Etiquette Hell

Wedding Bliss and Blues => Attire => Topic started by: HannahGrace on January 19, 2014, 12:44:56 PM

Title: Flower girl dress expense?
Post by: HannahGrace on January 19, 2014, 12:44:56 PM
Hi all,

I'm in the process of planning a wedding.  I have asked our good friend's little girl (who will be four at the time of the wedding) to be our flower girl.  I said (and meant it) that as far as I am concerned, she could show up in a Red Sox jersey and I would be thrilled - I just want her there for herself, not as a prop.  The FG's mom said she would poke around and that she would be happy for an excuse to buy a fancier-than-usual dress for her daughter.

Recently the mom sent me a few dresses she'd found online for me to take a look and weigh in if one of them jumped out at me - they were all adorable, different patterns and colors, and I let her know the top couple that we liked, but reiterated that we just wanted her daughter there and she should wear whatever she likes best and/or whatever her parents like best or think she would wear again.

My question is, should I be offering to pay for the dress?  I truly would be happy if she wore something already in her closet, and we have no "wedding colors" or anything else that the child needs to match, but I still feel badly that they are spending money on a dress that might end up being just for one event.

Thoughts? 
Title: Re: Flower girl dress expense?
Post by: Peregrine on January 19, 2014, 12:50:25 PM
I don't think you need to worry about paying for the flower girl dress.

Honestly the Mom sounds like she wants an excuse to buy a fancy dress.  It will probably be something that would be great for portraits or Christmas or Easter for that matter.  Also, Mom may know of some other upcoming milestone events that the dress could be worn at, and taking that into account.

Title: Re: Flower girl dress expense?
Post by: MrsJWine on January 19, 2014, 12:54:57 PM
Are you in the US? As far as I know, it's pretty standard that everyone pay for their own dresses, especially if they're given free rein in choosing those dresses.
Title: Re: Flower girl dress expense?
Post by: HannahGrace on January 19, 2014, 01:00:01 PM
Yes, I am in the US.  I do know that it's standard for bridesmaids to pay for their own dresses, but I wasn't sure about flower girls.  (I'm not having any bridesmaids.)

Peregrine, that's definitely the vibe I've gotten from the mom (whom I've been friends with for 20+ years) - I just had a moment of pause when I saw the dresses online, since they are what I'd consider a little pricey.
Title: Re: Flower girl dress expense?
Post by: bopper on January 19, 2014, 01:09:45 PM
i would say no, esp. since you are letting her pick out a dress she could wear again.
Title: Re: Flower girl dress expense?
Post by: #borecore on January 19, 2014, 01:13:26 PM
I don't know what kind of dresses she's sending you, but I know a major tip this time of year, (or maybe in a month or so) on wedding websites, is to look at the Easter dress selection. Much cheaper prices for very similar types of clothes!

As far as the main question, let the mother pay for it! It's her choice, and it's my guess that her showing you the options is a sign of her enthusiasm for the project. I would offer her some feedback, all positive, pointing to one or three dresses you like best.
Title: Re: Flower girl dress expense?
Post by: HannahGrace on January 19, 2014, 01:26:21 PM
Thanks for the tip, jmarvellous!  I will pass that along.  The dresses she's sending along are very classically-styled linen printed dresses with a bit of a net/contrasting underskirt - they are super adorable and they do remind me of Easter dresses.  The wedding isn't until September so there's plenty of time. You are probably right that her sending me the links is a sign of her enthusiasm, and that is a really nice way to think about it so thank you for saying so :)  I will try to get rid of the guilty feeling.
Title: Re: Flower girl dress expense?
Post by: Sharnita on January 19, 2014, 01:42:17 PM
Is the flower girl invited to the reception? If she is being asked to serve in a role at the wedding but not to enjoy the party after then I would say pay for the dress. Otherwise, there is no need.
Title: Re: Flower girl dress expense?
Post by: HannahGrace on January 19, 2014, 01:48:50 PM
Oh, she's definitely invited.  We originally were going to have a 100% adult-only wedding but my fiance said, "You know, I keep thinking how cute it would be to see (FG) rocking out on the dance floor..."   We basically made her a flower girl in order to be able to have her at the reception (along with my nephew, who will be the ring bearer).
Title: Re: Flower girl dress expense?
Post by: peaches on January 19, 2014, 02:50:06 PM
You're fine. I would expect parents to pay for the flower girl's dress. It's good to give the parents some latitude in the selection, which you're already doing.

