Inviting children to take part in your celebration can make it even more special. However, the last thing you want to worry about is your flower girl and page boy becoming impatient, restless or fidgety on the day of the wedding. Here are some helpful tips to ensure that the day goes smoothly:
As a general rule, when choosing children to take part in your wedding as a flower girl or page boy, it is usually best (or at least more predictable) to have children ages four and above. Now, of course, each child is different and you’ll want to consider their personality (very shy vs. outgoing) and maturity level as well.
In the weeks before the wedding, talk to the children about the events that will take place before and throughout the day. Explain what they will wear, where they will go and what they will have to do. The better young attendants can visualize their role in the wedding, the better prepared they will be to cooperate and participate as you would like them to.
Choose outfits for them that are comfortable. Choose comfortable fabrics, ones that don’t scratch or irritate the skin. Be sure the children wear comfortable shoes, and if the shoes are new, that they have a chance to ‘break them in’ prior to the wedding day.
Invite all of your young attendants and their parents to the rehearsal. Let the children practice walking down the aisle several times so that they will feel more comfortable of their role on the ‘big day’.
Make sure that the children know exactly where their parents will be seated during the ceremony. Depending on the length and style of the ceremony, you may want the children to go and sit with their parents during the ceremony.
The parents of the children should be invited to the rehearsal dinner. However, many rehearsal dinners can go late. Therefore, it is recommended that the children not attend the dinner. Talk with the parents to see if a babysitter could be arranged ahead of time.
Ask the parents to make sure their children are well rested before the wedding. A good night’s sleep the night before, or even a nap the day of, can help little ones get through the day.
Assign a bridesmaid to each child in the bridal party. Have each of your secret helpers keep a goody bag handy. Fill it with nutritious treats, crayons and paper, a bottle of water and small travel games. These kid supplies will come in handy while travelling from the church to the reception, while waiting for photographs to be taken, or during the reception.
Take photos with the children as early in the day as possible then there is less chance that their outfits could get dirty, torn, wrinkled; you know how kids are!
Be sure to express your heartfelt appreciation to the children in your bridal party. Bribery of a gift at the end of the day works wonders! Photographs make a cherished gift for flower girls and page boys of all ages. They will enjoy reflecting on pictures of themselves and remembering the special role they played in your wedding.
Kids are unpredictable! All the practice and preparation in the world does not mean that they will perform their role flawlessly. Don’t expect perfection. Remember, if it doesn’t go just as planned, it will make for entertaining clips in your wedding video.
Older children at your wedding
Inviting older children to take part in your celebration can make it even more special and is very important for second marriages when you are trying to bring together a ‘new family’.
There are many roles older children can play:
Hand out wedding programs at the ceremony.
Ask them to do a special reading or prayer during the ceremony.
Watch over the gift table. Give them a role of scotch tape and ask them to make sure all cards are securely fastened to each gift.
Help decorate the reception or ceremony site with favours, place cards, guest book, toasting flutes, etc.
Hand out the wedding favours to guests. Have someone walk around with a basket or tray and hand out the favours to each guest at their seat or from a designated table.
Manage the guest book. If the guest book is left unattended, many guests will forget to sign it. So, ask someone to walk around with the book and ask the guests to sign it.