Flower Girl

The flower girl sets the tone of your wedding theme, telling your guests what to expect. From your invitations, pre-nuptial parties, wedding website, and word-of-mouth, your guests will come anticipating something different than the usual American wedding.


A reader has given me the information on this sweet little girl.
She’s now almost grown and can be seen at the
Clan Forsyth Society U.S. page on Family and Friends.


They will have seen the groom and his men, possibly the fathers, maybe even the minister, in various tartans. The pew decorations and altar flowers will most likely not be the usual pastel wedding colors. There may even be an altar cloth of tartan, a bridal concomitant, a heraldic design, your clan badge, or other Scottish motifs.

All this has piqued their interest, and then, here comes your flower girl or girls, giving them one more clue of how this Scottish wedding theme idea works. Their dresses, baskets, shoes, ribbons and bows, and headpieces will all add to your theme.

Tying their wedding dresses in with your historical period, they will be wearing anything from Medieval, Renaissance, Victorian (Baroque, Rococo, American Civil War), Edwardian, or Modern fashion.

Their wedding gowns may be ready-made, home sewn, or custom-designed. The fabric may be fine silk, damask or brocade, wool or silk tartan, or even cotton.

Instead of rose petals, they may strew traditional wheat, tartan confetti, or wildflowers.

Whatever ideas you select, just keep them in tone with your overall Scottish wedding theme and use this opportunity to build further on your theme.

The portrait of Queen Victoria and her family show a co-ordination of her gown and the daughters. Queen Victoria set many of the fashions popular during her reign. This 1846 family portrait shows Victoria in a lovely lace gown. Her daughters, now beyond toddler size, also offer an historic flower girl dress.



The daughters dresses, done in a pale yellow with medium yellow accents, offer some good ideas. The skirts are tiered like their mother's dress, and may also be of lace. Silk, or a cotton sateen, would be appropriate for the era.



A sash and bow of the accent material is shown below.



Looking at this sleeve detail, the beret sleeve is again displayed, accented with the darker yellow. The dress could be of any solid color, with the accents in tartan.



Or the dress could be of tartan, with a solid color for the accents.

Seven Tips for Your Flower Girl Dress

In your wedding ceremony, this little lady sets the tone for your grand entry.

  • In our American mindset, dark colors mean a formal wedding, lace and frills mean the ceremony will be more light-hearted. The headgear, or lack thereof, indicates formality or casualness.

    A Scottish theme wedding is slightly different. So many of the tartans are dark in color, but you may be having a very informal, relaxed ceremony. Bright colors in the tartans don't signify an informal ceremony, they're just everyday Scottish.

    An elaborate circlet or tiara may not signify a formal wedding. Roses aren't formal in traditional Scotland, they grew in abundance, particularly in western Scotland.

  • If you feel your flower girl must be dressed in white, with white shoes, consider ways to incorporate some tartan ~ hair bow, intertwining hair ribbons, sash and bow, trim on the dress at the waist, neckline, sleeve hem, armseye, or hemline.

    Put her in a white ballet slipper, not a hard shoe. Consider wrapping tartan or colored ribbon from the slipper, up her ankle. Possibly add thistles or other silk flowers across the vamp.

  • The tartan you choose for accessorizing her outfit doesn't have to match yours, but it should co-ordinate

  • In Medieval times, flower girls preceded the bridal procession, tossing grains of wheat. The wheat was for fertility and happiness. There were several flower girls, not just one. You can still have more than one, and they can toss whatever you want ~ flower petals, confetti, rice, bubbles, wheat.

  • They don't have to wear identical dresses. They could be in white, with each wearing a different tartan sash and bow. Pastels, picked up from your tartan, can also be used.

  • If you go with colors, the slippers should be co-ordinated with the flower girl dress.



    Satin ballet slippers can be dyed to match any color.

  • For inspiration and ideas to create your own Medieval slipper, Ninya Mikhaila displays some of her work. Take a look at the slippers for ideas you could adapt in either leather, plastic, or canvas, particularly the punch designs.

    Shoe ideas for the entire bridal party can be found, beginning on the Wedding Shoes pages.

