Who can be a junior bridesmaid? Generally girls aged 9 – 14, too old to be flower girls, too young to be bridesmaids, and too important to leave out. They are often siblings or children of the bride or groom, or very close friends or relatives. My girls were both bridesmaids at our wedding and it was lovely to include them in our celebrations.
No matter how pretty they look in their junior bridesmaid dresses, sometimes it’s difficult finding them enough to do so that they feel like legitimate, valuable members of the bridal party. How can you incorporate special roles to include your junior bridesmaid?
The Junior Bridesmaid Role
The actual job of junior bridesmaid has its own, small set of responsibilities. Juniors may participate in pre-wedding parties like the bridal shower (likely not the bachelorette of course) and depending on age, might help with some tasks like assembling favors and invitations.
Junior bridesmaid dresses are generally a modest version of the bridesmaid attire and the girls usually carry a similar bouquet to the adults, just smaller in size. Juniors attend the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner, and at the wedding, they pose with the bridal party in photos, participate in the processional and recessional and stand with the party at the altar. Sometimes they are introduced with the bridal party at the beginning of the reception, and they may be seated with the adult attendants or with their families during dinner.
You can extend the traditional role of the junior bridesmaids by assigning them greeting duties. They are easily recognizable in their junior bridesmaid dresses as part of the wedding party so guests naturally gravitate towards them. They may welcome guests as they arrive for the ceremony, distribute programs and even help the ushers with seating.
Your junior bridesmaids can participate in the ceremony in many ways. If your religious tradition involves gifts or elements, they could act as gift bearers. Some ethnic traditions call for a bell ringer to walk in before the bride, and a junior bridesmaid could certainly fulfill the bell-ringing role. If old enough, they might be readers and if they have special talents, they could perform as musicians or soloists.
When junior bridesmaids are the children of the bride or groom, it might be appropriate to plan a special ritual that symbolizes the joining of two families – kind of a like a unity candle for the whole new family. There are many joining rituals to choose from, although one involving a child attendant should not involve anything inappropriate for the age (sorry, no wine ceremony!).
Juniors can once again be helpful at the reception with guest seating. They can assist with finding escort cards, and locating tables and seats. They might direct guests to the gift table and card box, or invite people to participate in fun activities like photo booths.
You can include your juniors in your formal dances, especially if they are your children or siblings. During the parent dances, they could switch in and dance with one of you for a portion of the song. A very mature or confident junior bridesmaid could even propose a toast with a glass of sparkling cider.
If there is a young lady important enough to you as a couple that she will be asked to be a junior bridesmaid, it’s worth looking for additional and different ways to include her in your special day. Take some time to think how you can enhance her role and she can help add to the celebration and she’ll certainly feel honored to take part in your day.