Flower girls are the cute girls at the head of the wedding procession. They spread petals down the aisle for the bride to walk on flowers. The flowers the girls carry or strew about symbolize fertility and hope. Others say that in the early times the bride and groom were made to wear flowers to ward off evil spirits. Either way, the beauty of flowers and the cuteness of flower girls add cheer to the wedding festivities.
Nowadays, one will see the changing face of the flower girl. Some girls do not strew flower petals on the way to altar. Some flower girls carry a mall bouquet or a basket of flowers instead.
Some flower girls cannot be technically called flower girls because they don't have flowers. Some strew confetti down the aisle. Some blow bubbles. I've seen a wedding where the flower girls carried teddy bears.
Choosing a Flower Girl is an important decision. Some couples choose a bigger girl instead of a smaller one, but substitutes as a junior bridesmaid instead of being a flower girl. There are weddings when smaller girls are put into wagons and these are rolled down the aisle. Other couples with significant (trained) pets in their lives may also be included in the entourage as a flower pet or ring bearer pet.
Ring Boy (or Ring Bearer)
The Ring Boy or Ring Bearer is a young boy who is special to the couple and is tasked to carry a pillow with the wedding rings on it during the procession. During the exchange of vows, the ring boy hands the pillow to the couple for them to exchange the rings.
Nowadays, it's perfectly acceptable to tie in fake rings to the pillow to wisely avoid any untoward incidents. If the couple's favorite boy is more than one, it is acceptable to have two ring bearers. If the couple has no favorite boy in mind, they can skip having a ring boy and have the best man hand over the rings during the exchange of vows.
Other couples choose to have a favorite girl to be Ring Bearer instead.
It is also becoming common for highly regarded pets to carry the pillow with the rings.
The reception line is where the Bridge's Parents, Grooms Parents, and Bride and Groom, and may include the maid of honor and best man. The receiving line is where guests can be introduced to the other side of the family
After the wedding ceremony a receiving line of the Bride and Groom along with their Mothers and it may include the maid of honor traditionally, but often includes the entire wedding party.
The act of attendants throwing rice at the new couple after their wedding ceremony signifies that they wish the couple happiness and prosperity. In recent years rice has been replaced with things such as birdseed and even blowing bubbles. It has been thought that rice is hard to clean up, and birds could just eat the birdseed. Bubbles are festive, so they have become quite popular over the years as well.
The wedding car is just as important in the wedding rites. The wedding car is the first venue for a couple to be alone and have privacy after they leave the church or the reception. In older times, it is considered good luck to have the wedding carriage drawn by gray horses. It is also a good omen if the wedding carriage meets a gray horse on the way to reception. It is considered bad luck if a horse refuses to move or walk to or after the ceremony.
These days, it is considered ill luck when the car won't start or breaks down. It is also believed that after the bride is set at the church door the car should travel for a short distance before going back. Not doing so would cause the bride or groom bad luck.
Wedding cars are usually decorated with flowers, or a sign that says Just Married, or hung with tin cans. These tin cans clank along the pavement as the car moves. The noise it makes is believed to ward off evil spirits.
Throwing the Bouquet
Single ladies in attendance at the wedding reception are invited to come up and try to catch the bride's bouquet. This is a custom that represents which lady will be the next to be married. As the custom goes, she is to take a small piece of the wedding cake home and slip it under her pillow that very night. She will then have a dream about the man she will soon marry.
Catching the Garter
Garters are a fertility symbol and the person who catches it will be married next per tradition.