl, or it''ll show me that I''m wrong and that she is totally able to make it down the aisle.


I''m actually going to mention my doubts to my fiance because I want to get his perspective. I haven''t said anything yet because I''m so embarrassed at being this self-centered and demanding. But, I''d feel worse if didn''t discuss it at all... thanks again for your suggestions, ladies!
 

Pandora II

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I had the same situation over my 3 year-old niece - and it was one of the few things I flipped over.

Somehow it had just been assumed that she would be a flower-girl and my mother had got her all excited about it before they bothered to ask me.

All my bridesmaids were under 12, so it wasn''t as if I ''needed'' another flower-girl.

My wedding was pretty formal and the last thing I wanted was some child flipping out half-way down the aisle.

In the end I sent the BM''s down first and then I came in after they were safely at the top - my parents thought this was weird as in the UK the BM''s normally follow the bride, but I thought it was better to have sobbing child running down the aisle on her own and not tripping over my dress.

On the day things actually went fine - she did the flower-girl bit, her wreath slipped so far forward she looks like a show pony, she showed everyone her knickers as often as she could and my mother and sister were very happy. I was so happy about marrying my DH I didn''t give a monkeys...
 

Deelight

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Date: 3/25/2009 8:06:50 AM
Author: Pandora II
I had the same situation over my 3 year-old niece - and it was one of the few things I flipped over.


Somehow it had just been assumed that she would be a flower-girl and my mother had got her all excited about it before they bothered to ask me.


All my bridesmaids were under 12, so it wasn''t as if I ''needed'' another flower-girl.


My wedding was pretty formal and the last thing I wanted was some child flipping out half-way down the aisle.


In the end I sent the BM''s down first and then I came in after they were safely at the top - my parents thought this was weird as in the UK the BM''s normally follow the bride, but I thought it was better to have sobbing child running down the aisle on her own and not tripping over my dress.


On the day things actually went fine - she did the flower-girl bit, her wreath slipped so far forward she looks like a show pony, she showed everyone her knickers as often as she could and my mother and sister were very happy. I was so happy about marrying my DH I didn''t give a monkeys...
I am not sure why this made me laugh as much as it did but I find that utterly hilarious, thanks for the laugh.

TheBigT I think you got some fantastic suggestions, the only other thing I would possibly suggest is having another older FG to walk down the aisle with her and to keep her in check, though that would mean having another FG.
 
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