The origin of the Flower Girl goes back to ancient Rome where a young girl would carry sheaves of wheat or toss herbs thinking that it would promote fertility. Today the Flower Girl’s primary responsibility is to be adorable.
Traditionally the Flower Girl preceded the Maid of Honor in walking down the aisle, but in more recent times, she follows the Ring Bearer and walks just before the Bride makes her entrance. Her duties are to walk down the aisle and spread flower petals as she does. Some Flower Girls spread artificial flower petals or confetti. Other Flower Girls may simply carry a basket or pomander (flower ball) and not spread petals. I have seen one Flower Girl carry a sign announcing, “Here Comes The Bride!”
The Flower Girl, like the Ring Bearer, is typically related to the Bride either by family or friendship. She can be a niece, a close friend’s daughter, a younger sister or even the couple’s daughter. The normal age for a Flower Girl is about 3 to 8. If a Flower Girl is on the younger side or perhaps shy, it’s perfectly alright for her to be accompanied by an older Flower Girl or the Ring Bearer. There is nothing wrong with the tandem method. For young ladies older than 8 or 9, the Bride may consider having her serve as a Junior Bridesmaid.
Since a young girl may be a bit bashful or reluctant to walk down the aisle, it may be a good idea to have her attend the rehearsal and practice. You may even consider having her spread some shredded paper from her basket so she can get a better feel of what is expected. Practicing at home is also a good idea. Regardless of the amount of practice, come wedding day there will be many guests, decorations and festivities that may distract the Flower Girl of cause her to hesitate. Seating a family member near the first row will give the Flower Girl someone to walk toward and the family member can call to her if needed.
No matter what happens, remember that children can do no wrong. They just make memories and stories. I remember one Flower Girl who walked all the way down the aisle perfectly except that she forgot to spread the petals. Once she got to the front, she realized her mistake and dumped the entire basket of petals on my shoes, with an unbelievably cute grin I might add. I saw one time where the Bride had two Flower Girls. The first spread the petals evenly as she walked and the younger one following the first picked them up as she came down the aisle. Others simply sit a play. Others did everything perfectly. I can give many examples, but each and every one met their primary purpose. They were all adorable.