Flowergirl dilemma: neighbor instead of my niece as a flower girl…

posted 2 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
Member
1905 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

I would ask them both. It helps that the other little girl behaves well, she might model the good behavior. 

I would gently tell the sister that if her daughter is having trouble the day of (if she’s nervous or tired), that it’s no problem for just the other flower girl to do it alone. Hopefully your sis will pull her out if she knows she wont be able to do it. 

Post # 3
Member
2413 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

ms.oregano:  Rational people understand that there’s a hierarchy of relationships and we can’t always be at the top.  These people aren’t upset when they aren’t chosen to be in the bridal party.  Sometimes it might be informative to them that they aren’t as high in the heirarchy as they’d assumed, but your half-sister shouldn’t be surprised that you feel a closer bond to this little girl than her child.  I’d say ask your neighbor and have faith that your half-sister will be understanding.  Oh, but I wouldn’t describe the girl you’re choosing as just “my neighbor,” how about saying that she’s the daughter of friends and someone who has spent a great deal of time with both you and your FI.  Good luck!

Post # 4
Member
7208 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

ms.oregano:  Another alternative is not to have a flower girl at all.

Here’s your dilemma: your niece will probably always be in your life. Your neighbour’s daughter is less likely to be. So if you can’t have your niece, I think the best way to avoid hard feelings is to have no flower girl at all. After all, you don’t need to have a flower girl. 

Post # 5
Member
195 posts
Blushing bee

I would ask the neighbor girl, personally. I don’t see that it’s necessary to include someone just because they’re the right age and blood-related. 

Obviously your sister knows her child has tantrums, and should be able to understand that a meltdown is very possible and she should want to make every effort to not have her kid’s behavior ruin your day.  Make up roles for her that are completely nonessential that she can be pulled away from if she starts to have a tantrum.

Make her an Ushette, she can direct people on which side the bride’s family and the groom’s family are sitting on. Or if she can read, she can help people find where they’re seated. 

If your wedding is a year from now, it’ll be July or August, right? If your ceremony is outdoors and it’ll be hot and you’d like to supply cold bottled water, you could appoint her the job of handing out the bottles to people. If she’s cranky, she can just stop doing whatever she’s doing, and there’ll be nothing missing. 

Being included doesn’t mean she has to actually DO anything. What would matter most is that she gets to wear a nice dress, get a little corsage, and to participate in some capacity.

Post # 6
Member
601 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

If you’re not that close to your niece, there’s no real need to ask her & if you’re worried about her behavior, then you probably shouldn’t ask. I’ve asked my niece to be in my wedding but I’ve also told her she has to behave & do what I say or she’ll have to just come as a guest. I know it’s probably not proper etiquette but it works for me & my niece. She’s a little older though

Post # 7
Member
3711 posts
Sugar bee

Ask the girl you are closest to. DNA does not equate an invitation, of any kind.

Post # 8
Member
1466 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

ms.oregano:  I immediately thought you should ask them both and have them proceed down the aisle before the bridal party or before the bridesmaids. This is untraditional but my officiant recommended it for two reasons- 1) people love flowergirls and ring bearers and if they come right before you it could distract people from the bride (this one I am not as sure about to be honest, I think people are always pumped to see the bride!) and 2) if the flower girls have any problems making it down the aisle, it won’t mess you up and it can be dealt with before the bride even appears. Your MOH may find it stressful if she needs to do something about the flowergirl but she won’t feel like her wedding day is ruined. That’s a job for a BM or MOH (or the child’s parent).

If you asked both girls, what would be the worst case scenario? Probably the one who was your neighbor would make it down the aisle fine. Your niece may be unpredictable, which is often the case with flowergirls and ring bearers. 

And who knows, if you ask, your half sister may have the thought to decline the offer knowing her daughter.

Post # 9
Member
6644 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

I would say both or none.  I know for me personally if the shoe was on the other foot I would be extremely offended if my sibling got married and if they had a flower girl/ring bearer and that child wasn’t my child.  Considering I have only 1 sibling. 

Post # 10
Member
6891 posts
Busy Beekeeper

I would also do both or none. 

Post # 11
Member
2132 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

Ask both or none.  It is different with flower girls than bridesmaids.  Flower girls are little kids who probably won’t understand, unlike bridesmaids who at least SHOULD.  And excluding family would probably result in more tears and drama than it is worth.   

Post # 12
Member
3016 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2014 - Prague

I’d ask them both!  I wasn’t going to have a flower girl, but my childhood best friend’s daughter was “dying” to be one, so I said sure. Then I thought I should probably ask my cousins’ daughters and my other old friend’s daughter… in the end I had 5. It was adorable! 

The well behaved one will either be a role model for your niece… or your niece will have a tantrum and will not be in the wedding. That’s up to her.

Post # 14
Member
227 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

I think you have to ask them both and hope for the best.  Hopefully the little girls have an opportunity to bond at the rehearsal dinner and your niece witll take her behavior cues from your neighbor’s daughter!

Post # 15
Member
6749 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

I just wanted to respond from the other side of this. My 2 daughters were recently asked to be the flower girls in the wedding if a family friend. The bride said she felt closer to, and would prefer to have my girls rather than a family member they don’t feel a connection to. Of course I am honored and my girls are thrilled. But now I’m wondering if there is gonna be a mad mom giving my girls the side-eye!

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