Deciding what your page boy or ring bearer should wear to lead you down the aisle is always a little tricky. Should he be dressed like the groom and his ushers, or should he wear something different to coordinate with the bridesmaids he is accompanying?
If you choose to have children at your wedding, it can be nice to get them involved in the ceremony. It stops them from being bored! A lot of couples choose to have flower girls and page boys – but what should they wear?
Second, to the bride’s reveal, nothing gets more “Awwws” than a super cute pageboy (ringbearer) walking down the aisle, rings in hand. It can be fun to include a nephew, godson, cousin or your own son (if you have one) in your wedding but there are a few things to consider. Let’s breakdown the basics of suiting up a pageboy:
Pageboys are usually 2-8 years old and will walk down the aisle with either a flower girl or mother of the bride (depending on his age). Pageboys carry the bride and groom’s wedding bands, and you can get creative with the vessel. From pillows to ring boxes, the choice is left up to you.
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Page boys are traditionally included when the bride has a dress with a very long train as it is, traditionally, their job to help carry the train (though many bridesmaids do it these days). Page boys are usually a little older than ring bearers, so it is a great role for young siblings or cousins who want to get involved in the wedding. They can be dressed in mini versions of whatever formal wear the groomsmen are wearing. Even if you have a short train, you could go ahead and have page boys anyway, and they can act as an escort for your precious flower girls.
What should my page boys wear?
Think about the colour and style of your wedding. Try to find a suit that complements your theme, as well as your wedding dress. It will also help to have a clear image in your head of the style of suit your fiancé will be wearing, as traditionally pageboy outfits are similar in style.
Typically the groomsmen wear identical outfits, and they are usually very similar to what the groom himself wears. Therefore, you could send all the boys shopping together. It will give them time to bond, and help the little one feel like a bigger part of the process.
Furthermore, how adorable would it be to have your page boys in identical, tiny versions of your betrothed’s suit? Otherwise, if they are opposed to shopping and your theme is fairly neutral, find out what he wears to school.
If your page boy already owns some smart trousers and a white shirt, you may only need to find them a matching tie and some smart shoes and their outfit is complete!
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Where should I buy the outfit?
You are most likely not looking for something too specialist so that a department store may be your best first bet. As page boys are usually so young, high street shops tend to sell their outfits by age; however, this does not necessarily mean the best fit, so it really is essential that your pageboys try them on!
Specialist wedding boutiques will usually work from measurements in order to achieve an accurate fit. If you think your pageboys may make a fuss of being measured in a shop, you could always take the measurements at home beforehand.
Furthermore, sending him shopping with the rest of the boys will give him a chance to feel like he is part of the wedding, and he can have more of a decision on the overall look of the outfits.
It is ultimately your decision to select the page boys’ attire, but you could consider letting the boys choose a little part of their outfits – such as their shoes or socks! If they feel involved in the decision-making, they are much more likely to behave themselves, both during the shopping and on your wedding day!
The opinion is divided on whether or not it’s a good idea for your page boy to wear a mini version of the groom’s outfit, such as a tuxedo, or whether this is inappropriate and they should have a different type of outfit.
Why should your page boy wear a mini tux?
The obvious reason a page boy should wear a mini tuxedo or morning suit is that it is just so cute! Having a miniature version of the groom processing down the aisle with the wedding rings is sure to bring a smile to the faces of your wedding guests, if not a tear.
A mini version of the groom’s outfit works especially well if the ring bearer is the groom’s son, and will look great when they are having plenty of father-son photos taken after the ceremony. Dressing your page boy the same as the other male members of the wedding party will create a uniform look and prevent your wedding party looking untidy.
Why shouldn’t your page boy wear a mini tux?
Some people are of the opinion that dressing a little boy up as a grown man is a bit cheesy, or just plain inappropriate. If you have a page boy in your wedding party, you should be celebrating their youth rather than trying to make them look older than they are.
In practical terms, a mini tuxedo or morning suit can be very uncomfortable for a small child, and you don’t want your page boy tugging at his collar and fiddling with his jacket throughout the wedding. They can also work out very expensive, with hiring a tuxedo for a child being almost as pricy as hiring one for an adult.
Alternative ring bearer outfits
If you decide not to dress your little man in a mini tuxedo, there are a number of other options:
A simple satin or velvet suit in your wedding colour will work well and will be more comfortable than a tuxedo. If you are having a really girly colour such as pink, dress him in a grey suit with a coloured shirt.
Pain white shorts or trousers with a white t-shirt and a dark jacket can be a good look for a page boy. In very hot weather just dress them in smart white shorts and a white short-sleeved polo shirt, with a belt or sash to match your wedding colour.
Novelty alternatives such as a sailor or more solid suit are still very popular, but only really work on very young children.
Whatever outfit you choose for your page boys, make sure they try it on in advance and get used to wearing it. Most small boys aren’t used to formal wear. Try to find a ring pillow that coordinates with their outfit and make sure they have a trial run with that as well. Make sure they have some smart shoes to go with the outfit; you don’t want a beautiful suit ruined by the latest flashy trainers.
What should I measure?
Firstly, take note of each child’s height, right from the top of his head. Next, measure his waistline followed by the fullest part of his chest, and finally, his neck.
Once you have your child’s measurements written down, you’re set to go! In order to carry out a productive suit hunt, it’s probably best to start with an image in your head of the kind of outfit you are after.
