The youngest members of the bridal party are always some of the sweetest, but also some of the most difficult. And who can blame them! There's a great deal of pressure and attention on the littles ones. Luckily, Kate Whelan, owner and lead consultant of Kate Whelan Events, has plenty of tips and tricks that'll help your small attendants feel comfortable on the big day. Here, her best tips for getting them down the aisle without a meltdown.
Use the Buddy System
If you have lots of little ones in your life, consider having a few ring bearers and flower girls instead of just one of each. If not, let your ring bearer and flower girl walk together. "Two flowers girls, or a ring bearer and flower girl duo, may feel much more confident if they get to walk with a buddy," says Whelan.
Don't Be Above Bribery
A lollipop boutonnière, a goodie bag waiting at the end of the aisle—whatever your littlest ones like, Whelan suggests making it part of their reward for making it down the aisle. "Bribery makes for a great motivation and reward for small children who might be nervous in front of a crowd," she says. Don't be shy about reminding them, early and often, about what's waiting for them after a job well done.
Give Them Something to Hold
If you don't give little ones something to do with their hands, they'll find something to do. And more often than not it won't be photo-worthy. That's why Whelan suggests always having something pre-arranged for the flower girls and ring-bearers to be in charge of. "Even if your venue doesn't allow for petals down the aisle, a pomander or cute mini floral purse to carry keeps idle hands busy and makes it much less nervous task for little ones."
When you can, head to your ceremony venue ahead of time so little ones can envision where they'll be carrying out their bridal duties. The more familiar they are with a location and all its distractions, they more comfortable they'll be when it's filled with friends and family on the big day.