Flower girls are an extremely old wedding tradition that go back centuries. The nature and importance of their role and duties has changed over time into the modern idea we have now: unlike bridesmaids, flower girls are young girls (usually between the ages of 3 and 9) who are often members of the bride or groom’s extended family will walk down the aisle scattering flower petals before the bride as part of the wedding ceremony procession.
Symbolically, the flower girl’s presence, along with the flowers she carries and scatters, have long represented prosperity and fertility, in the hopes that these will be brought to the marriage in question. Further reading on the difference between a flower girl and a bridesmaid.
As traditions naturally develop, so too do things like what flower girls wear, and more and more people end up confused as to what the etiquette is. Top questions include:
- Do flower girls’ dresses have to match the bride’s?
- Do all flower girls have to match each other?
- Do flower girl dresses have to be white?
These are thoughts that will almost certainly arise when trying to decide on a flower girl outfit, so in this article we’ll try to help answer these tricky questions while also busting some common myths to help you on your way!
1 – Do flower girls’ dresses have to match the bride’s?
Traditionally, a flower girl’s dress will resemble the bride’s, whereas a bridesmaid’s dress usually varies more. However, since this is only tradition and not a written rule, you by no means need to stick to this. Other factors which may affect the extent to which you abide by this tradition are the ages of the flower girl, the flower girl’s personal style, and the bride’s own preferences.
What’s nice about matching, or at least bearing some resemblance to, the bride’s dressing gown is that it creates cohesion in the wedding party and creates an aesthetically pleasing unity that’s perfect for wedding photos which cement memories that are meant to last a lifetime. If coordinating with the bride’s gown, it’s likely you’ll need to wear a shade of white or cream; these colours are great blank canvases which can be mixed and matched with a range of other colours. This ensures you can throw your own twist on things and keep your outfit original and unique while still creating that cohesion.
2 – Do all flower girls have to match each other?
Again, this is another potential misleading myth. There is no particular rule or even tradition that dictates that all flower girls in the same wedding party must be wearing matching dresses. And as above, things such as the ages of the flower girls, the flower girls’ personal styles, and the bride’s own preferences are key factors in deciding how you interpret this pivotal choice. If you want that picture-perfect wedding photo then you may opt for all matching, however with young flower girls it can be fun to dress them slightly differently and allow them not only to express their personalities but wear what’s comfortable for them.
If you’re going for all-matching it’s probably best to choose something on the plain side in order to suit and accommodate the majority of tastes, shapes and sizes. Something like this ivory dress is perfect due to its simplicity; in an all-over ivory colour, the fit and flare shape is flattering a range of heights and body types and while the frill detail on the back adds a nice finishing touch, the overall look is neat and refined.
If you have multiple flower girls though and do want to change it up, you have a variety of options. You could have each in a different colour, or variations on the same colour. This approach would allow you to spend time with each girl individually and find out about what they like and their personal style, so you can ensure they end up wearing something that feels and looks just right. You could also experiment with materials like ribbon and lace in a variety of colours to decorate a plain dress and add even more personality. This Brides.com article is full of inspiration from weddings all over the world.
3 – Do flower girl dresses have to be white?
Since the tradition goes that flower girl dresses usually bear resemblance to the bride’s, often they will be some shade of white, cream or ivory since this is what the bride’s dress will be. However, more and more people are opening up to the idea of doing something different and putting their own unique stamp on things. The answer quite simply is no: flower girl dresses do not have to be white. There’s plenty of options if you do choose white (or something similar), but also lots of options (and arguably more) if you choose something different.
For example, you could choose something like this pearl blue ball gown which is still pale in tone yet still steers clear of the traditionally white theme.
Something like this pastel shade is perfect for those of you wanting something unique; pale pinks, blues and greens are just a few ways you can choose a flower girl gown that’s non-traditional but still wedding-appropriate. Equally, if you do want something white, then you could still show a bit of personality by adding some accessories. Hairbands and jewellery are a great way to finish an outfit and add a touch of sparkle and glamour.
Admittedly, it can be nice to stick to long-upheld traditions and honour the past, however both the world and the fashion industry are changing so quickly that we are fortunate enough to have a huge range of options open to us nowadays; weddings are becoming more creative and progressive, and the enormous choice of clothing options gives everyone a chance to find what’s right for them.
Despite the more conservative flower girl etiquette which still exists and can be fun to indulge in for a day, you don’t just have to play by the rules. Hopefully, this guide has now answered those all-important questions so you can get on with picking that perfect dress!
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