I also would invite the flower girl and her parents to the rehearsal dinner, if there is one.
Title: Re: Flower girl dress expense?
Post by: m2kbug on January 19, 2014, 02:52:07 PM
Unfortunately they have this habit of growing, so any dresses will be short-lived.  You try to plan to get a few wears out of it, and personally, I would be thinking of something that I could get a good year out of, so that dress would also be used for Christmas, Easter, and any other dressy occasions that come up. :)  Since you don't have specific colors in mind, it offers some great versatility for future wears.  If she chooses to spend major buckage on a one-time wear, that's her choice to make.  I'm sure she's working within her budget and just needed an excuse to buy the most adorable outfit ever!  Have fun with it.  :)

My sister had an adults only wedding except for the flower girl.  She didn't know any little boys, so no ring bearer.  (Or ring bear ;D) She was included in the reception and had a blast.
Title: Re: Flower girl dress expense?
Post by: TootsNYC on January 19, 2014, 02:55:24 PM
Yes, I am in the US.  I do know that it's standard for bridesmaids to pay for their own dresses, but I wasn't sure about flower girls.  (I'm not having any bridesmaids.)


It is definitely true for flower girls as well. (Well, their parents pay, usually.)

I was able to get a great white dress for my kid in the post-Easter sales, because of all the Catholic first communions held at about that time (it's traditional, at least in NYC Catholic churches, for girls to wear white dresses).
Title: Re: Flower girl dress expense?
Post by: HannahGrace on January 19, 2014, 03:13:50 PM
Yes, I am in the US.  I do know that it's standard for bridesmaids to pay for their own dresses, but I wasn't sure about flower girls.  (I'm not having any bridesmaids.)


It is definitely true for flower girls as well. (Well, their parents pay, usually.)

I was able to get a great white dress for my kid in the post-Easter sales, because of all the Catholic first communions held at about that time (it's traditional, at least in NYC Catholic churches, for girls to wear white dresses).

Haha I am Catholic too and thinking back, my first Communion dress would have made an excellent flower girl dress!  The dresses that our FG's mom is looking at are more colorful and bright prints and solids, which is great by me.

No plans for a rehearsal / rehearsal dinner, but we may end up having an informal night-before dinner out with the moms, if they have flown in by then - if we do, I'll be sure to invite FG and her parents.

m2kbug, thanks for mentioning your sister's wedding - that's our hope, that the FG and RB have fun even though there won't be other kids there.

Thanks to everyone for their advice and reassurance!
Title: Re: Flower girl dress expense?
Post by: Iris on January 19, 2014, 04:03:01 PM
DD had a VERY fancy flower girl dress for our wedding - the kind of dress a girl only gets with a grandmother who sews professionally and a mother who spots an ad in a magazine (the old ad for "Beautiful" perfume with Elizabeth Hurley as a bride and some adorable flower girls if anyone remembers). It was all chiffon and ribbons and bows and this particular little girl's dream.

Once the wedding was over I let her wear it wherever she wanted because it was really too fancy for any other occasion and she was going to grow out of it soon anyway. She shoehorned herself into that dress until it would literally burst if she wore it again ;D. It turned out to be remarkably hardy and even survived machine washings to be a good dress for DD2 many years later.

In short - don't sweat it, many kids relish the opportunity to own something really nice and they're going to grow out of anything at all.
Title: Re: Flower girl dress expense?
Post by: figee on January 19, 2014, 05:57:26 PM
Agree with the others but it might be nice to give her a little gift, maybe an age appropriate piece of jewellery similar to what you might be giving your bridesmaids? (and similar for the nephew and groomsmen)?
Title: Re: Flower girl dress expense?
Post by: HannahGrace on January 19, 2014, 06:05:06 PM
As I mentioned in a parenthetical, no bridesmaids :).  But I absolutely will be giving the FG a gift of some kind. I'm really honored that she will be taking part in our wedding. I'm not sure her parents want her having jewelry, but if anyone has any suggestions for a nice gift for a 4.25 year old who likes baseball, books, and wooden animals, I'm open to ideas!
Title: Re: Flower girl dress expense?
Post by: Outdoor Girl on January 19, 2014, 06:11:25 PM
What about a hair ornament to be worn on the day of the wedding?  Jewellery without actually being jewellery?  And I would recommend  some little things to keep the kids busy during the reception - colouring books and crayons, little puzzle games, that kind of thing.
Title: Re: Flower girl dress expense?
Post by: Peregrine on January 19, 2014, 06:12:09 PM
Tickets to a local minor league baseball game for her and her family?  Those can be had quite inexpensively and they are a nice way to build family memories :D



Title: Re: Flower girl dress expense?
Post by: TootsNYC on January 19, 2014, 06:34:55 PM

Once the wedding was over I let her wear it wherever she wanted because it was really too fancy for any other occasion and she was going to grow out of it soon anyway.

