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Picking the Right Flower Girl & Ring Bearer

While inviting your gal pals and guy buddies to be in wedding party is comparatively easy, selecting whom to invite as your flower girl and ring bearer will be a bit more of a challenge. Read on to find out how you can make the whole process easier!

Wedding Ceremony in progress

Hey, John!

You have been great at helping us plan our Ainsworth House & Gardens wedding! Thank you!

Hey, one last question: How should we pick a flower girl and ring bearer? One of my co-workers, Shelby, keeps suggesting her daughter be our flower girl but I’m just not sure. Help?!?

Thanks! –Blake the Baffled in Banks, Oregon

Hey, Blake!

That’s a great question!

The history of flower girls

During the Roman Empire (which ended in 476 A.D.), flower girls carrying sheaves of wheat or herb bouquets walked ahead of the bride to bless her with fertility and prosperity. Sometimes, it actually worked…

During the Middle Ages, the flower girls carried flowers and spread flower petals ahead of the bride so that it smelled better. During this time, many people didn’t bathe regularly (if much at all) and so the fragrant flower petals were needed.


woman in Medieval costume PXBY
dog in tuxedo for wedding

Are there alternatives to flower girls?


  • Flower Boy (ages 3-10)

  • Flower Guy (adult male)

  • Your dog

  • Your cat.


The kitty to the right served as ring bearer at his dad’s wedding…and did a good job too!

If you’d like more info on how your dog or your cat could be the ring bearer or flower pet, see our blog posts,

Can My Dog Be in My Wedding?and

 “Can My Cat Be My Best Man?

Cat in stroller at a wedding
Monarch Butterfly on white flowers

Can a flower girl or boy carry anything other than flowers or scatter flower petals?

Yes! She or he could:

  • Carry the rings.

  • Release butterflies.

  • Throw confetti.

  • Blow bubbles.

  • Carry a pinwheel.

  • Carry a ribbon wand.

  • Carry a sign announcing the bride’s arrival.

  • Wave a sparkler.

  • Perform with a noisemaker or kazoo.

Let’s get down to a few critical decisions.

  1. Is yours an adult only wedding? If it is, then you won’t have a young flower girl or ring bearer.

  2. If you select a flower girl or ring bearer who is 10 or younger, then you may need to allow your guests to bring their children to your wedding too. Depending on the ages and personalities of these children (e.g., Tammy or Tommy the two-year old tantrum addict), you might want to rethink your situation.

  • What is the best age for a flower girl or ring bearer?While most etiquette experts place the age range from 3-10 years old, the personality of the child at the time of the wedding should be your focus. Kids change rapidly at this time. 

  • (Image to the right is courtesy of a New York Post article on a flower girl who fell asleep and was carried during the wedding>)
Charlotte Rose carried as the wedding flower girl.
wedding flower girl

Noted child psychologist and prolific author, Dr. Fitzhugh Dodson (How to Father, How to Discipline with Love, How to Parent) points out that children normally are assessing their limits when they are ages two years, four years, and six years, and are more likely to be obstreperous. They are often more assured and better behaved when they are ages 3, 5, or 7. However, kids don’t automatically change on their birthdays. For instance, Kathy, one of our team members, pointed out that her son shifted about six months before his birthday so he entered the “terrible twos” at 1 ½ years old and exited at 2 ½. Therefore, you need to talk with the parents to find out what this child’s pattern is for shifting from well behaved to we don’t want to talk about it. Considering your wedding date, do the parents expect their child based on his/her past patterns to be an angel at that time or are they preparing for another shift?

If you have additional questions, please reach out to me! I am happy to help!


Your friend in the wedding business,

John Shyne



Girl holding basket of flower petals at wedding

Title image and first Image courtesy of the Ainsworth House & Gardens wedding gallery. The other images are courtesy of Images below here are from the Ainsworth wedding gallery. 

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