Brides often have a young cousin or a niece who isn’t old enough to be a bridesmaid, but is too old to fit into the role of a flower girl. When this girl is dear to the bride, she usually wants her in the wedding party, but may not be sure of what role to give her. Fortunately, there is a perfect role to honor these not-so-little girls with, and it is “Junior Bridesmaid!”
If you have already chosen one or more junior bridesmaids, or intend to have them at your wedding, here is a list of all the things you need to know.
Image Credits: Adam Red, via Flickr, [CC BY 2.0]
1.How old does someone have to be to be a junior bridesmaid?
Anyone who fits the description of big girl, but is not yet a grown up woman, can be a junior bridesmaid. It is usually a role suitable for girls aged between 9 and 15. This role is perfect for girls from either your family or your groom’s, or for young girls who you are very fond of and would love to include in your wedding. Think back and you will realize how you wouldn’t have been too pleased to be a flower girl when you were say 10 years old. The same goes for your junior bridesmaids. They may not be old enough to take up responsibility as a bridesmaid, but consider themselves too old to be a flower girl. So, this is the in-between role where they will be treated as a grown up girl, but the demands on them will be appropriate for their young age.
2.Does she also wear the same dress as the rest of the bridesmaids?
This is left to your discretion, and depends on how the girl looks and feels. There are teenagers who prefer to dress much older. And then, there are others who look too young for their actual age. So, go with your intuition, and of course, consult the girl and her parents. This is very important, especially if the bridesmaids dresses are on the sexier side. If your bridesmaid dress choice is one that is suitable on women of all ages, and you can find one in her size too, go with it. Otherwise, you can choose a less complicated dress that matches the rest of the bridal party look and still looks good on her. Low-cut dresses and ones with long slits are not appropriate for a young girl, and her parents may not appreciate the idea if you choose to dress her in this on your wedding day. Either search for a dress in a matching or complementing color and design, or have a seamstress alter a bridesmaid dress to suit her. Simple changes like adding straps or moving the neckline up with an illusion design may render the same dress suitable for her age. The other option is to get a whole other dress made for her, that goes well with the rest of the wedding party attire. Just make sure that you consult her before you choose her look, and that she looks modest and feels comfortable in what you choose, and all will be well.
3.When do we buy her dress and from where?
It is better to get your junior bridesmaid’s dress closer to your wedding date, as these girls are at an age where drastic changes can alter their overall appearance in a matter of months. So, it may not be a good idea to shop for your junior bridesmaids dress, several months in advance when you buy the rest of the wedding party dresses. Don’t buy it before four or five months from your wedding day, and have it altered in the month leading up to the wedding to make sure it fits. Most bridal shops like Best for Bride will have Junior Bridesmaids dress collections, and you should be able to find ones that are similar to the bridesmaids dresses you choose from the same place. If you choose from the same collection and material, you should be able to find the exact shade for both your bridesmaids and junior bridesmaids dresses. Or, you can have your bridesmaid dress picked from the prom dress collection, if there is a suitable choice there. If nothing works, you can consider having her dress custom-made.
4.Does she get the rest of the accessories, hair and makeup like the other bridesmaids?
This is again an individual choice. It is up to you to decide how she ought to look. Although most girls would rather prefer to look more like the bridesmaids than flower girls, how you dress her is entirely your choice. You can give her a bridesmaid bouquet, like the rest of your wedding party. Or, you could have a miniature version made specially for her. Be practical when you decide how her hair and makeup should be done on the day. A simplified version of your bridal party’s overall look should be fine. You can also choose similar jewelry, flowers or other accessories for her, so she blends in well with the crowd. If your bridesmaids will all be trotting around in high heels, you may have to get a low-heel shoe for your junior bridesmaid unless she is old enough to handle it. This will help you avoid any unnecessary accidents on the day. Again, it is a good idea to match it to the overall look of your wedding party, but do not choose something that is not appropriate for her age.
5.Does she have to participate in the bridal shower and bachelorette party?
She may not be able to contribute to the bridal shower or bachelorette party (as she obviously won’t have the finances for the same). Nevertheless, she can be part of the planning, help with setting it up and even with the clean-up afterwards. If you have a wild girl’s night out planned for your bachelorette party, she wouldn’t be of legal age to participate in it. So steer clear of inviting her. If it’s an appropriate event for her to participate in, welcome her in. Remember that this would also depend on whether she is comfortable with the rest of the bridal party. So, use discretion and take your stand.
6.How can she help with the wedding planning?
