Who can resist the charms of a rosy-cheeked, petal-strewing flower girl? Dolled up to the nines in her adorable, miniature gown, she's likely to earn the most oohs and ahhs of the ceremony -- until the bride makes her entrance, naturally.
Many brides assume that the costs of flower girl fashion are in direct proportion to her size. She's just a tiny little thing, so her tiny little dress should be a fraction of everyone else's gown costs, right?
Much too often, that's simply not the case. Brides (or the flower girl's parents, depending on who's paying) fork over a ridiculous amount of money to outfit the littlest attendant for the big event. For those of you with budgetary limitations, or even those who just don't like to waste money on a dress she'll outgrow in five minutes, there are plenty of options when it comes to affordable flower girl fashion.
Read on for tips and tricks that'll help you dress your darling for a reasonable price without sacrificing her precious appearance in the process!
Repeat after me: There's no shame in buying off the rack, especially for a flower girl who doesn't know any better!
Unless she's the progeny of a supermodel or A-list celeb, chances are your little cupcake will have no clue that she's wearing a department store purchase that wasn't custom-made for her petite frame. Here's the real kicker -- neither will your guests, particularly the men! So, don't waste hard-earned cash on a tailor-made flower girl gown that she'll only wear once.
Steer away from overpriced bridal boutiques and all their champagne-induced purchasing temptations. The salon where you buy your dress will offer apparel for everyone in your wedding party, from the maid of honor and junior bridesmaids to the flower girl -- and maybe even the mothers of the bride and groom. If there's a discount or special incentive attached, that's one thing. But a three-digit price tag on a flower girl dress that's simply guaranteed to be from the same dye lot as the bridesmaid gowns is another.
Instead, head to a discount bridal store, where you'll find a broad selection of sweet gowns and every accessory you could want to go with them. Even national department stores typically offer adorable flower girl dresses, shoes, crinolines, headpieces and tights for a fraction of what you would pay in a high-end boutique.
You'll be glad you avoided the couture route when the tiny angel dribbles chocolate fondue down the front of her dress. Sure, Posh or Madonna might look down her nose at your economical choice, but the chance of either of them accepting your invitation are, like, one in a hundred (million).
Borrow, Borrow, Borrow!
Grab a pad of paper and a pen. Now, sketch from memory what the flower girl's dress at any of your friends' weddings has looked like. Obviously, it was white … and probably long … and … well, that's all you remember, right?
People's senses go into major overload at weddings, so it's difficult to retain the many details of each event, like the neckline or embellishments on your little gal's gown. Solicit your friends and family for a gently used, yet still adorable, flower girl gown. If anyone has the nerve to criticize your thriftiness, insist that using your best friend's/sister's/second cousin's flower girl gown is a sentimental gesture to the importance of family and tradition and that you intend to preserve it for generations.
Then, buy a cocktail for yourself and a Shirley Temple for the flower girl with the money you saved.
I've heard tales of people out there who actually design and make their own clothes. Even if you're craftily challenged like I am, there's a good chance that someone in your inner circle of friends and family bears the skills to produce a simple, yet lovely flower girl dress. Sweeten the pot by insisting that this heartfelt service must take the place of a traditional wedding gift, no exceptions. Even if you don't know anyone firsthand, an experienced seamstress can often perform the feat for less than it would cost you to purchase a gown from store inventory.
Don't let this artistic foray end with the dress, however. Forego the pricey tiara in favor of a hand-woven headpiece of seasonal flowers. Amateur jewelry makers can even create unique accessories that she'll be sure to hold onto for years. Then, grab some patent leather and tiny buckles and fashion her shoes yourself. Just kidding! Unless you're descended from a long line of cobblers, hit the shoe store. There are some items that really should be left to the professionals.
- "Choosing the Wedding Party." Martha Stewart Weddings. (May 2, 2011). http://www.marthastewartweddings.com/article/choosing-the-wedding-party?page=6
- "Dressing Your Flower Girl in Style." Wedding Channel. (May 2, 2011). http://weddings.weddingchannel.com/wedding-planning-ideas/bridal-party/articles/flower-girl-fashion.aspx
- "Wedding Child Attendants: Who Pays for The Flower Girl Dress and Who Pays for The Ring Bearer Tux?" The Knot. (May 2, 2011).http://wedding.theknot.com/wedding-questions/kids-at-weddings/qa/who-pays-for-child-attendants-attire.aspx?MsdVisit=1