Roundup: Hip Flower Girl Dresses


Dresses for your little girl that aren't mini-bridal outfits.

by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

Roundup: Hip Flower Girl Dresses | A Practical Wedding

When I was little, I used to be obsessed with the wedding section of the JC Penney Catalogue. (Who’s surprised?) I’d carefully sort through the phone book-sized tome till I got to the section with little girls dressed in taffeta, and then I’d while away my time dreaming of what sort of poufy pink dress I’d get to wear if I was a flower girl. While I think we can agree that wedding style has vastly improved on almost all fronts since my childhood in the eighties, the one area that hasn’t improved much is flower girl dresses, and I think I have a pretty good idea as to why. When getting hitched, you have two options for clothing your flower girls. One: you can ask their parents to pick out a dress (which almost always results in some sort of mini-bridal costume with a huge colored sash). Two: you can ask the flower girls what they want to wear. In my clumsy effort to not be a controlling bride, I tried the latter with David’s then-twelve-year-old cousin, which resulted in conversations like, “So, that’s a cute dress, but it’s actually a terry cloth beach cover-up, so I don’t think it’s going to work.” And, “Even if I was fine with you wearing a white mini-dress, I’m pretty sure your dad is not.”

Today’s post hopes to give you a third way: hip flower girl dresses that you can pick on your own. I quite enjoyed whiling away my afternoon (grown-up style) picking these out. My rules were these:

  • No mini-bride dresses.
  • Dresses just as stylish as ones I’d pick for myself, but child appropriate.
  • Nothing that cost $250. I’ve been known to try to convince myself that $250 is not the worst price ever for a party dress, but if you can avoid spending $250 on a dress that won’t fit next month, it’s probably for the best.
And yes. We owe you a tomboy flower girl roundup. (Put together by…not me. I want “more fruffles!”) And, we’ll do another roundup in the spring. In the meantime, winter dresses for little girls happen to be one of my favorite things ever, so enjoy.
Roundup: Hip Flower Girl Dresses | A Practical Wedding
1. Girls Navy Tulle Smock Dress available at Mamas & Papas ($34.99) 2. Cap Sleeve Skater Dress by Soprano available at Nordstrom ($48) 3. Velvet Party Dress available at Boden USA ($60) 4. Floaty Dress available at Boden USA ($72) 5. Nina Dress by Turo Parc available at Nordstrom ($66)Roundup: Hip Flower Girl Dresses | A Practical Wedding
1. Heart Print Dress available at Zara ($35.90) 2. Linen and Lace Sundress by Chasing Mini available on Etsy ($55) 3. Wow—Metallic Dream Dress by Ooh! La La Couture available at Nordstrom ($120) 4. Girls Rouge Pleated Dress available at Mamas & Papas ($37.09) 5. Pink and Cream Baby Dots Dress by Chasing Mini available on Etsy ($48)Roundup: Hip Flower Girl Dresses | A Practical Wedding
1. Bubble Party Dress available at Tea Collection ($69) 2. Seeing Stars Party Dress available at Tea Collection ($45) 3. Printed Dress available at Zara ($35.90) 4. Girls Welcome to the World Vintage Dress available at Mamas & Papas ($34.99) 5. Velvet Bubble Dress available at Boden USA ($48)
Top photo: Sequin Party Dress from Boden USA ($60)
Roundup: Hip Flower Girl Dresses | A Practical Wedding

Meg Keene

Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. Her first book, A Practical Wedding: Creative Solutions for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration, was published in January 2012, and has been a top three bestseller on the wedding bookshelf ever since. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and son.

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  • http://www.meanestlook.com Sara Downey Robinson

    Okay. I am freaking out at how stinking cute these all are.

  • Samantha

    I love this! I need to find a dress for a 2 year old flower girl, but I refuse anything bridal or too poofy. I love the J Crew dresses but I will not spend over $100 on a dress for one that young. In reality, she’s probably going to stain it by the middle of the reception!

