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8 Creative Alternatives to a Flower Girl or Ring Bearer for Your Wedding Ceremony

Published Friday, Sep. 29th, 2023


A young boy holds up his hand in a triumphant and excited way, with a mischievous and happy smile. A young girl stands behind him in the distance. Both children are dressed in cute formal wear for a wedding ceremony. She has a frilly dress and a floral wreath in her hair, he has a light blue button up shirt, dark blue vest, and polka-dot bow tie.
Photo: wu yi / Unsplash The Keeper of The Rings!

Instead of a flower girl or ring bearer: Creative ideas for a non-traditional wedding procession!

 

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AMM Audio Articles · 8 Creative Alternatives to a Flower Girl or Ring Bearer for Your Wedding Ceremony

 

 

Want to get children, friends, and relatives involved in your wedding ceremony, but aren’t sure how to? Looking for fun alternatives to the traditional ‘flower girl’ or ‘ring boy’ (or ‘ring bearer) roles? 

 

You’re in the right place! 

 

Below are a few of our favorite modern twists on these classic roles, with variations that make room for children, adults, and even pets to participate on the wedding day. 

 

But first… what is a flower girl? And what does a ring bearer do? Because you’ll need to know the rules to break them! Traditionally, both flower girls and ring bearers walk down the aisle at the start of the wedding ceremony, during The Procession, before the bride makes her grand entrance. Flower girls toss petals, leaves, or colorful confetti along the path, and ring bearers carry the wedding bands – usually in a decorative box, tucked into satin satchel, or affixed to a decorative ring pillow. 

 

Read more about the order in which the wedding party walks down the aisle here: 

 

 

Need a wedding officiant? Ask a friend or relative to get ordained online to officiate your ceremony! 

 

 

Young children at a wedding holding baskets of petals

Photo: Adobe Stock

One simple alternative to 'flower girls' that doesn't stray too far from tradition is gender-inclusive 'flower children'

 

 

8 Alternatives to Flower Girls and Ring Bearers 

 

1. Baskets of Bounty 

 

Traditionally, ‘flower girls’ didn’t carry flowers at all – they carried bundles of grain and herbs! The flower girl tradition is said to date way back to the Roman Empire, when young women and girls would carry baskets filled with wheat, grains, and fertility herbs down the aisle at the start of the ceremony. The ritual was performed to bless the couple with an abundant and prosperous marriage, filled with plentiful harvests and many healthy children.

 

Ask a few friends (or nieces and nephews) to serve as 'basket bearers': Grab a few decorative baskets and add these symbolic blessings instead of flowers: wheat sheafs, corn tassels, and aromatic herbs like yarrow, red clover, fennel, chamomile, and primrose. 

 

 

A decorative basket of wheat and hops barley in the grass

Photo: Václav Mach / Adobe Stock

 

 

2. Flower Children

 

Go gender-neutral and gender-inclusive with ‘flower children’! The general idea is the same – adorable children leading the way down the aisle by tossing flower petals, leaves, or confetti at the start of the wedding ceremony. But this simple twist on tradition is a lot of fun, and is certainly more inclusive!

 

 

3. Cute cats, loyal dogs, and other furry (or not so furry) friends

 

Get your pets involved in the big day! We’ve seen cats, dogs, goats, llamas, and even an alligator serve as ‘flower girls’ and ‘ring bearers,’ with a little help from their humans. Here are a few of our favorite examples: 

 

 

If you decide to have a beloved pet walk down the aisle with you, just remember to have someone from the wedding party on-board to help keep them focused throughout the ceremony. And don’t forget to double-check that your venue allows animals!

 

 

Close up of a cute small dog wearing a wedding suit before the ceremony

Photo: svetlanaz / Adobe Stock

The cutest ring bearer ever? Probably!

 

 

4. Nips, shooters, and shots service 

 

If you’re going for a childfree and carefree wedding vibe, why not toss your guests something a little more appropriate than petals at the start of the ceremony? We’re talking a shot toss – single-serve liquor bottles of your choice! 

 

A few daring couples have had friends pass out mini-bottles of Fireball or Jägermeister, or festive nips of rum, brandy, tequila, or whiskey. The selection is up to you! 

 

Need more spirited inspiration? Read how LadyGang podcast host Jac Vanek and her new husband Jared Monaco passed out Fireball before their vow exchange in this Brides article! 

 


5. Everybody’s favorite Flower Man

 

You’ve probably seen this trend, and it’s always good for a laugh! Ask an adult male friend (or multiple adult friends) to serve as your ‘flower man’ or ‘flower crew.’ Even better than being Best Man, they’ll make a bold entrance, strutting down the aisle to a killer beat, and set a fun tone for the entire ceremony. You’ve probably seen this trend, also called a ‘flower dude’ or ‘flower guy,’ and it’s always good for a laugh! 

 

 

Get creative with choreographed dance routines, over-the-top processional songs, decorative fanny packs filled with candy or mini-bottles, and even sparkling speedos and pull-away pants. 

 

Related: Ask your Best Man to serve as backup officiant to ward off wedding day disasters

 

 

A man in shorts and sunglasses walks down the aisle at an outdoor wedding as an alternative to a flower girl, he's a flower man!

 

Photo (cropped) courtesy of photographer Dominique Monarca

A Flower Dude in action

 

 

 

6. Ask parents, grandparents, or elders to present the rings

 

This symbolic gesture is gaining in popularity. Instead of having a young child serve as your ‘ring boy’ or ring bearer, ask a beloved family elder or mentor! This honored person will be seated near the front of the ceremony, and will present the rings at the start of the ring exchange. 

 

Related: Simple Wedding Script to Use When a Parent Officiates Your Ceremony
 

There are several benefits to asking an older friend or relative to serve as ring bearer: They’re likely more responsible than young children, they understand how weddings work and the general flow of events, it’s a sweet way to get them involved, and there’s the potential for powerful symbolism (someone older, and perhaps happily married depending on your choice, passing wedding rings on to a new generation of newlyweds). 

 

 

7. Change up the titles

 

This idea is similar to going gender neutral (see ‘flower children', up above), but takes things a step farther by breathing new creativity into the roles themselves! Ask several children to participate in these roles under alternate titles, and with a little extra flare. Here are a few other names you can use: 

 

Petal patrol
Flower children
Keeper of the Ring
Flower maids / Flower maidens
Ring queens 

 

 

Young boy at a wedding holds up his hand in joy

Photo: wu yi / Unsplash

The Keeper of The Rings!

 

 

8. Skip the flower girl or ring bearer and stick with attendants

 

If you can’t find an alternative that feels right for your ceremony, don’t worry! Flower girls and ring bearers aren’t mandatory, and many modern couples skip these roles altogether. Members of your wedding party can lead the way down the aisle, keep your rings close during the ceremony, and help out in multiple ways. 

 

Older children and young adults might feel awkward about being asked to serve as ‘flower girls’ or ‘flower boys,’ which are often associated with younger children. If this is the case, it’s easy enough to promote them to junior bridesmaids, groomsmen, or junior attendants. 

 

 

A group of bridesmaids stand next to the bride raising bouquets of flowers and smiling

Photo: Carson Vara / Unsplash

Ask older children and young adults to be junior attendants, bridesmaids, or groomsmen

 

 


 

Read Next: 

 

 

 

Illustration of crafts, a piece of paper with a heart drawn on it, and crayons, for wedding crafts for children

Illustration: Jessica Levey

Involve kids in the ceremony with wedding crafts! Read the full article here.

 


 

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