Having Junior Bridesmaids? Here's What You Need to Know
When someone you love feels a little too old to be a flower girl, but not quite old enough to be a full-on bridesmaid, ask her to be a junior bridesmaid. What exactly does that mean? Think of a junior bridesmaid as someone between ages 9 and 14 whom you're super close to and want in your wedding party, but who feels like she's graduated from her flower girl days. This could be a beloved niece, cousin, sister, friend's daughter, step-daughter-to-be or your own daughter. Including younger loved ones in your wedding party is such a sweet way to make them feel honored, respected and part of all the wedding excitement (they don't have to watch from the sidelines while the older ones get to have all the fun!). So what exactly are junior bridesmaids responsible for? Take a quick skim of these traditional junior bridesmaid duties below—and remember, they're meant to be guidelines, not rules.
1. Attend Prewedding Parties (When Appropriate)
Junior bridesmaids are welcome (and should plan to) attend any prewedding parties appropriate for younger guests. Of course, they're not expected to plan and host the shower, but they're in your wedding party, so they belong on the guest list and can help with favor-making, set-up and cleanup, gift tracking and more. For festivities like the bachelorette party, think it through—it's up to you if you want to accommodate the kids. If you're having a booze-free or booze-optional bash (think: outdoor activities, movie night, dinner, or salon and spa day), it would be so fun to include your junior squad. If clubbing's on the agenda, they'll obviously have to sit that one out.
2. Join in on Dress Shopping
The bride isn't obligated to include her entire wedding party in the dress-shopping process, but if her junior bridesmaid is a close loved one, like a sister or daughter, she should absolutely tag along at the bride's request. Her input and reactions will be crucial to helping the bride find her wedding day look and make shopping all the more special.
3. Choose an On-Point Look
Whether junior bridesmaids wear the same dress or just a similar one to the bridesmaids will ultimately depend on the bride's preference. Junior bridesmaids often wear dresses that are more conservative or slightly different in color from the older attendants. Junior bridesmaids can also hold bouquets (or whatever your bridesmaids are carrying down the aisle). To mix things up (and make the younger girls feel distinct and special), have your junior bridesmaids wear corsages or hold smaller or different bouquets—basically any variant of the wedding party's processional prop.
4. Come to the Ceremony Rehearsal and Rehearsal Dinner
Junior bridesmaids attend the rehearsal with the rest of the ceremony crew and join in at the rehearsal dinner. They're not at all obligated to give a speech, but if a junior bridesmaid is a particular VIP in the couple's life (aka a daughter or sister), she might want to say a little something—the rehearsal dinner is the perfect setting to do so since it's usually more intimate.
5. Be on Pre- and Postceremony Duty
Feeling short staffed? Junior attendants can help the ushers (or simply be the ushers) by seating guests, handing out programs, answering questions ("Where's the restroom?" is always a popular one) and keeping an eye out for any hiccups. Enlist her to hand out bubbles, confetti, sparklers or other send-off props in time for your ceremony exit.
6. Participate in the Ceremony
Junior bridesmaids typically walk down the aisle in the wedding procession and stand at the altar (or sit in the front) along with the other attendants. If she's your own child, make her an even more integral part of the ceremony: Let her escort you down the aisle, read a poem or meaningful passage, perform a song or participate in family vows. Finally, she should join the receiving line if you're having one (and she doesn't mind doing it—what a trooper!).