    • Amy

      I don’t know when your wedding is, but we had fantastic luck buying our dress in a department store right after one of the major holidays (Christmas/Easter). Super marked down, and lots of styles. Our 9 year old flower girl (who is sort of tomboy-ish) actually wanted to super ruffly frilly dress. And heck, it was like $40, so we just bought it for her.

  • Allison

    David’s Bridal has a junior bridesmaid range that is actually quite nice. We found a sub-$100 dress for my stepdaughter, age 8, there. I believe the sizes went down as small as 6 in that line.

  • Fermi

    These are all cute choices, but we went with my little niece to Sears and found a cute, ivory dress with little rossettes all over it and it was $15. Fit like a dream, but she still took it off after eating so that she could run around with my husband’s nephews. I like the options above, but don’t forget to take a chance on regular department stores…you could find a deal!

    • Jessica B

      we got my niece’s dress (she’s 2) at target for $20.
      Her mom had been looking at $80 dresses, which is crazy. all her mom had to do was shorten the straps a bit and find a blue cardigan to make it seasonally appropriate.

  • Kate

    I love #5 in Littles! Looks comfy, key requirement for the kiddos.

  • One More Sara

    Love love love all of these!!! For anyone actually looking for flower girl dresses, don’t forget the thumbnails at the bottom! Some of my favorites of this whole round up are down there. Great job Meg!

    • One More Sara

      Slash, if I ever have a little girl, I am going to dress her in glitter and sequins all the time. Please don’t burst my dream bubble with the reality of putting babies in sequins.

  • Carolyn

    OKAY these are all so cute and where was this post a year and a half ago?!?!?

    I cannot tell you how many gawdawful dresses I had to gently nix from my SIL and MIL … my husband’s sister definitely wanted her darling princess in a CHILD BRIDE gown. There was one that looked like a cross between a mini Queen Elizabeth (the First) and a Renaissance Fair mixed up with a lawn mower. Slashes all over the front and a tiny child bodice. So many memories.

    She ended up in a very tasteful and adorable J Crew Crewcuts dress: Rosalie in Ivory. And she totally nailed it .

  • http://www.kellybenvenuto.com KellyB

    Glad to know I wasn’t the only one obsessed with the JCPenney wedding catalogue.

  • Lindsey d.

    The first things I bought for my wedding were dresses for my 5 and 6.5 year old flower girls. They were $20 on sale at Zara. No longer available, but they have plenty of similar, inexpensive stuff — http://www.pinterest.com/pin/165577723773147096/

  • Vee

    You guys read my mind! The silver sequin dress is killer cute!

  • Kater

    I may be biased since my wedding dress, bridesmaids dresses, and flower girl dress were from Sophie Pearl (https://www.etsy.com/shop/CoralieBeatrix?ref=l2-shopheader-name) but I thought the flower girl dress was ADORABLE (AND $50):
    https://www.etsy.com/listing/128402137/girls-6-8yrs-octopus-infinity-twirl?ref=shop_home_active

  • Victwa

    We bought my stepdaughter this dress for around $125, I think:
    http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/product/clothes-dress-shift/26851055.jsp

    And then had a dressmaker make a matching one in a different shade of green (with little panties!) for the baby (then a year old) for $60.

    Probably we could have done something cheaper, but my stepdaughter liked the dress (a rarity!) and thought she would wear it again (and my dress was very cheap) so we went for it. It was also her idea to have the baby wearing the same dress/same style as she was, so we sprung for a $60 baby dress, which under normal circumstances I would find ridiculous. However, my child is dressed almost entirely in hand-me-downs so I figured splurging on her dress was fine. I would not count out dressmakers, however– the dress was adorable (much better than stuff I was finding online) and cheaper than I thought it would be.

  • Sarah Marguerite

    This is great! I would love a tomboy flower girl roundup as well – we have a great flower girl who wants to wear a suit like her brother!

  • Mezzanine

    My favourite flower girl dresses are from Alfred Angelo:
    http://www.alfredangeloanz.com/Collections/Flower-Girls

    The website pictures are mainly of the white-with-sash variety, but there are some funkier ones – and all of them allow you to pick whichever colour you want.

