Kids add something special to wedding ceremonies. Maybe it’s their innocence, or maybe it’s just how darn cute they look when they’re all dressed up. Whatever the reason, if there is a wedding in your future that involves your kids, they’re going to need something to wear. Of course, there are lots of factors to consider when shopping for wedding attire, but there are two main questions to answer to help you shop. First, are they standing up in the wedding, or are they simply guests? Second, is it a formal wedding, or is it something more casual without a strict dress code? Keep those factors in mind as you read our tips on how to choose wedding outfits for kids.
If your child is standing up in someone’s wedding, the bride and groom probably have a color scheme and idea of what they want your child to wear. Make sure to check in with the bride and the groom so you’re all on the same page regarding the style, color, and cost of your child’s outfit. Remember to account for the cost of alterations as well if your daughter is in the wedding party and you need to buy a girls’ dress.
If your child isn’t standing up at the wedding and is just a guest, you obviously have more freedom in terms of budget. Your concerns will focus more on the type of wedding and location. For that, wait until you receive the “Save the Date” or wedding invitation before you start shopping. The style of the invitation and location of the wedding should clue you in on whether there is a strict dress code.
If you’re tasked with bringing a little girl to a wedding as a guest, you’ll want to make sure she looks cute, of course, but you also don’t want her to upstage any flower girls. As such, stay away from white dresses! Instead, choose seasonal fabric and colors. Think about length and sleeve style as well. A dress that’s too long can be a trip hazard, and a dress that’s too short could make their little legs cold. You also want to make sure she’s not too cold if she’s wearing a sleeveless dress, so a matching girls’ cardigan is a great thing to have on hand. Find something she’s sure to be comfortable in. Don’t forget about shoes and socks or tights. Keep in mind that kids have a habit of growing out of things at the speed of light, so don’t buy anything too far in advance.
Just like you wouldn’t dress your daughter in a white dress as a wedding guest, you don’t want to dress your little boy in a tuxedo or he’ll take some of the spotlights away from the ringbearer. (Unless it’s a formal wedding, of course, during which it is perfectly acceptable—as long as you can convince him to wear it!) You don’t need a fancy tuxedo to make your little boy look adorable though. Sometimes all it takes is a little bow tie and some shiny shoes to make a boy look dressed up. When it comes to the color of pants for boys (or cute dressy shorts for toddlers in summertime), stick with neutral colors like navy, khaki, and black—even if pink or other bright colors are in style at the moment. Why? Because there are going to be a lot of pictures taken that day and you don’t want to look back and regret dressing him in a color that’s just a temporary fad.
Your teenager might think they know it all when it comes to style, but choosing an outfit to wear to a wedding is not something you should let them do on their own. Of course, they can help choose their outfit, but leaving it entirely in their hands could lead to some poor decision-making. You’ll basically want to follow the same guidelines as you would for yourself—nothing too casual or too risqué.
Just as important as how your child looks is how they feel. Do a trial run in the outfit to see how long the little ones can comfortably wear their kids' wedding clothes. Be cautious of things like shoes they’re not used to wearing, collars that rub their neck wrong, and tights that don’t fit right. An uncomfortable kid is not someone you want to mess with on someone’s wedding day!