Champlain Valley Flower Girls at June Vermont Wedding
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Champlain Valley Flower Girls at June Vermont Wedding

Having not one but two flower girls grace this Champlain Valley wedding’s ceremony doubled the cuteness, as this documentary image of them playing by the lake displays.

Everyone loves flower girls, and as photographers we always appreciate the younger ones and their propensity to go completely off-script. Walking in a straight line and tossing a few petals seems easy enough when practicing at the rehearsal, but once there are a hundred sets of eyes trained on the flower girl, the moment can prove to be more stressful than ever imagined. Truthfully, we love when these moments goes in an unexpected direction, because it creates such an emotional overlap with everyone present. It is akin to asking a four year old to suddenly master public speaking, and when the pressure mounts and a tear begins to well up in her eye, everyone present instantaneously puts themselves in her shoes and remembers now fading memories of being in similar situations during their childhood. We once had a tiny flower girl transition from a state of elation into one of sheer terror in under a second, then run away from the ceremony itself. A slightly less-tiny ring bearer ran after her and gently guided her back, redefining cuteness for us.

Sometimes things do go according to plan, and the flower girls stroll down the aisle and bask in their moments of glory, as per tradition. Having flower girls at weddings is a tradition that dates back hundreds of years and is thought to symbolize several things: 

  • In her role entering just before the bride, the flowers the child drops guide the way for the bride towards her betrothed. 
  • As they are usually dressed in similar garb, flower girls can be viewed as symbolizing the bride herself as a young girl. 
  • The sequence of the young girl followed by the now mature bride can be viewed as a microcosm of the concept of maturation itself. 

Of course, these could all be interpretations of a tradition viewed through rose-colored glasses, as we do know that flower girls used to carry rosemary to mask the stench of basically everything during the Elizabethan era.

Flower girls today can toss loose petals, tear away pieces from a single bloom, or even blow bubbles for a whimsical effect. We see trends come and go over the years, but running with the concept that “everything old is new again,” we want to see someone reach way back to the time of the Renaissance for inspiration. In that time, one of the prevailing beliefs was that garlic repelled evil spirits, so flower girls would carry strands of garlic to purify the path for the bride. Imagine giving a tastefully decorated basket, filled to the brim with garlic cloves, to a seemingly innocent flower girl. Now imagine a groomsman feeding her two espressos and six-pack of Pixy Stix eight minutes before her entrance and watching the ensuing fiasco. We will of course be there, cameras in hand, to artistically document the moment when she chucks a head of vampire repellant at grandpa, and as it ricochets off his cranium while she gleefully screams and sprints towards the groom. One can dream.

Location: Burlington, Vermont.

1/2500; f/5.6; ISO 800; 182.0 mm.

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