Children in the Victorian Wedding | Victorian Weddings


Ah, it’s June, which makes Miss Meredith Sweetpea think of weddings. And what is sweeter than children in a wedding.

But what did the Victorians do?

The April 29, 2011 wedding of Britain’s Prince William and Catherine Middleton featured children’s dress styles very much following the Victorian tradition set by Queen Victoria, as you can see in their official portraits.

Children in the Victorian Wedding…and the modern wedding

In the Victorian wedding, girls’ dresses were either long or short and were most likely made of white muslin and featured a ribbon sash that matched their stockings and shoes. The girls in this photograph match that tradition.

Boys generally dressed in pageboy outfits consisting of velvet jackets in red, green, black, or blue, short trousers and round linen collars. Their collars were most likely tied up with large white bows made of crepe de chine. A hat was optional, but should match the velvet color, and was removed for the church ceremony.  Black shoes were the norm, unless it was a formal wedding. In that case, they might wear white shoes and stockings, and have buckles on their shoes.

In William and Catherine’s wedding, the boys wear an even more formal, military-like outfit, but still hold with the traditional Victorian pageboy style of short pants, white stockings and shoe buckles.

The children’s role in Victorian weddings

Children were often a part of Victorian weddings. Older girls often served as junior bridesmaids or maids of honor, while the littlest ones could be flower girls or ring bearers. The ring bearer and flower girls walk before the bride and her father or escort, but behind the rest of the bridal party that went down the aisle first. The flower girls scatter rose petals from a basket onto the floor for the bride to walk on.

Generally it was the boys–but not always–who served as the trainbearers. They walked in pairs behind the bride and her father and held the bride’s train. In the case of Will and Kate’s wedding, it was the bride’s sister Pippa Middleton who served as the trainbearer.

Images by Paul Rogers/PA Wire, Reuters and Getty Images.

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