Weddings often begin as an intimate expression of love between two people, but very quickly they become a family affair!
Often everyone in the immediate family will have a role to play in the walk down the aisle. The flower girl and the ring bearer can be a wild card in the ceremony in more ways than one! The roles of the littlest attendants are evolving in big ways to keep up with contemporary trends.
The tradition of the flower girl can be traced as far back as Ancient Rome. Young attendants carried sheaths of wheat and herbs to symbolize the prosperity and good fortune.
During Medieval times you could find flower girls carrying braid of garlic to ward off evil spirits and misfortune.
The Elizabethan era brought the beginnings of the flower girl as we know her today. Young girls would scatter petals to create a path from the brides home to the church. They followed musicians at the head of the procession and often wore wreathes of gilded rosemary.
If a traditional “Bride’s cup” is to be part of the ceremony, it is typically the flower girls’ job to carry it to the altar once it has been festooned with ribbons.
Victorian flower girls adopted a look we would consider very familiar today, wearing white dresses similar to the bride’s with brightly colored sashes around the waist. Royal weddings often featured bridal parties comprised entirely of young children, typically ages 3-10. Traditionally the bride provides the dresses for the flower girls, and gives them each a gift as a token of her appreciation. Providing your flower girl with an Add-A-Pearl necklace is a great flower girl gift. Not only are you starting a lasting tradition with your sweet girls, but you've provided their day of jewelry at the same time!
The tradition of a flower girl remains surprisingly unchanged since Victorian times, but recently the stirrings of new trends to seem to be taking hold. Couples are waiting longer than their parents’ generation to begin their families, and are keeping their broods small. A bride planning her wedding may quickly realize that she has few options available to fill the spot of flower girl.
More and more brides are using this as motivation to get creative with their ceremonies!
Dogs are becoming more and more a part of the family, so it’s not surprising people are turning to their furrier family members to fill these roles.
If your dog responds well to commands and loves social situations, they can be an adorable addition to any outdoor or backyard wedding.
Including your pet in your wedding can be a necessity in the case of service animals. Valerie Parrott told the Huffington Post of her service dog Bella’s inclusion in her wedding: "This bond is so important because it helps us rely on each other every day. It makes it so I can literally put my life in her paws every day and know that we can make it through anything."
Recently a brand new trend has been quickly gaining steam. Couples have been finding that the role of flower girl is a great way to include their beloved grandparents in the ceremony! Grandparents are such an important part of a young person’s life, yet a traditional wedding ceremony does not typically feature them. Having grandmothers fill the role of flower girl gives them a staring roll, without adding the potential hectic day-of duties of a bridesmaid or attendant.
Patrick Givens told People Magazine: "It was an incredible feeling looking out at this amazing crowd of our family and friends, and then seeing the heart of it all, the women at the start of it, strutting down the aisle with the biggest smiles on their faces. I had plenty of nerves standing up there, but seeing my grandma Joanne tossing flowers around and DD kicking her heels up with that flair – it was such a great reminder to just enjoy the moment."
If your grandmothers are like mine, they may still have their own Add-A-Pearl necklaces tucked away from when they were young. We have been around since 1914 after all! What a great opportunity to update her necklace by having it restrung and a new pearl added! The traditional pearls can also be incorporated with lovely pearl earrings, since unlike a traditional flower girl, no one will object to Grandma having pierced ears!