Many of the rituals and customs we have become accustomed to in the modern day wedding ceremony come from traditions and folklore dating as far back as the Middle Ages. People believed that during certain rights of passage, such as weddings and of a child budding into adulthood, evil spirits lingered nearby with malevolent intent. Therefore good luck charms and practices were used as a way of defeating those negative influences and ensuring the newly married couple would live a long, fertile and happy life together. One of the many ways of doing this was by having flower girls walk in front of the bride as she walked down the isle, whilst scattering rose petals.
In the modern age however these meanings and superstitions have become obsolete. This in turn lends wedding planners a vast array of alternatives and different possibilities. No longer are couple's constrained by the conventional church service which has been the bastion of cultural respectability for centuries. The following are examples of the many exciting, imaginative and memorable options available instead of the time-honoured use of the flower girl.
If there are young children that enjoy dancing then they can be called upon to parade in front of the bride, twirling and skipping with flowers, handkerchiefs or even small bells. Alternatively, they could dance behind the bride providing a charming backdrop to the wonderful sight of the beautiful wedding dress. A symbol that wherever the happy couple will go, happiness and joy will follow.
Many people especially in North America and the United Kingdom are mad about their pets. What better way to include all' the family in the ceremony than to have Fido and Twinkles padding their way down the isle? Some animals would of course not be suitable especially cats of a nervous disposition or two dogs together with a known dislike of one another. However under the right circumstances, pets can be a stunning accompaniment. Either the bride, the bride's father or the children can carry or lead the animals in a procession. You can be sure an aunt or two would be delighted to add decorations to the little mutt's ears and flanks.
Props can also be used to make up for the lack of flower girls, for example a ruffled silk sheet representing sea waves could be dragged a little way in front of the bride by a couple of children to represent a love of the seaside or oceans, if that was where the marrying couple first met. Another option would be for a boy or girl to carry a certain object that has significant meaning in front or behind the bride.
With much creativity and inspiration, there are many opportunities to create a memorable backdrop to the extra special day. The possibilities are indeed endless.Edward Beaman-Hodgkiss