Below are some patterns and dress designs to consider ~

This historical Medieval gown would be a nice foretaste for a Medieval Scottish wedding. The dress could be a solid color, with tartan substituted for the yellow piping and slippers. For a less formal wedding, the crown could be replaced with any number of Medieval headpieces, a Celtic tiara, or a circlet of flowers


McCall‘s M5207


A capelet of tartan with a tartan piped dress, or a fur capelet would add a touch of elegance to almost any gown, especially a Medieval or Modern flower girl dress.


Butterick B4651


In a Renaissance Scottish wedding, this Renaissance flower girl dress would set the tone for your processional. The sample dress is probably sewn in a cotton with gold print, but a rich brocade would also be authentic. For just a touch of Scotland, piping at the neckline, the band on the mid-upper arm, and at the hemline, would hint of the tartans to come. If your dress just has hints of tartan, you might consider the flower girl dress of tartan, with the gold trim repeated from the sample.


Simplicity 797654N


This gold Colonial dress done in tartans speaks of Marie Antoinette, our American Revolution, and an era of sophistication rarely seen today.


Butterick B4320


For a Civil War or Victorian Era wedding, this could be adapted into a fine flower girl dress by lengthening the hemline and using tartan trims.


Scottish Wedding Dreams Sag Harbor Whaling Museum


A pretty little dress for a Regency Era empire gown. Either a white or pastel dress, with a tartan sash and bow would hint of the bride’s wedding dress and the Scottish theme.


Vogue V2105


Another Victorian innovation that carried over into the Edwardian Era is the white eyelet pinafore. Over a tartan dress, with the pinafore extended to mid-calf length, you would have a little Scottish lassie floating down the aisle scattering your rose petals.


Neuemode 55351M


These two sisters, with their bobbed hair, look so sweet. The wider sashes with the longer tails would really stand out in your tartan.


Courtesy Clipart


This lavender tulle dress, also seen in yesterday’s blog as a sample of shoes dyed to match. It’s also along the lines of the Rosetti gowns featured on August 10th and 13th.


Vogue V8016


Here’s a modern tartan flower girl dress. In a longer length, it could match almost any era of fashion, especially with the velvet jacket added and the bow minimized or tied in back.


New Look 6448


This next one is a really unique charmer. The military jacket could fall into two different historical eras. The portrait of Mary, Queen of Scots, riding horseback, shows a military type jacket, combined with a jauntily plumed Renaissance cap, and a skirt bordered with the jacket fabric.


Mary Queen of Scots bookplate courtesy of Wikipedia


The next time military jackets came into popularity was after the Battle of Waterloo. The section Regency Fashions Begin to Be Seen shows lithographs of the French ladies enamored with the Scottish soldiers and imitating their dress.

The Burda costume jacket, sewn in quality fabrics and trims, could set the tone for your Scottish theme wedding.


Burda 2461


With or without the coned headdress, by trimming the flounce with tartan, then adding a tartan underskirt and drawing up the overskirt, would add just a touch of 'Scottishness' to your flower girl.


Butterick B4630


The Electress Sophia and her daughter Sophia sat for this portrait in 1680. The two gowns aren't identical, but you immediately know they belong together. That's the idea you want to convey about you and your flower girl. These are lovely silk dresses that could be decorated with silk thistles, rosebuds, or other flowers common in Scotland. Notice how the daughter carries flowers in her overskirt ~ another idea you might consider.


Courtesy Book of Costume


Almost identical to the bodice of this 1525 Portuguese Tabard, a nice set of Medieval wedding gowns could be sewn for you and your flower girl using this pattern.


Courtesy Book of Costume



McCall's M5499


Again arising from the popularity of the Scottish regiments following their success at the Battle of Waterloo, the tartan touches in her bonnet and sash are nicely understated. Also note her pantalettes, under the crenolated hemline.


1813 Percale Dress with Pantalettes, Book of Costume


I've seen this dress, pantaloons, and bonnet sewn in a cotton tartan. The girl was about 10 years old and very pleased with her new outfit. For a western or Victorian theme, this entire outfit in tartan wool, silk, or cotton would help set the mood for your entrance.


McCall's M4547


There's nothing outstanding about this dress, but by placing a large Celtic knot, a thistle design, or other Scottish motif at the raised waistline, you could turn a simple dress into a statement.


Butterick B3714




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