As you’re planning your wedding, you might be wondering about the “rules” when it comes to flower girls and ring bearers. So… How old is “too old” to be a flower girl?
These days, there is no age that is “too old” to be a flower girl (or boy!). Traditionally, flower girls were between the ages of four and eight years old but modern weddings allow for many more options, from babies being adorably carried by their parents to grandmas stepping in as flower girls!
I’ll talk about different options for flower girls of different ages in this article. And I’ll most likely say flower “girl” quite a bit but I want to state that modern weddings also allow plenty of space for flower boys as well — if you’d like to have “flower children” at your wedding, go for it!
Traditional Age of Flower Girls
As I mentioned, traditionally flower girls were between the ages of four and eight years old. This is of course because children in this age range are able to take direction and are less likely to cry during the ceremony. A lot of couples, understandably, prefer to choose flower girls or flower children that are going to walk down the aisle without crying or throwing a tantrum.
Especially if a couple has spent a significant amount of money for “perfection” at their wedding, this will be the case. Couples want that perfect photo of an adorable and well-behaved flower girl walking down the aisle, dropping petals and waving.
In the Royal Weddings, we saw the couples surrounded by a whole band of young flower girls! Traditionally in North American weddings, we see one or two flower girls in total.
But again, norms are shifting and more and more couples are dropping these traditions, preferring to do something new and out of the ordinary — including involving children of all ages and genders — and allowing for more than one flower girl.
The “Junior Bridesmaid” Option for Older Girls
Another issue that you might encounter when trying to include girls older than eight years old in your wedding is the perception from the girl herself that she is “too old.”
Young girls in this age range don’t want to feel like they’re doing something that’s seen as being for little kids, so it’s always best to talk with them first and understand how THEY feel about being a flower girl.
If she does feel like she’s too old but you’d still like to involve her in your wedding party, consider doing something like making her a “junior bridesmaid.”
What is a Junior Bridesmaid?
A junior bridesmaid is a member of the wedding party who is generally older than the flower girl but younger than the bridesmaids. She usually fulfills the duties of walking down the aisle and standing at the altar; attends the rehearsal dinner and other activities that are age-appropriate.
The concept of a junior bridesmaid is a popular tradition in some families. It’s basically a step between the flower girl and the bridesmaids — you can have her dress in a similar dress and/or color as the other bridesmaids and she can walk in and and stand with them or be asked to assist the flower girl walk down the aisle.
You can even ask the junior bridesmaid to be involved in the wedding planning if you’d like, and attend events such as when you go to buy your dress. Girls in this age range usually greatly appreciate being included with the older bridesmaids, and having their opinions valued by them.
Babies and Toddlers as Flower Girls
We can’t really time these things as perfectly as we’d like, and so it may turn out that your perfect little niece or cousin is a baby when it comes time for you to get married!
And it’s perfectly fine to have a baby or a toddler as a flower girl, but you’ll have to be open to the possibility of a crying baby either walking down the aisle, during the ceremony, or in the photos. A baby or toddler can’t exactly choose to behave and you’ll be at the mercy of how they’re feeling in the moment. If you’re okay with that possibility and can roll with it, go for it!
Usually one of the parents carries the baby down the aisle. In my friend’s wedding, she had her toddler niece pulled in a wagon! And in my sister-in-law’s wedding, her baby daughter was the flower girl — and was carried down the aisle by the groom.
Grandmothers as Flower Girls
This is a trend that is undeniably adorable — grandmothers taking on the role of flower girl! So we can see clearly that there is NO age limit on flower girls! You’re never too old to fill this role!
In many weddings these days, couples are even asking their grandmas to dress in matching outfits. They’re given baskets full of petals and off they go.
The best part about a mature flower girl? No crying and no complaining! Just, in most cases, a happy and willing participant who will follow directions 🙂
The Fanny Pack “Flower Man”
One of the newest trends I’ve seen recently is a “flower man” — Which is pretty much what it sounds like! A friend or family member, maybe an uncle or brother, straps on a fanny pack full of flower petals and struts his stuff down the aisle being the best flower man he can be.
The trick for this to work is of course to choose someone very confident and who will be at ease with a lot of attention. Another variation is to ask a couple of men or a small group of men to do this together. They’re sure to steal the show just as well as any adorable little girl would do!
Little Boys as Flower Girls
We live in a time with more and more gender roles coming into question. If you would like a little boy who is close to you to fulfill the role of “flower child” or to have a group of children ALL be flower children, don’t let yourself be boxed in.
Ask the parents what they think, talk to the child if they’re old enough, and then go for it!
Do I Need to Have a Flower Girl (or “Flower Person”) at All?
Nope. You don’t even need to have a flower girl (or flower boy, or flower children, or whatever!) if it’s turning out to be more complicated than expected. Or more stress than it’s worth.
At my friend’s weddings, she had chosen a young flower girl to be in her wedding who, on the morning of her big day, got cold feet! The poor thing became super nervous and was too overwhelmed to walk down the aisle. So she got a hug and a huge relief when she was told it was fine and that she could just relax in the crowd!
A flower girl is really just a moment of “awww” or laughs for the crowd, and is absolutely not at all necessary. Especially if you don’t have a child close to you to include, or if you’re having a no-children wedding ceremony.