Wedding Wednesday: Time to dress the children!

W.C. Fields said "never work with animals or children."  While he was talking about show business, there are plenty of people who maintain that saying applies to weddings.  I've mentioned my dog enough times on this blog that you probably knew we'd ignore the part about animals.  What you might not know is that between us, we have a gaggle of nieces and nephews.  We're inviting them all to be in our bridal party.

The oldest nephew is going to be a groomsman (is he technically a junior groomsman?).  I have fond memories watching he and Marc playing catch, of him teaching us how to play Guitar Hero (one Thanksgiving, he had the entire family playing), and going to Disney World together (Marc said "is there anything that your mom won't let you do that I'll definitely let you do?").  Sometimes, I think he's like a mini Marc...kind, sensitive, a bit of a comedian.  He'll be wearing a tux along with the other groomsmen.

The other nephews are much younger.  We plan on letting them walk down the aisle doing whatever comes naturally to them.  One of my nephews decided that he needs to carry a flag.  No problem.  Whatever they want is fine with me.  I'm not really set on dictating a specific outfit for them (there's a bit of an age range), but I'll probably talk to my sister-in-law and Marc's sister about what they think.  I still have to do a little research here.

When it comes to our flower girl, I'm a little more excited...

As a child, I dressed up a lot.  Probably too much.  I don't remember owning jeans until 5th grade and that first pair had flowers painted on them.  I sometimes wish I had more play clothes, but I'm thankful that I had pretty dresses as a little girl.  When I thought about what Marc's niece would wear in the wedding, I had images like these in my head:

 Those are from Strasburg Children, a store whose windows have always been filled with beautiful, "dress up" clothing for children.

 As luck would have it, there's a Strasburg Children store about five minutes from the hotel where I'm staying this week on a business trip.  One night, I made the trip over and found this:

What happened?  Strasburg Children filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2009.  They closed stores for a while and finally sold the company to another.  As of August 19, 2011, most of the dressy clothing is on sale for 50% off.  The entire format of the store is changing.  It's going casual.  Really, really casual. 

I guess many people aren't buying their children dress up clothing anymore?  I'm kind of sad...I loved getting a new dress for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter.  I loved twirling around in those dresses and stopping to make the skirt "swish" around me.  I even had a gig in a Polly Flinders fashion show at Bamburgers (now Macy's) when I was in kindergarten.

So now, the search continues.  I've taken a look at Janey & Jack (one of my favorite children's stores), found some amazing dresses on the Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom websites, and briefly looked at J. Crew's crewcuts line.  I think I'm going to see if my future mother-in-law and sister-in-law will have a "girl's day out" and look for a dress for Little Miss M (my nickname for our cutie pie flower girl).

I'm wondering what stores we should visit.  If you have children or had a flower girl at your wedding, what stores do you think we should visit?


  1. I used to sew and make smocked dresses for my girls.  My main inspiration was the magazine Australian Smocking and Embroidery, which I used to buy at Buttons and Bows, in Richmond.  I don't know if they still carry it.  Stunning, unique dresses.  Buttons and Bows ( is a fabric shop, but I think they sell clothes as well.  I haven't been there in years.  I used to also find beautiful dresses in Creative Needle Magazine, which is, alas, no longer published.  There's also Sew Beautiful, which you can probably buy at Joann's Fabrics.  Lots of fun to read and many of the dresses are super tacky but it is a great resource for heirloom sewing and children's dressy clothing.  You could also try Whimsies.

  2. My mom gets fancy cute stuff for madelyn at mini boden, Hannah andersson, and fritz and Gigi's

    Good luck!

  3. J~.
    Does anyone in the family sew?
    these dresses are so simple..yet elegant.
    why not consider making one..
    at a recent wedding involving 5 adorables , 
    being i the same dilemma, 
    the moms simply bought white ballerina leotards and tights,
    topped them with white net tutus..
    a ribbon sash at the waist,
    a tiara of ribbons and flowers..
    perfect..all sweetness!!

  4. Nice to hear you liked the Christmas dresses. I put a lot of time into choosing which one to get you each year.
    You looked cute as a button in that picture.

  5. I got a beautiful flower girl dress for my little granddaughter at whimsies about four years ago.  A big city couldn't have done better.  Whether they still have the selection now, I don't know, but check it out.  Always good to go local.

  6. Have you tried looking on Etsy ?  I was looking there for bridesmaid dresses the other day, but didn't have much luck. Seems like they have much more fun clothing for kids than adults.

  7. My girls were in my brother's wedding when they were 4 and 6 (almost 5 and 7). One thing my brother and his fiancee did that warmed my heart and THRILLED my girls was let  them choose their dresses. They agreed on a color together (pale pink) and then my future sister-in-law and I searched online for dresses that we both liked. We narrowed it down to five styles per child and then let each girl select their dresses. The girls loved their dresses.

    My suggestions for shopping are J. Crew's Crew Cuts and also eBay. I found one of my girl's dresses there. Crew Cuts is pricey, yes, but the girls' parents could always consign the dresses after the wedding.

  8. I don't really have any specific suggestions (other than to maybe contact a dressmaker to have them custom made), but I love dressing up my two girls! Most of their dresses are smocked and were passed down from my own mother, who bought them at consignment shops over 30 years ago!

  9. It may be a distance for you, but Franklin Mills Mall in Philadelphia has several stores dedicated to children's fancy dress clothes.  I especially like Sophistikids.  Maybe you have one closer to you.  good luck!!

  10. Try the Best Dressed Child Website-this is amazing with clothing from a multitude of companies.

  11. Aww, that is sad to see the different photos of the store. I loved getting new holiday dresses as a kid, too. I was a tomboy a lot of the time, but I still LOVED those dresses! My mom sewed all the little girls' simple dresses for our wedding (we too involved ALL of the kids) but if you don't want to do that I'll echo Jane and suggest Etsy. Or maybe you could look online for more fancy patterns (Butterick or McCall's?) and find a local seamstress. Whatever you do, that little girl is going to feel like a princess!

  12. Frances Johnston children clothing online store has gorgeous dresses similar to those at Strasburg.

  13. What a sweet idea! Since we only have one flower girl, I think I'm going to splurge a little bit. :)


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