History Of Wedding Traditions: Flower Girls

History Of Wedding Traditions: Flower Girls

Wedding History Flower Girls
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Dubsdread Catering Event Specialist Peighton Ballant shares the history behind the wedding tradition of having a flower girl.Peighton Ballant headshot

Many traditions that are carried out during a wedding today originate from long ago and began at a time when arranged marriages were a lot more common, including the tradition of flower girls. Flower girls are often one of the most adorable sites at a wedding ceremony, and a must have for many couples. However, if you are still trying to figure out if this is the right tradition for your event, maybe learning where the tradition comes from and some of today’s most frequently asked questions can help with your decision.


Flower girls are believed to originate with the Greeks and Romans, typically in families of upper-class, when the main purpose of marriage was to have children to carry on the family’s lineage. Though they weren’t called flower girls at this time, the “flower girls” were women who had already had children who would walk ahead of the bride and throw herbs and grains in her path. These herbs and grains represented the collective hope that the bride would one day make children, just like the ones tossing the wheat and blessing her with fertility and prosperity.

The tradition began to change a little bit during the Elizabethan era, or mid 1500’s to early 1600’s. At this time, the “flower girls” were seen as symbols of innocence and hope and a reflection of how the culture idealized children. They were supposed to represent a younger and more innocent version of the bride before becoming a wife, and hopefully a mother as well. They also signified the bride losing her innocence.


Today’s flower girls are often children of close friends of the couple or relatives and a way to incorporate more friends and family members into the day. They often make for great photos as they can add humor, cuteness, and levity to the ceremony. But they can also be distracting and react in unexpected ways, so before you decide, here are a few FAQs that may help with your decisions or allay concerns.


  1. Who should the flower girl be?
    Typically, flower girls are daughters, nieces, cousins, or your best friend’s daughter. However, tradition is what you make it, and you can always make your grandma a flower girl to include her in your wedding. It’s really about your taste and how you want to incorporate people into your day that may not have a role in another way.
  2. Who should pay for the dress?
    Normally, the parents of the flower girl are expected to pay for the dress. If you have a specific style in mind that might be a little pricey, though, you can offer to cover some of the costs.
  3. Do they have to throw flowers?
    Despite the name, they don’t have to throw flowers! They can throw confetti or even blow bubbles down the aisle.
  4. When do they walk in?
    The flower girl will generally enter after the ring bearer and before the bride. The idea is that the bride is the only person to walk on the flowers, so make sure they go right before.
  5. What if they don’t want to walk down?
    I always recommend having one of their parents, or someone they will run to, sitting in one of the aisle chairs so that the flower girl can have a familiar face to walk to. They can also help coax the flower girl down the aisle and save a seat for them.
  6. Should I get them a thank you gift?
    Though it’s not expected, it is a nice idea. This is especially true if you are getting the rest of your wedding party some gifts. It also doesn’t have to be anything expensive; a little doll or toy will do the trick.

Though the meaning behind flower girls doesn’t hold the same meaning today as it used to, it can still be a big and important role that the bride and groom want to fill. However, if flower girls aren’t your thing but you still want to include the little ones at your wedding, consider having them be your greeters at the door, man the guest book, or have them pass out programs if they’re old enough.

There are plenty of opportunities to incorporate friends and family into your day, with or without a trip down the aisle, and our experienced team at Dubsdread Catering have ideas about what goes right, what goes wrong, and how to personalize it to your special day. Just ask!

Peighton Ballant is an Event Specialist with the Dubsdread Catering Team and is currently working on her Event Management degree at UCF. Peighton enjoys working with prospective couples to discover what they are most interested in bringing to their special day, and how to make those ideas come to life. Contact her today at events@historicdubsdread.comWedding History flower girl 18Wedding History flower girl 10

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