The witnessing of a wedding ceremony is not exclusive to adults. On the contrary, the participation of little children as part of the wedding entourage is equally important. The wedding guests anticipate the marching of these adorable angels as they signal the commencement of the ceremony. Clad in matching gowns and shoes, often with flowers in their hands, these flower girls are fun to watch as they throw flowers on the carpet and along the aisles. Not to be outshined are the handsome page boys that are dressed almost to perfection by their proud parents. Do not be deceived by the angelic looks of these flower girls and page boys because, given an opportunity, they are bound to cause some minor chaos during the wedding. It is most likely that you have seen a child throw a tantrum or just freeze exactly when the wedding is about to start. Page boys might even pull a trick or two on a clueless flower girl!
Page boys are called as such to indicate their role in a wedding, which is to serve or attend to the needs of the bride or the groom. In British royal weddings, the presence of page boys is a must and they play a significant part. A page boy may also be utilized during a cotillion (a formal presentation of young ladies, debutantes, to polite society) but this is done mostly for effect. In a wedding, the part of a page boy has been created to accommodate the young male relative of either the bride or the groom. He may be a younger brother, cousin or nephew. It is quite normal in any wedding to find that the entourage consists mostly of family members of the couple to be wed. In some cases, young male children of friends may be requested to be the page boy if there is no suitable relative. The page boy is the male counterpart of the flower girl.
Generally, boys aged 5 years old up to 10 years old may take the part of page boys. A child younger than that may cause a disruption during the wedding march or the ceremony itself, while someone older might look to awkward and no longer cute to look at. The ring bearer is considered a special page boy since he is the one tasked to carry the rings that will symbolize the union of the bride and groom. It should be noted that the term “ring bearer” has been adopted instead of page boy since it is more descriptive of what the young boy holds with his hands. He is still considered a page boy but with a special participation. This is also proper in order to distinguish the ring bearer from the other page boys who may be present in the wedding. During old times, the bride is expected to wear a bridal dress that has a long train. Since the added length could result to a heavier dress, the bride is burdened with dragging her train. Page boys should be there to assist her by carrying such train. Nowadays, we seldom see a bride having a long train, thus, the special page boy, who is the ring bearer, is the only one we see in a wedding.
Weddings are certainly not complete without a page boy in tow.