A good beginning would be to get online and familiarise yourself with commonly available pageboy suits, as these are likely to be similar in style to the outfits you’ll find when you start shopping.
As with flower girl dresses, don’t choose your pageboy outfits too far in advance, or they may have outgrown them before your wedding date comes around!
How do I stop tantrums?
Some small children are likely to find the idea of being the centre of attention a little daunting, so it’s best to let them know as soon as possible in order for them to grow comfortable with the idea.
It is more than likely that small boys won’t be familiar with wearing formal clothes, so after you have chosen their outfits, make sure they are able to prance around the house wearing their new clothes before the big day! As well as preparing them for the wedding, this will also allow time for them to let you know about any annoying rubs or itches!
Consider allowing him to add a bit of his own personality in ways that won’t detract from the overall look. For example, encourage him to wear his favourite pants, or find him some cool socks. If he’s excited about something he’s wearing, he is less likely to complain about something else.
What is the difference between a page boy and a ring bearer?
Traditionally, page boys used to follow the bride down the aisle holding her train. Nowadays, they tend to walk ahead, holding hands with the flower girl.
A ring bearer is someone who carries the ring down the aisle on a special wedding ring cushion. Often this is simply symbolic, and fake rings are used. Of course, it would be devastating – and too easy – for the rings to go missing! Nevertheless, it is an extra level of responsibility for small wedding attendees.
If you want a page boy to have more responsibility, or you feel he would benefit from having a purpose, you could promote him to the role of ring bearer. Or, you don’t have to have a ring bearer at all. They are still common in other cultures, such as Spanish-speaking countries.
When people hear the word ‘ring bearer’ they usually picture a small child wearing a very dapper looking outfit and carrying a small pillow which will hopefully have the wedding rings securely tied to it. Most often than not, this child is a young boy under the age of ten years old and is either a family member or a friend’s son.
As the ring bearer’s job is more of a symbolic gesture in keeping with the ambience of a wedding, traditionally the rings on the pillow are not normally the ‘real’ ones; these are usually kept with the Best Man. However, if a couple wants the real rings to be carried by the ring bearer, they are usually sewn (or tacked) on with a little thread.
There is no reason why a girl cannot be a ring bearer. Maybe you do not know any young boys who can fill the position, or you feel that one of your nieces, for example, may do a better job. It is possible to have two ring bearers if making a choice proves difficult with each child carrying a pillow with one ring attached.
The ring bearer you choose should be someone who is important to you both but be wary of choosing someone very young as you want to avoid the child being frightened or distracted during the service.
This small person is usually the last person to walk down the aisle, but this does not make his job any less important. He is responsible for making sure that the rings make their way to the altar for the Bride and Groom to enable them to complete their vows to each other.
Having a ring bearer to bring the wedding rings down the aisle can be a lovely touch. The role is generally filled by a young boy who will enter the ceremony and walk down the aisle at the front of the bridal procession. He will usually have the rings displayed on a cushion or pillow and will bring them down the aisle to the altar in preparation for the ceremony. Since the ring bearer is usually a little boy, it is common to use fake rings on the pillow and have the best man take care of the real thing, just in case they are dropped or lost! It is a great way to include young family members in what might otherwise be a kind of boring service! Couples who already have children often have their young sons acting as ring bearers.
Making your young attendants more comfortable
You may have noticed that many of these roles are being carried out by young children between the ages of 4 and 10 years of age. This adds an element of unpredictability to your ceremony in terms of how they react. It can be incredibly daunting for a five-year-old ring bearer to walk down the aisle alone in front of hundreds of guests. You must do what you can to make them comfortable with their duties. Inviting them along to bridal showers and rehearsals can be a great way to help them get to know the rest of the bridal party. You might also want to think about using a buddy system. If you have the flower girl and ring bearer walk together, they will be able to gain confidence from one another as it will be easier for them than walking alone.
Remember, these are additional roles that you do not necessarily have to fill. However, it can be a very diplomatic way to include other friends and family members and make them feel like they are an important part of your big day. If you do decide to fill these roles and want them to take an active role in your wedding, then the pointers above can help you to pin down their duties for the day.
Before you go and get a custom suit made with your 2-year-old pageboy in tow, consider preparing ahead of time. Measuring a youngster at home will help them feel more comfortable and give you a more accurate idea of sizing. It is also very helpful to decide on the suit style, material and colour ahead of time so that the child is comfortable and able to move around on the day (they are, after all, children). At Joe Button, all our pageboy suits have an elastic waistband, and there is no canvassing on the jacket so that whilst it looks like an adult’s suit, it is not nearly as restrictive.
While it may be a bit more costly, we recommend buying a suit, not renting. Toddlers are known for their playfulness, and he may end up with soup dribbled down the front of his suit, which would make returns a bit tricky. Be careful not to fit him for his suit too early; children can grow a size in a matter of months, so begin planning about 4 months before the day but fitting only 2 months before.
In terms of suit style, it’s best to match him to the groom or groomsmen. Stick with the same colour and material, but style can vary depending on the size of the toddler. The fun part will be accessorising his look. Match his tie and vest to the colour of the bridesmaid dresses or flower girl dress. Give him a playful flower boutonniere, a hat or even some tiny suspenders – have fun with it!