A Minnesota couple has been getting national attention for their unique decision to have the bride’s grandmother as the flower girl at their wedding on July 1 at the Mankato Golf Club.
“As a girl you always dream about your wedding and I just never saw a little flower girl,” said the bride Abby Arlt, now Abby Mershon. “It was a question of ‘who am I closest with?’”
For Abby, the answer to that question was obvious.
“I just always knew, even before I had met Dustin [her husband], that I really wanted my grandma to be my flower girl and I really wanted my grandpa to be my ring bearer,” she said.
Her grandfather passed away one year before their wedding.
Abby said Dustin was very supportive of her wish to have her grandma, Georgiana Arlt, be the flower girl.
When they asked the 92-year-old to be their flower girl at a family function in February, everyone cheered, but “grandma shrieked at the top of her lungs,” Abby said.
“She just kept saying ‘I’ve never been in a wedding besides my own!’” That was 72 years ago, when Georgiana married Abby’s grandpa.
“I was really honored. I'm happy I lived long enough to do it,” Georgiana told ABC News. “Then they had me out dancing and I slept all night when I got home in bed. I was worn out.”
Abby said her grandma only accepted after she checked with Dustin to make sure this is what they both wanted.
“She said ‘then I’ll do it, as long as you both want it then I’ll do it,” Abby said.
Her grandma was nervous in preparing to be in the wedding since she hadn’t been in one since her own.
“She joked that she wanted to bring candy instead of flower petals to pretend like she was at a parade,” Abby said.
Growing up, Abby lived with her family in Mankato, only an hour away from her grandparents in Chaska, and they visited on many weekends. They’d go to church and grandma did “typical grandma duties,” Abby said, such as teaching them to cook.
Abby said she realized in her teenage years she wanted her grandparents to play an important role in her wedding.
“To be a maid of honor or a bridesmaid is a big part of a wedding, but there’s multiples of them and there’s really only one flower girl,” Abby said. “There’s really only one of my grandma so I just knew that was the role I wanted her to be in our wedding.”
Many have said that her grandma stole the show, but Abby said she doesn’t see it that way.
“I love it, I absolutely love it,” she said. “A lot of people have been saying ‘oh that’s unfortunate for the bride that her moment was stolen,’ but it doesn’t bother me one bit. I’m so happy that my grandma is able to make millions of people smile.”