Finding an outfit for little ones to wear at a wedding can be a total minefield. You want something that will be comfortable and affordable – as chances are they will be wearing it just once, for a very long day – but it still needs to be smart and look like they (read YOU) have made an effort. Then you throw in little ones who are old enough to have a say in what they wear, never mind flower girls who need to dress like the older Bridesmaids, but are too young for certain styles of dresses…NIGHTMARE.

So, today I’ve put my Wedding hat on to help anyone who is on the hunt for practical, stylish AND affordable occasion wear for little ones. There’s a round of the best of the high street right now, and all of the advice I’ve learned from reading real wedding reports over on Rock My Wedding.

Baby Girls

From personal experience, I would avoid any dresses that are overly fussy, layered or frilly. We took a 7 month old Elle to my cousins wedding last summer, and I think she lasted about two hours before I took her dusky pink, tulle lined dress off and replaced it with a sleep suit. It was a faff to feed and change her in and she just looked totally uncomfortable.

Opt for dresses that are simple and not too big, or better yet, go for a romper suit. My current favourites include this Gap Eyelet Two Tier Dress, this Gap Gingham Ruffle Tank Dress, this Next Gingham Dress and this Next Navy & White Spot Dress. For gorgeous rompers, I love the Autograph range at Marks and Spencer, they have some floral pieces that are just SO pretty.

Oh, and don’t forget a cardigan – this John Lewis one comes in pink too, and could definitely be worn again. (Part of the reason Elle had to be changed into her sleep suit was because I’d forgotten her cardi, I know, bad Mummy)…

Baby Boys

I think when it comes to smarter dressing, boys have it much easier than little ladies. A smart pair of dungarees or shorts, and a shirt is absolutely fine. Personally, I’m not a fan of little boys in ties and bowties, but often the little dudes just want to copy the older boys, so if you think they will keep one on, then go for it. Next have some lovely bits, like this Blue Stripe Two Piece and these Navy & White Gingham Rompers. (Which FYI I think are totally smart enough for a tiny baby at a wedding).

Also – these Monsoon dungarees – I LOVE them!!!

Older Girls

I can’t wait until Elle can fit into some of the dresses from Mango Kids – they have the prettiest clothes and for some reason, people don’t seem to realise that they do kids wear, so get in there quick before everyone starts shopping there! I also think that they get that perfect balance between not being too girly nor too sophisticated for that awkward pre-teen age. This Mango Kids Guipure Dress is lush, as is this red one. If pastel tones are the order of the day, please can someone buy this pretty dress in the palest of pinks?! It’s just gorgeous.

If you like the all-white look, which is super popular right now (see more in this article on Rock My Wedding) we love Next’s range of Lace Dresses, perfect for getting the luxe look without a huge price tag.

And to keep warm – I love little girls in ballet wrap style cardigans, and this Next one in ivory is lovely.

Tutus in darker shades aren’t in the shops very often, let alone the high street, but M&S currently have a lovely navy one in stock. It’s the perfect length and has the perfect amount of pouffiness (!) for older girls.

Also, if you have’t come across the Storm Range by Monsoon, have a look at their dresses for girls aged 8-15.

Older Boys

Boys are just as discerning over what they wear as girls, so if you’ve got an older child you need to dress for a wedding, it doesn’t really matter whether they are a girl or a boy – you may have a fight on your hands. I’ve chosen some options here that are *hopefully* cool enough for the little dudes, but still smart enough to keep you happy. Shirts and shorts can always be dressed up with shoes, so don’t worry if it feels like he’s just wearing a similar version of the outfit he’d wear most days. Gap have some lovely shirts for boys, the Gap Oxford Shirt in Blue and the
Gap Button Down Shirt Gingham are both lovely.

My love for Mango Kids extends to the boys wear too – this Textured Blazer is gorgeous and would help to dress up an outfit, while still being comfortable. Also, the animal embroidered shorts from Monsoon are both fun and smart, and I can see these being popular with little dudes across the board!

And you can never go wrong with Next or John Lewis. These navy dungarees, this super comfortable looking Herrigbone set and this blazer are all lovely.

Finally, I was very excited to discover that John Lewis do an Heirloom Collection, which comprising of gorgeous little suits for boys. The Slub Textured shorts and Linen Cotton shorts are my favourites – I’d mix them with the shirts from Gap and these sandals from Start-rite 🙂

P.S. I know that white is not, in ANY way, practical for children, but amongst the navy, and the florals, and the brights, I just couldn’t resist! Little ones dressed in white just get me every time.

Images from real weddings by Danelle Bohane | Maryanne Weddings | Chris Barber | Nicola Thompson | Therese Winberg