Weddings are all about spending time with the people we love, which is why careful planning and a strategic timetable are crucial for a well-executed day. And a big part of that day is different traditions, one of which is the most adorable member of the squad – the flower girl. But like with most things that are wedding-related, there is a lot more to it than meets the eye. So to make sure you are all prepared for those steps down the aisle, here’s what it takes to have a happy and successful flower girl.

Make sure it’s something she wants

Sure, you know your niece is going to look absolutely adorable walking down the aisle, throwing about petals and smiling into the camera – but does she want to do that? If this is a child you are close with, you should be able to estimate whether or not they are up to the task. If they don’t usually like being the center of attention and having all eyes on them, don’t put them on the spot. If you, however, aren’t that close to them, you should ask their parents and let them decide. Finally, you need to ask her. If she isn’t sure, or flat out says she doesn’t want to do it, there is no point in forcing it upon her – just let her enjoy the wedding as a guest.

Explain the duties

Once you have a willing flower girl, it’s time to explain to her exactly what her duties are. If you think carrying a basket and evenly spreading out petals is a bit too complex of a task, there are plenty of alternatives. She can simply walk down the aisle with a small bouquet or pomander, carry a sign that says “the bride is coming”, or blow bubbles. If you are going with the traditional basket, you can fill it with candies or confetti. Meet up with the flower girl a few times before the ceremony to practice walking, throwing and anything else you’ve planned, and try to set up one rehearsal at the actual venue. If you see that she is struggling with some part of her duties, alter them so that she is comfortable in her role.

Get the perfect look

You will definitely not be able to hold back your “awwwwws” while looking through beautiful flower girl dresses. They are all the most adorable things you will ever see and it will be hard to pick a favorite. But this is why you have these things to consider: The girl’s parents should be present when you are choosing the dress, or you should consult them before choosing to make sure that they agree that the dress is appropriate. Secondly, you have to make sure that it is the right size and perfectly comfortable for the flower girl. She will be wearing it the whole day, and any itchiness or tightness will not be tolerated. Next, you want to consider the theme of your wedding. If you have a beach wedding, you don’t want her in a puffy ballgown. Lastly, of course, the flower girl herself needs to like the dress, or she won’t want to wear it. When constructing the look, also consider things like shoes, tights, headpieces, as well as hair and makeup.

Include her family

Your biggest allies in this endeavor are the girl’s parents and close family. You want to make sure that they are sitting near the front row during the ceremony, so she knows that she should walk towards them. During the entire process of preparation, they should be present to make sure she feels comfortable. Ideally, one of the bridesmaids (or the bride herself) is the girl’s sister or mother, so that she can attend all of the activities – from hair and makeup to bridal brunch – together with the group. Kids are great, but they are also unpredictable, so having their parent close by will allow for swift problem-solving in case of an emergency.

Having a flower girl is an amazing addition to a ceremony, but you have to keep in mind that they are still young, and that you shouldn’t expect too much. They will do their best, but if you expect perfection on every step, nobody is going to have a good time. So just let her do her magic and congratulate her as soon as you get the chance.