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How Can I Fire My Flower Girl?

Dear Bintel Brief:

My oldest and dearest friend, one of my only friends with children, really wants her daughter to be the flower girl in my forthcoming wedding. Initially, I thought it was a good idea, as neither my husband nor I have young nieces. But now, I’m rethinking the matter: My friend’s daughter is only 2 years old and — perhaps, understandably, given her age — she’s not-at-all well behaved. I might go so far as to call her bratty. I’m pretty certain she’ll cause a fuss during my ceremony. What’s the best way to fire the flower girl?

PERPLEXED BRIDE-TO-BE

Amy Sohn responds

Dear Perplexed:

Speaking as a control freak, I think you are trying to exert too much control. This is your dearest friend. That means she wants to be a part of your ceremony. Don’t you want her there? (Maybe she’s not so dear?)

If you insist on being a “Bridezilla,” then you must communicate with her. Be honest and explain that you feel her daughter is too young to walk alone. If she doesn’t understand, explain that you’re concerned her daughter may get cold feet in front of the big crowd (a nice way of saying you think she’s a brat). Then turn it into a compliment: “And besides, I want you to be a part of the ceremony, too.”

Unless she’s a control freak herself, she’ll agree to walk with her daughter. After all, you are the bride — and hence, the stage manager.

I have walked down the aisle with my own daughter, when she was asked to be a flower girl at 2 years old. It works like this: The mother carries the child and the mother sprinkles the flowers. The guests get the cute tableau, and they get better aim than they might get from a toddler. Attention hog that I am, I loved it. I got a lot of compliments on my dress.

Even if your friend’s daughter is bratty, the brattiness will only last a minute or so. Because the mother will want it to go smoothly, she will do what only mothers can to mitigate the brat factor.

In the meantime, try not to worry so much about it. Ask yourself what matters most to you — micromanaging your wedding or having the participation of those whom you hold near and dear, and by extension, their children.

Brizezillas never win!


Amy Sohn is the author of, most recently, “Prospect Park West” (Simon & Schuster) — a novel about living, loving, hating and procreating in the leafy Brooklyn neighborhood of Park Slope. She is also the author of the novels “Run Catch Kiss” (Simon & Schuster, 1999) and “My Old Man,” (Simon & Schuster, 2004). A graduate of Brown University, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter.


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