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Traditionally, a flower girl represents the promise of new life and fertility for a bride and groom. She spreads flower petals along the path that a bride takes towards her new life. The ring bearer offers similar promise as he carries the symbols of that new life down the path that the flower girl has just laid.
Including a flower girl and a ring bearer in your ceremony is also a way to let children in your family participate. For bride and grooms on their second marriage or with children from a previous relationship, it's a way to make their children a part of the ceremony. It's important to remember that very young children can have severe stage fright when it comes to the actual ceremony, so make sure that their part is not so important that it messes up your ceremony if they fail to perform. In some cases, let them walk down the aisle together or even with the bride or maid of honor, because they can provide comfort for the children. A word to the wise, don't have a late in the evening wedding where children are involved – cranky children are worse than children suffering from stage fright when it comes to a wedding ceremony.