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What is a Flower Girl?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 23, 2024
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A flower girl is a young girl who carries flowers in a procession. Most people associate them specifically with weddings, although technically they can appear in a variety of processions and events, and they are sometimes seen at parades to honor regional beauty queens or other community celebrities.

Flower girls and young women have been used in processions for centuries as symbols of purity, virginity, and youth. In many cultures, processions are organized by age, honoring the old in the rear of the procession while celebrating the young at the beginning.

Typically, a flower girl is under 10, because she is meant to symbolize childhood and youth, and she directly precedes the person being honored by the procession; in the case of a wedding, this means that she walks ahead of the bride. Flower girls typically wear simple white dresses to accentuate their youth, although they may wear colored sashes or other decorations to coordinate with the rest of the procession.

Some flower girls simply carry flowers, while others distribute flowers to the crowd and the observers. In weddings, it is traditional for the girls to scatter flowers and petals down the aisle, so that the bride walks along a carpet of flowers. Often, flowers with a symbolic meaning and a pleasant scent such as roses are chosen.

When women are thinking about the members of their wedding party, they generally pick the flower girl from among their young relatives, or the children of friends. Multiple flower girls are perfectly acceptable, for brides who want to honor several young friends, and in very formal weddings, they are actually quite common. As a general rule, the bride picks out the girl's dress, and the girl's parents are expected to pay for the dress and any accessories such as a basket or sachet for carrying the flowers.

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Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a PublicPeople researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By zenmaster — On Sep 22, 2010

What are some good places to get heeled flower girl shoes? My future sister-in-law wants my little girl to be her flower girl, but she's requested that she wear high heels.

She's a bit of a bridezilla, so I don't want to set her off, even though I think it will be a trick if my 6 year old can make it down the aisle in heels.

But anyway, where are some good places to buy high heel flower girl shoes for a little flower girl?

When I try to find them online all I end up with are flower girl shoes for older girls.

Can anybody point me in the right direction?

By naturesgurl3 — On Sep 22, 2010

What are some good ideas for a flower girl gift? I was thinking of getting my flower girl a tiara, but is that appropriate?

It's my niece, so I want to give her something good to remember, and I thought that it might be better to buy her one of those nice flower girl tiara headpieces as a a thank you gift.

Would that be a nice keepsake for her after the wedding, or do I need to look for anther flower girl gift?

By pleats — On Sep 22, 2010

I always think that flower girls are so adorable -- it's like the represent the purity of the bride before she goes to her husband.

Of course, I do think that some of those flower girl gowns go a little overboard -- not to mention flower girl jewelry and accessories!

My little girl was once invited to be in a wedding where the bride asked her to get a pure silk tailor-fitted ivory flower girl dress. Well, needless to say that was a little different than the discount flower girl dress I had been planning to buy.

We ended up doing it, but I still think that when it comes to little girl dresses, flower girl dresses are just like the rest -- you shouldn't spend too much on them, because they grow out of them so quickly!

By flowergirl — On Jul 14, 2010

My little girl was just a flower girl. She was so cute. She had a basket and littered the ground with little petals. So adorable. I also got a good deal on the dress online. Luckily they offer free shipping both ways because the first dress I got her didn't fit her well. The second one was perfect and I didn't have to pay anything for shipping.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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