Getting your ring bearer and/or flower girl to walk down the aisle can be a challenge. Many times their walk down the aisle ends in tears. So the question is: how do you avoid this kind of scenario? First, let’s remember that kids are just little people. You can’t make a person do something that they don’t want to do, so the real trick is making kids want to walk down the aisle.
Here are six tips for getting your ring bearer and flower girl down the aisle.
1. Build a Relationship
It’s great that you want your best friend’s son or daughter in your wedding, but if you don’t spend time with the kids in your wedding on a regular basis then don’t be surprised when they aren’t just jumping at the opportunity to walk down the aisle with a crowd of people looking at them. Make an effort to spend time with your ring bearer/flower girl in the days and weeks leading up to the wedding.
2. Make it Fun
When some of our closest friends asked our son to be the ring bearer in their wedding, they went above and beyond to make it sound like a really fun opportunity. They gave him a badge and a t-shirt that read, “ring bearer security.” This piqued his imagination and got him really excited about the job they were entrusting to him.
Everybody has his or her price, right? For our son, it was a Nerf sword. We showed it to him in the store and then just kept talking about it in the weeks leading up to the wedding. Figure out a good incentive for your ring bearer/flower girl and remind them how much fun they will have with it once they’ve done their job.
Obviously, this includes the rehearsal the day before the wedding, but there are other ways to practice too. We had our son watch YouTube videos so that he could see what he would be doing. For most kids, this is the first wedding they will ever attend. It’s always good to help the child understand that a lot of people will be watching them, they need to walk slowly, and they need to throw the petals/carry the ring pillow in a certain way. Don’t assume they will get it just from practicing one time.
5. Realistic expectations for the wedding day schedule
Don’t expect your ring bearer/flower girl to show up for pictures 4 or 5 hours before the wedding and then hang out at the venue for several hours before the wedding. Kids get tired quickly, and let’s not forget they will be in uncomfortable clothing. If you want pictures with your ring bearer/flower girl before the wedding, talk to their parents about the best time to do that. It might even work best to take pictures with them after the ceremony.
6. Plan for the mom/dad to meet young kids in your wedding at the end of the aisle.
I feel like this one kind of goes without saying, but it bears repeating. Don’t expect a young ring bearer/flower girl stand up for the entirety of the wedding ceremony without making a scene. When my brother was 4-years-old he was the ring bearer in the wedding of my parents’ friends. He stood up at the front of the church and lost his shoe, searched for it with his foot and lost it again then picked his nose and ate his boogers all while my mom squirmed in the church pew. This is the kind of situation you want to avoid.
Finally, remember that you can do everything “right,” and it still might not work out. If it stresses you out to think that your ring bearer or flower girl might throw a huge fit and “steal the show,” then choose a child over the age of six or forego the ring bearer/flower girl duties altogether.
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