Flower girls add some beauty to the wedding.
Even if you are hoping for a kids-free wedding, it can be hard to resist the cuteness they bring.
But, Should You Ask an Autistic Person to Be a Flower Girl?
If you are comfortable, yes. Autism doesn’t hinder people from performing most duties ordinary people perform. So a child with autism can be your flower girl and make the day beautiful, especially if the condition has been well managed.
But it is worth noting the level of autism a person has. Usually, it is best to leave this role for people with high-functioning autism. Not that these do not have limitations. But they process things better than people with severe autism.
Considerations When Picking Someone with Autism as Your Flower Girl
Having an autistic child for this role is a nice gesture.
But before you pick one, you need to know certain things. One is their level of autism and their current state.
If a child has severe autism, it is better to pick someone else not to distress her. But if it is mild, go for it.
Again, it would be helpful to know her triggers and plan how to mitigate them.
Large crowds trigger some people, and others are bothered by loud music.
This is why you need to work with the parent closely. For instance, if she is triggered by loud music, she can wear earplugs when walking down the aisle.
It is also best to let the mum walk beside her as she throws the petals.
That way, she will be more comfortable and confident.
Also, you can let her sit with the parents and then join other bridesmaids later. The idea is to make her as comfortable as possible.
Lastly, remember that autism is a mental disorder, which means it is hard to predict how a person will feel the next minute.
She might not be up to the task during your wedding day even though she’s been prepping for it.
In that case, don’t take it personally. But it is always good to have a backup plan for when this happens.
Also, if you’ll take group pictures, let your photographer know about her condition.
She needs to be handled with care to prevent a meltdown. Another thing is to ensure there is something to do when she reaches the aisle’s end.
You can have something for her to fidget with, like an elastic ribbon or stretchy toy in the basket.
That will distract her and probably prevent a meltdown for the time being.
Should Autistic Children Go to Weddings?
Yes. While autism can be limiting, these children do not have to be treated differently. Instead, we need to embrace them.
However, it is worth noting that their needs will differ depending on how severe the autism is.
But all suffer from sensory overload, i.e. when your senses receive more input than the brain can handle.
Strong smells, loud music, multiple conversations and flashing lights can contribute to this overload.
But there are things we can do to ensure they have a blast at a wedding. Here are some things to do:
1. Explain To Them About The Event
Surprises are a no for people with autism. So, ensure you explain what will happen at the wedding. You can use pictures for kids that understand visual explanations.
Make sure they understand the event by being as clear as possible. And if they have roles at the wedding like the flower girl, you also should explain what is required of them.
2. Make Sure They Are In Comfortable Clothing
Choose a comfortable outfit for them and ensure you wash them the same way other clothes are washed, so they smell the same.
Also, ensure they wear the same outfit several times before the wedding, so they feel familiar with it. And remember to choose a comfortable material.
But it is worth noting that this can be hard if they are a ring bearer or a flower girl.
Usually, after fitting the outfit, it is stored to be worn on the wedding day. Wearing it before them might ruin it.
3. A Quiet Sensory Area
This is a tip for the couple that’s getting married. When choosing a venue, it is nice to find a place with an annex room or outside space where the children can go when they feel overwhelmed.
If possible, offer a box of toys for stimulation. Provide fidget toys, cuddly toys and chewy toys. But this is not a must since most parents will carry the toys for their kids.
4. Dim The Lights
Speak to your photographer and see whether they can use soft natural lighting.
If possible, they can work without the flash or LED lights, especially when taking pictures of autistic children.
Additionally, try to go scent-free or low-scent wedding if you want your autistic guests to enjoy the event.
The aim is to eliminate as many triggers as possible to keep them comfortable. We know that this is a huge sacrifice. But it is worth it for your autistic guests or guests with autistic children.
A Short Guide on How to Choose a Flower Girl
1. Consider The Age
The ideal age for flower girls is between 3 and 8.
During this period, the girl is mature to understand what is required of her in this role. If you choose an infant or a two-year-old, they may need help from their parents walking down the aisle.
Plus, it’s easy for them to be overwhelmed by attention and tasks.
2. Choose Your Sibling’s, Relative’s Or Friend’s Child
If you have a daughter between this age gap, they are the best person for this role.
But if you don’t, consider your loved ones who are parents. It’s best to pick someone close to your family or friend group. Don’t be afraid of the horizon.
Consider a flower boy or a pre-teen daughter if you don’t have young girls in your close group.
3. Have More Than One Girl For This Role
It may be hard to settle for one flower girl if you have several girls that have always dreamed of being flower girls.
In that case, consider having more. Some people have up to 10. More flower girls make the ceremony more elegant and break the norm.
You can pick an autistic person as your flower girl. But, please work closely with the parents to know their level of autism.
Also, ensure they know their roles and create a conducive environment for them to remain calm while performing this task.