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In recent wedding seasons, we’ve seen beautiful grandma bridesmaids and a grandfather who served as a best man. But now meet the flower man, a 6-foot-3-inch 28-year-old who scattered rose petals from a pretty little pink-trimmed bridal basket like a champion.
Just before she walked down the aisle, Andria Farthing watched her cousin Patrick Casey toss petals from the same basket she once carried as a young flower girl. With Casey’s poker face in check, his flower-man finale drew cheers when he threw petals overhead in a move he likened to a LeBron James powder toss.
“It was a blast,” Casey told TODAY Style of the June 17 wedding in Madison, Wisconsin. “I really wanted to do something unique to share in their celebration and give them the gift of laughter on their special day. They’re great people and a fantastic couple, so I wanted to do something I knew they would remember.”
Farthing, 26, said her cousin did excellent work for the task typically handled by little girls in pretty dresses.
“He did a better job than we could have asked for,” the bride said. “I don’t know how he kept a straight face. But I think that was important to not make a joke out of it, and I think he brought that seriousness to the role that made it incredibly meaningful on the day of and added to the humor after the fact.”
Farthing and Casey grew up together in Wisconsin and have always been close. Casey was the first in the family to meet her now husband, Jake Farthing, and the men hit it off right away.
“They kind of have a little bromance going themselves,” said Farthing, who now lives in Chaska, Minnesota.
Casey began lobbying for the flower man gig even before the couple became engaged, though Farthing said she thought perhaps he was joking. But he wasn’t, and sought the job to do something different and bring smiles to people’s faces.
“All good marriages probably have a lot of laughter in them,” Casey said. “What’s wrong with including a bit of appropriate levity in your wedding ceremony?”
Farthing (and others) had been skeptical about having a grown man take on the duties typically reserved for a flower girl, but Casey kept asking, and eventually won over the couple. During a point of stressful and tedious wedding planning, the couple finally popped the question to Casey.
“I was extremely stressed out, and I turned to Jake and said, ‘It’s time to have fun with this again,’” Farthing said. “That’s when we called Patrick.”
“I was really excited, probably too excited,” Casey said, adding that he wanted to have fun but also took the role seriously.
When the wedding day arrived, he placed the petals in the basket, the same one the bride carried alongside Casey when they were in a family wedding together as kids.
He stuffed extra petals in his pockets and even his shoes. After walking most of the aisle during the outdoor ceremony, he put down the basket and reached into his pockets.
“I did the LeBron powder toss with them through the air,” Casey said, referencing the basketball great’s pregame move. “I thought that’d be a funny exclamation point on the whole thing. It got a lot of laughs and smiles.”
Despite all the attention her cousin received at the wedding and online as his story went viral, Farthing said she didn’t feel overshadowed on her special day.
“They were cheering just as loudly, if not louder for Jake and I,” she said. “It just throughout the day added a levity to everything. It was entertaining and really special just knowing that he had a role in our day.”
Casey, who is now offering to serve as a flower man for other couples, said he can’t beat an adorable little kid in the cuteness department.
“All I can do is try to ham it up a little and make up for it that way,” he said.
“I’m a goofy guy,” Casey added. “I was having fun being myself, and if I can encourage other people to have fun being themselves and be comfortable in their own skin, then I’m really happy about that.”