    (I couldn’t afford an Alfred Angelo dress for my flower girl, so I found my favourite one, and then looked for a dress pattern that was similar.)

  • http://teastrumpets.wordpress.com kyley

    Can #3 for little girls come in an adult size? And can that be socially acceptable to wear to work?

  • Amie

    I put the niece in a big yellow tutu, had her wear a white t-shirt with a ruffle on the shoulder, and bought a double in case of spills. She was 18 months for our wedding. And she was adorable.

  • Amalia

    I wasn’t going to have flower girls, but now I want to just so I can wear these dresses vicariously.

  • Itsy Bitsy

    “Bigs” vs “Littles” – Hah! I thought I was the only one who categorized kids like that! Also these are amazing. I second the request for “Littles #3″ in adult sizes.

  • Rachel

    In case anyone is feeling “oh noes, my flower girl has to be hip and I will be judged if I dress her in “mini-bridal outfit with a large sash”, here’s a cheer for the white dress plus sash option for flowergirls!

    (BTW – I am sure no hipster judgy is implied at all – APW is unjudgypants and totally supports brides to fit their own aesthetic choices – from grunge to meringue with cathedral train (or nothing at all. Hmmm, no APW nudist wedding yet?))

    Anyway, my niece LOVED and still loves her bridesmaid outfit my mother made.

    It was a simple dress made from leftover dupion silk from my sister’s dress. A fitted sleeveless bodice, then a gathered skirt falling from the rib level.

    As Mum took care to make it loose fitting (my sister, the bride, was notorious for not liking anything that wasn’t a stretch fabric as a 4 year old, and her niece had been quite lukewarm when the subject of a bridesmaid dress came up, so comfort was important)

    But that meant my niece had room to grow into it, which has meant that she wore it for “dress up” at age 4, 5, 6, and still gets into it today aged 7 (just).

    Mostly she wears it just for fun (you have to wear something to bounce on the trampoline, and the skirt flares out like a parachute really well).

    The sash is long gone, and the hem is pretty grubby (and has come down of its own accord – see aforementioned trampolining) as all her friends have tried what Niece’s calls her “wedding dress”by which it’s pretty clear she means the dress she wore to the (one and only) wedding she’s attended, not a dress she imagines being a bride in)

    She looked lovely and felt happy and beautiful in it then and now, so I say rock the white dress plus sash for flower girls if you want to!

    And then go rock the trampoline.

  • Rani

    My niece’s flowergirl dress was the first sartorial decision I made for our wedding. I’m still a little jealous that she got to wear it. Sequins! Tulle! I think it was also more expensive than the bridesmaids dresses and even some of the ones I was looking at. Thank goodness for indulgent grandmothers.

    http://www.watters.com/Product/Seahorse/Features:PartyTime/44379/

  • Ana in Boston

    We went with this for our wedding that is next week (!!!!) — both of our nieces have sent us photos and they seem to love it:

    http://www.bodenusa.com/en-US/Girls-1H-12yrs-Dresses/33287-IVO/Girls-1H-12yrs-Ivory-Broderie-Dress.html

  • http://www.pandadress.com/ pandadress

    With their naïve and innocent image, flower girls become part of a perfect
    wedding since they are considered as an angel sent by God to send the best
    wishes to the new couple. Thus it is necessary to dress a lovely flower girl
    pretty decently.

    There is something important to keep in mind before you go shopping. And the
    first point you should take into consideration is that dresses for flower girls
    should match the wedding dress the bride is dressed in. As to some concrete
    details such as the design, color and accessories, it depends on you. Its
    numerous variety and designs will astonish you.

    http://www.pandadress.com/flower-girls-dresses-c-2_29.html

  • Black N Bianco

    Love all those flower girl dresses! They are so cute!
    http://www.blacknbianco.com

  • jo nalo

    Dresses just as stylish as ones I’d pick for myself, but child appropriate. http://www.winoon.co.uk/fall-a-lineprincess-strapless-neck-sweetheart-tulle-wedding-dresses-2013/