What do you buy the best flower girl in the World?
Rewarding my niece for all her efforts
When prepping for our wedding, there was so much to organise; the venue, invitations, dresses, the church, and the list went on. It was a relatively small ceremony and reception, but we really wanted to have my niece and nephew involved as the flower girl and page boy.
My nephew, Zac, was fairly laid back about it. He was happy to take on the role. My niece, Matilda, however, took a bit more convincing. She has always been a tomboy and the notion of wearing a dress didn’t appeal, she grew even less impressed when I told her that she’d have to wear shoes. Eventually, I said, “But I’ll buy you a present”. To this, she replied, “Ok”.
The hunt was then on for what present would be sufficient to make a six-year-old happy about wearing dresses and shoes. My ten-year-old nephew was, once again, easy to work with, he wanted Lego. I could check which sets he wanted and buy one as a thank you. My niece was more of a challenge.
My future wife and I talked about it a lot. I spoke to my sister to try to get any insight, but she wasn’t much help. Eventually, I spoke to my mother, and she came up with an idea that we could run with. The suggestion, my niece had seen all these people win trophies and she just wanted a trophy for herself. It took some organizing and planning but we got it arranged.
The wedding day came, and there were the usual grumbles from kids about getting changed, especially when they would rather be jumping in the pool. But she eventually got there and did an amazing job, walking up the aisle, smiling at the waiting crowd, and giving me a hug at the other end. A simple activity for most adults, but at six, a daunting task, particularly when you’re wearing a dress and shoes.
We got to the reception, could relax a little, talk to people, have a couple of drinks, and eventually it was time for me to give a speech. I did the usual thanking everyone for traveling, thanked my new in-laws and my parents and of course, thanked my wife. Then I had to divert and mention that there was another lady who had done a great job for us, my niece, the flower girl.
I explained that it was something out of her comfort zone and that she’d really stepped up. Obviously, my wife and I thought she had done an incredible job, but we thought that maybe we were biased, so we contacted the organization responsible for this type of thing, the International Society of Flower Girls. Now I’m sure you are all familiar with the great work that ISOF does globally, so I won’t go into that, but when they read my information on my niece, they agreed that she had performed exceptionally. ISOF then agreed to name Matilda the International Flower Girl of the Year.
At that point, I asked Matilda to come up and I presented her with her trophy. Now I’ve known this kid all her life and that night I saw the biggest smile I had ever seen on her face. She took the trophy with both hands and took it back to her parents.
Throughout the night several people spoke to Matilda about it. One memorable interaction occurred when a good friend of mine, Brenton, spoke with Matilda:
Brenton: Can I see your trophy?
Matilda: [not speaking, just holding the trophy out, not letting him touch it]
Brenton: You know you really deserved that trophy.
Matilda: I know
She could not be separated from that trophy for the rest of the trip. She carried it in her hands on the plane and put it beside her bed at night when she got home. The next school day she wanted to take it to school, to show everyone, but her parents suggested she keep it at home, so it didn’t get damaged. The truth was, however, they were afraid that someone might tell her that there was no such thing as Flower Girl of the Year.
It’s eight years later and that trophy is still next to Matilda’s bed.
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Another story about our wedding can be found here:
About the author
Amateur storyteller, LEGO fanatic, leader, ex-Detective and human. All sorts of stories: some funny, some sad, some a little risqué all of them told from the heart.
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