There's a reason that pros suggest that children in the wedding party should be no younger than four—they have to be able to understand direction and follow through. While it's adorable to see a precocious three-year-old take center stage as he cavorts down the aisle in his own world, it's probably not your dream scenario. So, in order to have a successful processional, start by picking children who are the right age. Then, plan on providing a little bit of coaching using the tips below.
Explain what their duties are.
Flower girls walk down the aisle and often toss rose petals, so be sure to explain this job. You should also let them know that they should throw the petals on the ground, not at people! Ring bearers, on the other hand, walk down the aisle holding a pillow to which faux wedding rings are attached. When both kids reach the top of the aisle, have someone show them where to go (usually to sit with their parents or other family members).
Show them what you mean.
Throwing petals on the floor requires more of a gentle toss than an actual hurl. Demonstrate the proper technique. Same with the ring bearer. He should hold the pillow like it's a delicate cake and not like a plastic Frisbee under his arm.
Consider having a private run-through.
If you think they need time to practice and the rehearsal will be too hectic with many people, schedule a time to have the children practice in private. They'll be excited to get the extra attention from you.
Make sure they understand many people will be watching them.
If your wedding will be the first time they'll be in front of an audience, give them a heads up. Better to tell them ahead of time what to expect than to scare them moments before walking down the aisle.
Let them know what a great job they'll do and how proud you are of them. A few upbeat words will boost their self-confidence!