Tiny Human Attendants

by admin on June 16, 2010

It’s the prime wedding season in the US and without a doubt, dozens or even hundreds of readers have attended a wedding in which tiny humans are compelled to participate in wedding ceremonies as ringbearers and flower girls.

I really dislike tiny ringbearers and flower girls.

Don’t get me wrong. I adore children. I have three of my own and can’t wait for grandchildren. But when it comes to a wedding ceremony, tiny children under the age of 5 should not be involved at all. Zip. Nada. Keep them out of the ceremony.

Why?

1. In my experiences, children under 5 are rarely asked if they want this “honor”. They are nearly always compelled to participate. Even if they were asked, they have no idea what they are agreeing to do because their limited life experiences doesn’t include marching down an aisle in front of hundreds of people, many whom look like strangers. I have witnessed adults have panic attacks just before processing yet for some reason people think a toddler can handle this same pressure.

2. Children are not props. In 25 years of wedding planning, I can’t recall a single instance where a flower girl or ringbearer was given any input into what they were wearing. Their “costume” was provided for them and they are expected to wear it. As alleged members of the wedding party, they are afforded the least respect as to whether they want to do this and what they will wear. When brides treat adult attendants in this manner, we refer to them as Bridezillas. If you had a “mini me” toddler flower girl, shame on you. You used her as a prop to flatter your ego.

Years ago one of my brides wanted to include two twin 18-month nieces in her processional. They were to be wheeled into the ceremony in a decorated wagon. “Who is being served by you doing this?”, I asked the bride. “I doubt, at 18 months old, that the girls are going to find this fun so it’s not serving them. Their mother is the Matron of Honor and she may be very distracted if they see her and cry for her so she’s not going to be served by this. Your guests? I think they’ll survive not having that visual memory.” My bride decided to not include the babies since it was really not in the babies’ or mother’s best interest to attempt this. The wedding went off flawless but more importantly, the babies and mom were stress-free and happy.

3. I know there are those of you reading this at the moment and feeling your indignation rise like mercury in a Florida thermometer because you had tiny humans in your wedding. I’m sure there are many, many Youtube videos of adorable flower girls and ringbearers who loved every minute of the limelight. They “steal the show”. Well, therein lies the problem. A wedding ceremony is not a “show” and toddler attendants can completely distract the emphasis of the ceremony from solemn vow making to entertaining guests with a version of “Wedding Romper Room”.

In the video below, the toddler Maia is acting predictably for a toddler and she’s not happy about the whole situation. Her older brother clearly is old enough to know what he’s getting into and he’s enjoying himself. Maia should have never been involved in the wedding, however, because she’s simply too young to understand what she is doing or the significance of the event.

In the first part of this next video, the “baby” (and yes, he is referred to that by someone) should never have been expected to walk down the aisle like this. Goodness gracious, he looks adorable in that tiny tuxedo but sending him alone down that aisle was a recipe for failure. At the very least, his father or mother should have processed with him. In the second half, the ringbearer was clearly not well rehearsed as to what was happening with the flower girl’s petals.

I can translate the baby gibberish this infant is spewing. “Why? Why? Why did you put me in this stiff dress and this headache inducing headband? I was just a prop in your grandiose affair! Stupid Bridezilla!”

You tell them, Maggie!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Seriously? October 3, 2011 at 3:04 am

So… the bride’s and groom’s children shouldn’t be in the wedding? Whatever works with your religion, I suppose. If I were to marry again (I’m a widow) then I most certainly WOULD have my child as my maid of honour, should she accept the offer. Then again, at this writing, that child is 26 years old.

On another note, my parents’ cousins, in true old-world tradition even after moving to North America, did have several under-12 children in their weddings. Oddly enough, I can remember my own participation in one of those weddings. Further, we have 8mm film of those ceremonies. In none of them were any of the children uncomfortable, upset, or badly behaved, and based on the soundtrack of the 8mm films taken at receptions, every one of them ENJOYED the experience.

And the children of this family continue to enjoy their participation in family weddings. I just thought it was odd to see all these “horror stories”… Just goes to show, one’s own experiences aren’t always typical!

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JD Kraaikamp January 19, 2012 at 12:02 am

There’s another thing I’ve noticed: Very young children can get spooked–at least, my 3-year-old nephew got spooked when bagpipes were played at my sister’s wedding.

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Bugjones May 17, 2012 at 3:08 pm

I get spooked when bagpipes are played. I think that if you don’t know bagpipes are going to be played, if you are unaware, they can initially be spooky.

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KC Kidder December 10, 2014 at 4:47 am

I agree, 65 years ago I was in my Mother’s cousins wedding. Why ?-because I was 4 years old and the Bride who was not close to my mother knew no other children. I can still remember my fear and the pink satin dress I wore. Apparrently I was slamming fistfuls of petals on the church aisle floor instead of gently tossing and sprinkling them. My family still laughs about it- but to this day it is not funny to me.
It was Terror. I hear the latest craze is to have your dog be the ring bearer…good, some poor little child will not have to do it and the circus atmosphere can ratchet up another notch.

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