Me, too! I discovered that it was polyester and would wash well; the dry cleaners didn't want to touch it, actually, because they feared the plastic "pearl clusters" would melt in the solution.

And everything washed out of it--grass stains, grease....I did draw the line at not taking in on the playground, bcs of scuffing. But otherwise, she wore it often!
Title: Re: Flower girl dress expense?
Post by: HannahGrace on January 19, 2014, 06:41:21 PM
What about a hair ornament to be worn on the day of the wedding?  Jewellery without actually being jewellery?  And I would recommend  some little things to keep the kids busy during the reception - colouring books and crayons, little puzzle games, that kind of thing.

Oh, that is a great idea! She has long bangs and usually has some kind of barrette in her hair to keep them out of her eyes.

Also good idea for distractions...my nephew will be 5.5 so they are in a similar age group... I will find some projects to keep them occupied just in case. They both have grandparents who are local but are not involved in the wedding, so that's a plan B if they are fed up but their parents want to stick around v
Title: Re: Flower girl dress expense?
Post by: HannahGrace on January 19, 2014, 06:44:11 PM
Tickets to a local minor league baseball game for her and her family?  Those can be had quite inexpensively and they are a nice way to build family memories :D

Ha, great idea! My fiancÚ and I met at a minor league game and we now have season tickets and have hosted the FG and her family a couple of times. That little girl loves her some baseball, which is one of the many reasons we adore her.
Title: Re: Flower girl dress expense?
Post by: m2kbug on January 19, 2014, 07:07:29 PM
As I mentioned in a parenthetical, no bridesmaids :).  But I absolutely will be giving the FG a gift of some kind. I'm really honored that she will be taking part in our wedding. I'm not sure her parents want her having jewelry, but if anyone has any suggestions for a nice gift for a 4.25 year old who likes baseball, books, and wooden animals, I'm open to ideas!

If you ultimately decide on jewelry (that she will wear for the wedding), the parents can hang on to the item for her.  She can wear it for special occasions and then the parents can hand it over when she's old enough to take care of it.  I wouldn't fret too much about that.  If she has pierced ears, simple studs will work long into the future, and if you go with something nice but not terribly pricey, it won't be the end of the world if they get lost.  Anything nicer, the parents can keep for her until later. 

Specifically, if you had bridesmaids and gave them all a necklace, I would get the flower girl a necklace too.  I know you said you aren't having bridesmaids, but that's just my thought.

I like the other ideas and I like the idea of having some things on hand in case she gets bored.  I imagine she'll be the center of attention for a lot of people and will be quite entertained.  Her mom can help you with some activities she'll enjoy and it would be a nice gift from you.
Title: Re: Flower girl dress expense?
Post by: VorFemme on January 19, 2014, 08:02:18 PM
Small pearl, gold, silver, or her birthstone studs for pierced ears will work well for decades....simple round ones will work with just about anything.
Title: Re: Flower girl dress expense?
Post by: HannahGrace on January 19, 2014, 08:19:50 PM
Thanks!  I know I wasn't allowed to have pierced ears until I was 12, and my FG doesn't have them now so I might go for a bracelet or something similar instead of earrings.
Title: Re: Flower girl dress expense?
Post by: m2kbug on January 19, 2014, 11:15:13 PM
My mom got my ears pierced really young and then again when I was about 5 when the first ones closed up.  This was back when you went to a department store when they offered ear piercing and they had a nurse who used a needle or needle punch thingy, not these new-fangled, fancy earring guns.  Then they went after your ear to put in the earring after punching in the hole.  Who else remembers this, ya' dinosaurs? :)

I thought of earrings because you don't have to worry about size and her growing.  Simple studs (birthstone, cubic zirconium, gold balls) can be useful and last a really long time.

A bracelet is a really great idea.  She will always remember the experience and remember where the bracelet came from, and will remember you and (soon to be) DH, even if you part ways over time.  It will always be very special.  My advice would be to choose a bracelet with larger ringlets or chain so that the clasp can be used in any ringlet to fit her tiny wrist and be large enough to use as she grows.  Something like a fishbone kinks too easily for a rough and tumble little girl and has to be more size-specific.  Tiny links can be easily resolved with a safety pin for the ceremony and special occasions and something that can last a lifetime when she's finally big enough she can use the clasp :).  Whatever you choose and your ideas sound great and the suggestions sounds great!  I'm just tossing out some things to think about if you choose a bracelet. 
Title: Re: Flower girl dress expense?
Post by: MrsVandy on January 19, 2014, 11:38:02 PM
What about a hair ornament to be worn on the day of the wedding?  Jewellery without actually being jewellery?  And I would recommend  some little things to keep the kids busy during the reception - colouring books and crayons, little puzzle games, that kind of thing.

