OK, your sister, a blushing bride-to-be, has just asked you if your little girl can be in her wedding. Your imagination is alive with visions of your little princess floating down the aisle, dropping rose petals, displaying a charming toothless grin while she does everything absolutely perfect, right? Dream on. Certainly you have seen those funniest home video shows with their wedding editions. Pay close attention, most of them involve children. But this does not have to be a bad thing. Children add flavor and originality to weddings. Children are delightfully unpredictable and can turn a wedding video from a garden variety video to a personal keepsake that will be forever treasured.
This special event should be fun for your child. After all, you don’t want a stressed-out, teary eyed flower girl sulking down the aisle, do you? Make it fun, exciting, let her have some say in what she wears, even it is only the undergarments that she is allowed to select. Try to choose a flower girl dress that she at least likes a little bit. I must interject here, though, as a mom of a daughter I have learned that little girls change their minds daily, sometimes hourly. Last month my 14 year old daughter absolutely hated two things: sandals and sleeveless shirts. A couple of weeks ago I took her shopping and do you know what she chose? You guessed it, sandals and sleeveless shirts. When I asked her about it she only replied, “Well, I like them now.” OK, “whatev.” Throughout her young life I have experienced this with her from dresses to eggs (still an ongoing daily change, I think she likes them on Tuesdays and Sundays) to the color pink (which she hates). My point here is that what she likes today she may loathe tomorrow. I only tell you this as a friend so you can prepare yourself.
Suppose your daughter is totally against any form of flower girl dress or special occasion dress. That certainly stinks and presents a bit more of a challenge, but it can be overcome. I have found that focusing on one aspect of the outfit like the pretty lace, the bow that is in her favorite color, the fact that she looks like a “real live princess” often does the trick. However, when all else fails, bribery usually works. Offer her a dollar after the wedding if she does as she is supposed to, or ice cream, or Chuck E Cheese (the great old standby), a new car when she is 18, hey, desperate times call for desperate measures! Try the same with the hair accessories, but remain realistic here. It is just a simple fact of life that with some kids the only way you are going to keep that tiara on her head is with Superglue and a straight jacket.
Just as children add spice to our lives, they can do the same for weddings. As long as you keep your sense of humor and try to be patient, having your child participate in a wedding can be an exciting and fun activity. It can also be a great bonding experience as you work closely with your child and learn about her, her personality. Keep your eyes and ears open and your feet on the ground. Don’t take it all too seriously, relax, live a little, enjoy this special time because before you know it she will be choosing her own flower girl.