What’s a wedding photo without an angelic flower girl in a fancy dress or a pink-faced cherub of a ring bearer in a short suit? There’s no doubt about it, kids are adorable, especially when dressed up in patent leather shoes. And something about their innocence certainly does add a magical quality to any wedding. Unfortunately, they won’t just arrive in a beautiful organza dress or cream-colored eaton suit—unless you tell them to.
When it comes to second weddings and vow renewals, you’re probably noticing that a lot of things are different this time around. Nowhere is this more evident than in the bridal party. While you might have included a couple of relatives’ children in your first wedding, this time around you and/or your fiancé will likely have kids of your own—and possibly even grandchildren—in your bridal party.
Following are some tips to help you navigate the trials and tribulations of getting kids dressed up, keeping parents and kids happy and getting everyone’s attire right for your second wedding or vow renewal ceremony.
Quick Tip for Dressing the Kids for the Wedding
Dress children comfortably! Itchy fabrics, fussy bows and collars or shoes that are too tight are a recipe for disaster.
Comfortable kiddies are happie kiddies. Crying, coming from someone other than the bride and her mom, could be stressful for everyone involved..
What to Spend on Kid’s Wedding Clothing?
Some things change; some things stay the same. When it comes to your second wedding or vow renewal, the best place to start is with the budget—just like with any wedding. How much are you, and the parents of the other kids involved in the wedding party, willing to spend on the wedding clothes? Is this a one-time splurge? Or are people looking to reuse, resell or pass along their child’s wedding attire? Believe us, there is such a thing as wedding attire etiquette, especially when folks might be traveling quite a ways to be a part of your second wedding. Once you have a firm budget in mind, taking into consideration all the participants, you’ll have a better sense of where to look to purchase, borrow, or have the wedding outfits made. Check out Ebay for discounted wedding clothes for kids: Flower Girl Dresses + Ring Bearer Suits + Eton Suits for little Boys
Timing, Ordering and Sizing When a Body is Growing!
Now that you have your budget, think about your timeframe. The problem with kids is. . .they grow, and sometime not exactly when you want them to! The key with ordering children’s wedding attire is to think one step ahead of their next growth spurt. If you’re buying off the rack, that might mean going a size larger in anticipation of some much needed “wiggle” room. If you’re having the wedding clothes made, ask the seamstress to cut the design a bit larger. In either instance, be sure to schedule in some alterations in the weeks leading up to the big day. This means that you’ll want to have the garment in your possession at least a month before the wedding or vow renewal ceremony if the place from which you bought it will not be doing the alterations. So when should you start shopping? As a general rule of thumb, you should start shopping for the kids’ wedding outfits about the same time you begin looking for your wedding dress or outfit.
Formality – It’s all in the fabric and the length
Finally, the fun stuff! So, what kind of wedding attire do you envision the little munchkins wearing? A lot of that probably depends on the formality of your second wedding or vow renewal.
After all, if you’re having a backyard barbeque reception, a floor-length taffeta gown might not be the most appropriate selection! Conversely, a picnic print flower girl dress might not go over so well at a Black Tie affair. There are many contributing factors to the formality of dress, but fabric and length are the big ones to consider. Typically, floor length dresses are reserved for the most formal of occasions, and often these glamorous gowns are a bit “much” for little girls—both in terms of style and excess fabric that they might trip on. Girls can wear ballet length (falls slightly above the ankle) flower girl dresses or tea length (falls below the knee, but above of the ankle) in both formal and casual settings, depending on the fabric. When it comes to a winter wedding, your flower girl might be picture perfect in a satin dress for a more formal affair, or in velour for something a little less formal. In the summer, your flower girl would look lovely in silk for a formal affair, or in linen for a more casual affair. Keep the personality of the child in mind when making your selection too.
Boys’ Wedding Clothes
Typically, tuxedos are reserved for the most formal occasions, although when it comes to boys’ wedding clothes, you tend to have a bit more flexibility (just like men!). In addition to the suit or tux options for boys, short ring bearer suits otherwise known as eton suits are an adorable alternative for the under 4 set, especially for your little ring bearer. The great thing about clothing for your junior groomsmen and ring bearer is that they can usually be rented or found at a local consignment shop. If you opt to purchase a suit or tuxedo, little boys can often get extra mileage out of a pair of dress pants and a dress shirt and tie by mixing and matching for other occasions. Though you can ask boys over 4 to accommodate your tastes by wearing a short suit with those adorable high socks and patent shoes, you risk the brooding of a child who’s been humiliated. It’s your wedding, sure, but try to be mindful of the feelings of the little ones. Just like your bridesmaids who might be uncomfortable showing off their arms, little ones can be sensitive to how they are appearing as well.After the wedding is over, children’s clothes can be saved for possible future events, for siblings, dropped off at a consignment shop or even sold on ebay as gently used.
So, you’ve got a budget, you’ve squared away the formality and now it’s time to play with color! Think of the miniature members of your second wedding’s bridal party as the accents on your wedding ensemble—they can either punctuate the picture by wearing a contrasting color or coordinate with the color palette of their adult counterparts. For instance, a bride might choose to have her bridesmaids in pink dresses and to have her smaller attendants in orange. Or, she might have her bridesmaids in a dark blue and outfit the children in the bridal party with a lighter blue. Of course, some brides like to have their little angels in all white, with sashes, bouquets, flower girl shoes and a flower girl tiara providing little bursts of color and sparkle. Don’t leave the boys out of the fun! Play with the ties, cummerbunds, boutonnieres and handkerchiefs of your ring bearer outfits and junior groomsmen ensembles to add a color coordinated pop. Whatever you choose, keep in mind how everyone will look together in the inevitable group shot. Because, while each outfit should function well on its own, they also need to work in harmony as a group.