Although bridal styles change from season to season, flower girl fashion has changed very little. The gown is always classically “little princess” in style but in keeping with the style of ceremony – church wedding, beach wedding or garden wedding.
A flower girl’s gown should complement the bride. It can be bridal white or ivory, the same colour as the bridesmaid’s gowns, or a contrasting colour that complements the outfits of the entire party. If white is chosen for the flowergirl’s gown, a colour sash may be used to tie it in with the colour of the bridesmaid’s gowns.
The age of the flower girl is a factor when choosing the length of her gown. A small child could trip over a long skirt, so ankle length is better for the “little ones”. A younger girl (say 5-6 years old) can wear an ankle length “princess” style dress, while an older girl (10-12 years) might prefer a more sophisticated silhouette with more length. While traditional formal weddings do tend towards floor-length gowns, practicality should be considered as well.
If you are having several flower girls of varying ages, you can co-ordinate their dress styles using colour, fabric and accessories such as flowers or jewellery.
Whatever the style you choose, avoid those that will make your flower girl look too sophisticated for their age. This is an occasion when you want to play up her little girl charms. When else can she have the joy of wearing rustling silk or satin gowns, full petticoats, tulle skirts and big bows?
Perhaps this is why flower girl fashion has remained constant over the years – little girls love dressing up!
Fabrics such as polyester and cheap lace can be very itchy. No matter how precious the flower girl looks, if her gown and shoes are uncomfortable, it will be reflected in her face and behaviour. Scratchy gowns and tight shoes can cause everything from fidgeting to temper tantrums, so take this issue seriously in order to not interrupt the ceremony itself.
If possible, invest in a better fabric, keeping in mind that the dress doesn’t have to be a “one-time” dress. It can be re-worn often, from a portrait sitting to a birthday. It can also be preserved and handed down as an heirloom once the child grows out of it.
Choose fabrics that aren’t wrinkle prone, such as silk, satin or velvet for the best results. Dupion silk does have a reputation for creasing, but it is actually a pronounced fold that the fabric develops in line with the vertical or horizontal threads, and as such does not appear crushed.
Fabrics and colours for flower girl gowns vary greatly depending on the time of year and the location. If the wedding is in autumn or winter, rich fabrics such as velvet, satin and silk are popular choices not just for their beauty, but because they will keep the chills away. For a spring or summer wedding, lighter fabrics such as dupion silk, delustered satin and tulle.
For the cooler months, a gown with sleeves may be considered, but as the ceremony is usually indoors at this time of year, perhaps a wrap or shawl would be a better choice, allowing clothing to be removed in layers as suits.
Colour will primarily be dependent on the bride’s choice for the wedding party.
Also, wait until the very last possible minute to dress your flower girl. Her dress will be free from wrinkles, and you won’t have to worry about any food or drink spills just before the ceremony. A nice comfortable robe for the child to wear prior to the final dressing is a good idea.
Flower girl shoes can be a satin or silk “streetwear” style ballet shoe or similar flat shoe that is comfortable and complements the fabric and colour of her gown. If having a beach wedding, a flower girl may go barefoot with a petite silver or gold fine chain anklet or ankle bracelet.
A young child in uncomfortable shoes will fidget, so regardless of anything else ensure that the shoes for the flower girl fit well and are comfortable. If the shoes are stiff, tight, unworn or new it’s a good idea to slip them onto the child at the last minute.
A “fresh” look is perfect for a flowergirl. If the girl has natural curls let her hair flow naturally with a flower or a hairpin to finish it off. Floral or ribbon head wreaths, and lightly jewelled tiaras are also popular. if you prefer a bun, adorn it with flowers or hair jewellery matching the bride’s attire, always remembering a flower girl represents youth in the bridal party. An elegant silk tiara adorned with satin ribbons flowing gentle behind her hair would also be appropriate.