The Ultimate Guide to Having Junior Bridesmaids at Your Wedding
While your wedding party typically includes your besties, other loved ones in your life can be included too. If 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 them to be a junior bridesmaid. And if you've never heard of this type of attendant, you might be wondering, "What is a junior bridesmaid?" Simply put, it's a child that's graduated from their flower girl days and is ready for the big leagues.
Including younger loved ones in your wedding party is a sweet way to make them feel honored, respected and an important part of the wedding excitement. They no longer have to watch from the sidelines while the older kids have all the fun. If you're thinking about including a junior bridesmaid in your big day, read on to learn everything you need to know about this unique role.
In this article:
What Is a Junior Bridesmaid?
A junior bridesmaid, another name for a junior bridesmaid is 'junior attendant,' is a part of your wedding party who is typically younger than the rest of the other bridesmaids. They're usually someone you're close with, like a niece, cousin, sister, daughter, stepdaughter or anyone close to you. (Psst. It could also be a boy or gender nonconforming person you love.) Despite their younger age, they're an official member of the wedding party and participate in activities before and during the big day.
How Old Are Junior Bridesmaids?
Typically, a junior bridesmaid is between the ages of nine and 14. If you're wondering about the age of a flower girl vs. a junior bridesmaid, flower girls are usually three to eight years old. However, either attendant can be older or younger. It's all about what feels right to you (and them, of course). We highly recommend checking with them and their guardian(s) to ensure everyone is comfortable with the idea. Then, offer an official proposal to get them excited about their role in your special day.
When Do Junior Bridesmaids Walk Down the Aisle?
Usually, the junior bridesmaids walk down the aisle before the other bridesmaids during a traditional wedding processional. Many to-be-weds have their junior bridesmaid carry a smaller bouquet than the other bridesmaids while walking down the aisle. You can also consider having them hold a lantern, sign with a silly quote or wear a flower crown to make them stand out.
Do Junior Bridesmaids Walk Down the Aisle Alone?
How confident your junior bridesmaid is with being the center of attention determines if they walk down the aisle alone. If you have an extroverted junior bridesmaid in your wedding party, ask them if they want to walk alone. For junior bridesmaids on the shyer side, ask them if they would like a junior groomsman, their guardian or another bridesmaid to walk with them––you want to ensure they're as comfortable as possible.
Do Junior Bridesmaids Stand at the Altar?
Unlike the flower girl and ring bearer, the junior bridesmaid stands at the altar after the processional. Traditionally, the junior attendant stands on the far left, farthest from the to-be-weds, during the ceremony. For the recessional, the junior bridesmaid is one of the last people to exit.
What Does a Junior Bridesmaid Do?
A junior bridesmaid's responsibilities are very similar to those of an "adult" bridesmaid. Read below to learn what those duties entail.
They help with prewedding tasks.
Ask your junior attendants to help with prewedding assignments. Adding postage to invites, putting together favors, setting up the bridal shower decorations and cleaning up the mess after the party are just a few things a junior bridesmaid can assist with.
They attend prewedding parties.
Prewedding events, like the bridal shower and the rehearsal dinner, should definitely have the junior bridesmaid on the invite list. This allows them to get to know everyone in the wedding party and create long-lasting bonds. The only affair we strongly discourage a junior attendant from being invited to is the bach party. That type of event should be adults-only, no matter how tame the activities will be.
They modestly match the other bridesmaids' outfits.
You should try to find the same wedding attire for the junior bridesmaid that the older bridesmaids are wearing so your wedding party's looks are cohesive. Many designers make bridesmaid collections that include garments for the junior attendants so every party member can look alike. If there are no age-appropriate options available, think ankle length and higher necklines, try your best to find something that matches the vibe and theme of the wedding.
Please keep in mind, if you're the guardian of the junior bridesmaid, you're responsible for buying their attire. Just like the other bridesmaids, attendants are expected to pay for their outfits and accessories––unless the couple has stated otherwise. Don't hesitate to speak with the to-be-weds about your budget and ask them what they have in mind for your child's wedding day look.
How to Ask a Junior Bridesmaid
We love a bridesmaid proposal moment, but a junior bridesmaid proposal is a little different. There are special factors to consider, given the younger age of the individual. We suggest speaking to the guardians of the child before asking. That way, they have time to discuss their comfort level with the request, ask their child if they are interested in participating and double-check their schedule to ensure they can attend the wedding. If you want to involve the guardians in a one-on-one proposal, you absolutely can or invite the child to the bridesmaid proposal so they can feel more involved.