Oh, that is a great idea! She has long bangs and usually has some kind of barrette in her hair to keep them out of her eyes.

Also good idea for distractions...my nephew will be 5.5 so they are in a similar age group... I will find some projects to keep them occupied just in case. They both have grandparents who are local but are not involved in the wedding, so that's a plan B if they are fed up but their parents want to stick around v

We only had two kids at our wedding so we got them coloring books, Polly pockets for my niece and trains and dinosaurs for our nephew. They loved them and behaved perfectly! In fact my niece who was 5 at the time wanted to say a thank you speech for all her cool toys :)
Title: Re: Flower girl dress expense?
Post by: ChinaShepherdess on January 20, 2014, 12:16:43 AM
I agree with all that you have done everything appropriately re: the dress (suggesting the FG wear something out of her closet, giving mother free rein over the dress) and it sounds like the FG's mother is looking forward to some dress shopping!

As for the flower girl gift, I love these suggestions! Especially the idea of a fun hair accessory to wear during the ceremony. My idea: since it's exciting for a young girl to get to be in a fancy occasion, what about something like a hand mirror? For the right recipient, it can be a really nice gift because you can go funky (brightly painted wood, etc.) or keepsake (there are amazing Victorian-style silver hand mirrors for like $15 on etsy), and hand mirrors are anachronistically elegant yet totally functional. Just another idea for the mix, and best wishes on your wedding planning! Sounds like a lovely event.
Title: Re: Flower girl dress expense?
Post by: CrazyDaffodilLady on January 20, 2014, 12:31:51 AM
I suggest a tiara that she can wear with her fancy dress for the wedding.  Most little girls go nuts over a tiara.
Title: Re: Flower girl dress expense?
Post by: hannahmollysmom on January 20, 2014, 01:22:26 AM
Maybe a locket that you can put a picture of her parents in? Just a thought.

As far as wearing the dress after, I work at an airport, and get a kick out of some of the little girls that come with their parents to meet their grandparents (or other friends/relatives) flying in. You can tell these little girls wanted to wear something special. I see so many fancy dresses or princess dresses, special shoes, etc. It is so cute!

And the little boys too! Spiderman/Batman/Superman outfits abound. My favorite is the little cowboy boots with their jeans tucked into them, and maybe a cowboy hat. (I'm in NH so cowboy boots are special here.)
Title: Re: Flower girl dress expense?
Post by: HannahGrace on January 20, 2014, 07:27:27 AM
I suggest a tiara that she can wear with her fancy dress for the wedding.  Most little girls go nuts over a tiara.

A tiara would be really fun!  I was thinking of getting her a little flower crown to wear, although if I find a cool hair clip/barrette then I'll go with that.

A locket is a great idea too!  You've all been so helpful, thank you!  She's now leaning toward one of the solid color dresses so that would be more versatile than the prints - it really is so cute:
(http://www.bodenimages.com/productimages/productHomeLarge/14GSPR_33299_DBL.jpg)
Title: Re: Flower girl dress expense?
Post by: LadyR on January 25, 2014, 05:16:02 PM
Our nieces were our FGs and their parents payed for their dresses. The older one had her first communion the next hear, so my SIL chose her dress with that in mind (fine with me, I wanted white or pink) and just got it a little long so it could be taken in and then let down the next spring, worked perfectly.

I gave the girls little heart shaped necklaces that they loved for their gifts. The RB got a piggy bank.
Title: Re: Flower girl dress expense?
Post by: Sophia on January 25, 2014, 11:03:13 PM
I am like the little girl's mother.  I'd jump at the chance to have my daughter wear a really pretty dress.  As long as I wasn't told it had to be a specific dress.  She has Neiman Marcus dresses I bought used for $5.  Super pretty and they wash so nicely.  Like the PP, playgrounds are the only place she doesn't wear them.  Mainly because the poofy skirt hampers her play. 

(clears throat)  Anyone need a flower girl in the North of Dallas area?   Just kidding, mostly  ;D
Title: Re: Flower girl dress expense?
Post by: HannahGrace on January 26, 2014, 06:03:42 AM
Thank you all so much!  I know she will look adorable in anything she wears and I now accept that her mom really probably is having fun buying her something fancier than normal :)