95-Year-Old Flower Girl Grandma Steals Spotlight at Granddaughter’s Wedding

Grandma flower girl tossing petals down wedding aisleEmilie Voss' 95-year-old Grandma Alice served as her flower girl at her January 23 wedding in Palm Springs. Credit: Brian Evans Photography

When you have a flower girl grandma walking the aisle it’s easy to take your eyes off the bride, but that’s okay with her granddaughter, bride Emilie Voss!

Emilie and her groom, Ben Bohland, wanted to personalize their January 23 wedding but without children attending they needed to improvise their bridal parties. That’s when the bride’s 95-year-old Grandma Alice Wheaton took center stage as the couple’s flower girl, and the groom’s 81-year-old Grandpa Jerry Chabler joined in as ring bearer.

In an exclusive interview with The Knot, Emilie shared what it meant to have flower girl Grandma Alice and ring bearer Grandpa Jerry as part of her wedding. She also proudly shared some beautiful photos of the California ceremony and the couple’s grandparent bridal party.

“The ring bearer/flower girl thing all started because we weren’t having any kids at our wedding so we were going to ask his Grandpa (81-years-old Jerry Chabler) to carry our rings for us,” Emilie, an anchor and reporter at WTOL’s FOX Toledo, told The Knot. “Then my mom jokingly suggested we have my Grandma be the flower girl and we loved the idea. So it just grew from there.”

“We are both in our 30s and most of our friends are married so we’ve been to a lot of weddings,” Emilie said of herself and her husband Ben. “We knew we wanted to make the day about things unique to us (like Ben’s fave peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at cocktail hour).”

Bride kissing her grandma flower girl

Emilie Voss tells The Knot she’s been very close to her grandmother her whole life. Credit: Brian Evans Photography

Mentioning that her husband Ben loved the idea too, Emilie added, “He is very close with his Grandpa and knows I have a special relationship with my Grandma. So even though we weren’t going the traditional route of using children, this very much fit our lives and the relationships that are important to us.”

For their winter wedding at the Smoke Tree Ranch in Palm Springs, California the couple gifted ring bearer Grandpa Jerry with a special wooden box to hold the weddings rings and offered flower girl Grandma Alice an adorable white basket to carry her flower petals saying, “We are both really close with our Grandparents and wanted to involve them in our special day.”

Grandpa ring bearer walking down aisle

Groom Ben Bohland asked his 81-year-old grandpa, Jerry, to be the ring bearer at their wedding. Credit: Brian Evans Photography

The bride and her flower girl Grandma Alice live many miles away from one another, in Ohio and California respectively, and it was on a trip out west that the couple came up with the grandparents-in-the-wedding-party idea. When they visited with her grandmother in California last April, it was time to ask her the big question – Will you be my flower girl, Grandma Alice?

“I think she thought we were kidding at first, but once she realized we weren’t she was very excited,” Emilie said.

Even when some serious medical issues placed Grandma Alice in the hospital last Fall, Emilie explained that the flower girl Grandma kept fighting so she could participate in the wedding. “She kept telling her doctors she needed to get better and back on her feet because she was going to be the flower girl in her granddaughter’s wedding,” Emilie told The Knot. “One of her doctors even asked if she needed a date!”

Grandma flower girl and grandpa ring bearer posing with bride and groom

Emilie Voss tells The Knot that the photos of Grandma Alice and Grandpa Jerry at her wedding are something she “will always treasure.” Credit: Brian Evans Photography

With the distance between the bride and her grandmother, Emilie shared that her mother helped Grandma Alice choose a beautiful black and plum ensemble complete with pearls.

“Even though it was in Palm Springs, it gets so chilly at night there in the evening in January so getting something warm enough for her was priority number one,” she explained. “My Grandma has always had an incredible sense of style so I knew whatever she picked would look beautiful. I just wanted her to be comfortable and warm!”

When asked how Grandma Alice reacted to hearing of her viral fame Emilie shared with The Knot, “Well first off I had to explain to her that ‘going viral’ was a good thing! Haha. She was overwhelmed when I called to tell her about it.”

Adding an adorable detail of flower girl Grandma Alice’s walk down the aisle to her story the bride Emilie shared with The Knot, “I guess when she got to the beginning of the aisle it was really quiet and before she started tossing the flowers she said ‘Nobody laugh at me!’ Haha.”

“We had 115 people at the wedding and everyone of them loved seeing Grandpa Jerry and Grandma Alice walk down the aisle with the wedding party,” she said.

Grandma Flower Girl
Grandma Flower Girl
Grandma Flower Girl
Grandma Flower Girl


When all was said and done, it was truly a special treat for the bride and groom to have two amazing family members – from both sides – join together to help them celebrate on their wedding day.

“I have been very close to my Grandma my whole life. I’m blessed to have such a sharp, smart, independent woman as the matriarch of our family,” Emilie told The Knot. “I know she’s not going to be around forever, so these memories and the photos will be something I will always treasure. We definitely will be hanging some of these photos with Grandpa Jerry and Grandma Alice in our home.”

About the Author

Kaitlin Jones
Kaitlin Jones
Kaitlin is an online news writer at The Knot covering viral wedding news. She has a Bachelor’s in English from Plymouth State University. Kaitlin has a passion for news writing and all things Disney.