You may have a brilliant helper who is eager to do all she can to make your life easy, or your junior bridesmaid may be a fussy and emotional little girl who is yet to grow up and act her age. Depending on how the situation is, you can decide how involved she should be in the wedding planning. A junior bridesmaid’s main role is to be part of the wedding procession, and so anything beyond that is up to you to decide. If she is interested in helping and hosting the bridal shower, you can ask the rest of your wedding party to include her in it. You can also have her on your list to run errands, help with setting up wedding favors, purchasing the things needed for your wedding or even accompanying you to your shopping or dress alteration sessions. Young girls are usually eager to help with the tasks that others may find boring. For example, she may be the right person to help you assemble your wedding favors or to stick your wedding invitations. So, give her the responsibility to handle this task, and she will appreciate being asked for her help with the wedding.
7.Is there a pre-wedding function that she should be involved in?
Like we said earlier, it isn’t necessary for your junior bridesmaid to attend your bridal shower or bachelorette party. However, she should be invited to the rehearsal dinner, since she is very much a part of the wedding day ceremony. This will help you prepare her for her role on the wedding day. Since you will be having a rehearsal of what will happen on the wedding day, at the rehearsal, make sure she is there for it and understands her role well.
8.Does she need an escort when she walks down the aisle, and is there anything to take care of if she has one?
No! Your junior bridesmaid doesn’t need an escort for when she walks down the aisle. Unless you have an extra groomsman who can accompany her, it isn’t necessary to find someone to join her. She can walk all by herself and precede the rest of the bridesmaids in the processional, or else you can pair her up with another bridesmaid. Of course, there is nothing wrong in pairing her with an escort, if you have a suitable person for the task. The other interesting option is to have her and another bridesmaid accompany a groomsman on either side. This is not commonly seen, and so will be an interesting addition. When planning whether she should be escorted down the aisle, you can simply think of how the pairing will look. If it will be cute, it is alright. If it looks off or you are worried it may not be suitable to pair her off with someone who is several years older than her, let her walk down the aisle herself and enjoy those two minutes when all eyes are on her. The other option is to have her stand in the receiving line, if that is the best thing for her.
9.What is her role on the wedding day?
Apart from being part of the processional, she really has no other particular responsibilities to handle on the wedding day. If your junior bridesmaid is eager to participate and would love to help, you can always handle her responsibilities that she is capable of handling. She can be involved in helping the guests be seated, giving out programs or can help handle the gifts you receive at the reception. She can also be in-charge of handing out little bags with confetti or bubbles that will be used when the couple make their exit. Basically, this depends on the attitude and personality of the girl. If she would rather enjoy the party and mind her own business, let her be. Although she is a junior bridesmaid, don’t expect the same from her as you would with your other bridesmaids.
Like the rest of your bridesmaids, your junior bridesmaids also deserve a small gift as a token of appreciation for their involvement in your wedding. Since they are much younger than the rest of the group, it may not be a good idea to get them the same gift as the rest of the girls. Even when you have more than one junior bridesmaid, it is good to get them individual gifts that match their personalities. Go with their age and their taste, and you are bound to find something they will appreciate. Set a budget and shop like you would for their birthday. You can always customize your gift with a monogram or in the theme colors of your wedding, if you prefer. Or, if you are in doubt, it is best to consult their parents and find out what would be an ideal gift. For older girls, you can even gift a voucher to their favorite store, so they can pick whatever they like. Generic gift suggestions that usually work include personalized jewelry like necklaces with a pendant matching the letter of their name or small monogrammed tote bags with a small extra like a bridal Barbie doll inside.
You now have all the necessary information you need to know about having junior bridesmaids in your wedding party. To choose the fantastic dress for these young girls, so they are a beautiful addition to your wedding party, visit our bridesmaids dress collection at Best for Bride. All the dresses featured above belong to this collection, and you can find even more fantastic dresses for your favorite young girls. Pick both your junior bridesmaids dresses and the rest of the attire for your wedding party from our fabulous bridal party collection and find the best deals possible.
4 thoughts on “10 questions and answers about junior bridesmaids”
I didn’t think something like this was necessary and was always used when there was a couple extra female family members out there that wanted to participate.
Is this something that is required these days?
My niece has been asking about something like this and I am not sure what to say to her. How does she know about this before I do?
Even if we have someone in the family that would fit the bill, do we NEED to have one? It will already be a lot to plan and I am not sure I want to throw another thing into the mix if it is not a requirement.