Flower Girls and Ring Bearers in Your Wedding
Why include small children in your wedding?
Why introduce such uncontrollable factors into an environment designed for orderliness and pageantry? Why? – What’s the point?
Children introduce spontaneity into our humdrum existence. In weddings they contribute the same.
Children are wild cards. We cannot be sure what they will do. When they appear at the end of the aisle, unnaturally and oh so cutely attired in tuxes and long dresses, the couple and the guests hold their breath in anticipation—of what?—of almost anything! This is the delight of their participation in weddings. But it’s also something that needs to be managed with a child’s mind and capabilities at the fore.
Deeper issues in weddings
For children, I think there is more than cuteness at stake when we include them in our weddings. It is important to consider the effect of the children’s participation in your wedding on their self worth and self image. We all love to succeed. Children do as well. A wedding is an important occasion when children have opportunity to perform before those scary creatures called—adults. From a small child’s viewpoint, weddings are a formidable task we place before them. A task with lasting consequences. Your wedding will be immortalized on photo paper and video. What they do in your wedding will be seen again and again as they grow up. They will be lauded or laughed at for all time on the basis of what they do on your wedding day. For this reason, it behooves us to do all that we can to enable them to fulfill their role in your wedding to the very best of their ability.
Children in the wedding aisle
For one thing, in weddings or otherwise, small children do not process; they go somewhere. So, when you point children down the wedding aisle, give them somewhere they want to go or better still, someone to whom they want to go. To minimize the prospect of them not fulfilling wedding ceremony expectations, station someone at the front that they know, trust and love. Have that person stoop down with arms outstretched to receive them. This gives them the necessary long view in the wedding aisle to minimize distractions and keep them walking straight toward a goal that they choose and desire, at the front where we want them to go.
Building self worth through children’s participation in your wedding
If, despite your wedding planning efforts, your flower girl or ring bearer becomes distracted, folds under pressure or embarrasses themselves or others, be gracious and understanding. Small children are not little adults. Children are rare treasures, especially delicate and precious as their self image develops. For their benefit and for your own enjoyment of your wedding, delight in what they contribute to your wedding, whatever that might turn out to be. Commend them whatever they do. Not so much on your wedding day, but along the way, if they express concern about reactions to their wedding performance, reassure them that any laughter during the wedding is the guest’s expression of delight in them, not laughing at them in a belittling manner. They are your servants for your wedding day—they do it their way—that’s why you invited them. So, enjoy them—commend them—delight in them and their unique contribution to your once in a lifetime special occasion. Their part in your wedding is cute and adorable even if they don’t make it all the way down the aisle, run out crying or fight with each other en route.