Planning a wedding often means compromising on a number of things, whether the size of the guest list or the budget for your dress. One element of your big day that you won't want to approach with compromise in mind is your wedding party, and this includes the kiddos. Whether you want a limited number of junior attendants or have already tapped other littles ones for the job, family dynamics and expectations can make it difficult to let down the parents who want their children to be party of your celebration. Rather than letting hurt feelings go unacknowledged, here are a few tried-and-true ways to let a friend or relative know their son or daughter won't be part of your wedding ceremony.
Wait for them to bring it up.
There's a good chance your friends and relatives won't bring up the flower girl question if you don't bring it up first. It's easy to understand that if the kids haven't been asked, they likely aren't going to be included. But for some parents who may feel more comfortable with you (perhaps a sibling of yours), they'll not only bring it up but also ask a reason for your decision.
Have a good reason ready.
No need to make excuses, but it can be helpful for your peace of mind to have a good reason ready. Whether you explain that you've already selected a flower girl and prefer to include only one, or that you think the child is too young or old to be involved, have a solid reason to respond with. It's perfectly acceptable to explain the way you made your decision about which children would be part of the processional so long as you're delicate in your delivery.
If there are no kids in or attending your wedding, be straightforward about this decision.
It may be the case that you've decided your wedding will be a kids-free affair. This is something parents might be sensitive about, but it's an important factor in why you've decided not to include flower girls or ring bearers. Be clear about the decision to keep your celebration a child-free occasion so there's no room for interpretation when it comes to the wedding day.
Decide if it's worth an argument.
If your family member is really upset, or, more importantly, if the child in question has very hurt feelings, you may want to reconsider what it would change to include them. It doesn't happen often, but some parents promise their kids the coveted role of flower girl before it's confirmed, and you'd hate to be the bad guy letting that child down if it wasn't in your plans to include them.