Virtually every wedding has bridesmaids, and most of them have at least one flower girl as well. A lesser known member of the bridal party is the junior bridesmaid. Before you finish selecting your wedding party, here is what you should know about the role that she plays.
Do you have a niece who is getting to be a bit too old to be a flower girl, and yet is definitely too young to advance up the ranks to be a bridesmaid? In this case, many brides will think that their only option is to leave the little girl out of her wedding party, but that is not so. This is exactly the situation that calls for a junior bridesmaid.
The junior bridesmaid is truly a bridge between a very small flower girl and an adult bridesmaid. The ideal age range is about nine to thirteen or fourteen. Any younger, and the girl can be asked to be a flower girl (it is fine to have more than one, if you also know an adorable little tot that you would like to have as your flower girl); if she has moved from “tween” to teen, she is old enough to be a full fledged bridesmaid. (No, you are not obligated to invite an underage flower girl to attend the bachelorette weekend in Vegas!)
Should you find that you have a young lady in the family who is the perfect age to be a junior bridesmaid, the next thing that you are probably wondering about is what the role involves. Truthfully, not much. The point of having a junior bridesmaid is more about being able to include your favorite tween in your wedding than anything else. Her main job is to march down the aisle during the marriage ceremony. As is fitting her bridge role, she walks after the bridesmaids and before the flower girl.
A junior bridesmaid does not sprinkle rose petals like a flower girl might. As befits her status as a mini bridesmaid, she gets to carry a smaller version of the bridesmaids’ bouquet. In most cases, it is the exact same design, only smaller, although you could also opt for a bouquet that is comprised of only some of the elements that make up the larger bridesmaids’ bouquets. This might make sense if you are planning to include any large flowers, such as big Asiatic lilies that might overwhelm the smaller stature of a younger lady.
The attire for the junior bridesmaid is often halfway in between that of the bridesmaids and the flower girl as well. Her dress should definitely not done in the fluffy little girl style of the flower girl’s dress (believe me, if you try to put an eleven year old in the same dress as her six year old sister, you are going to hear about from her!). On the other hand, many bridesmaid dresses will be too sophisticated or sexy to look appropriate on a middle schooler.
This is where a middle ground must be found. The junior bridesmaid’s dress is usually made from the same fabric as the bridesmaid dresses, only done in a more demure cut. If the bride chooses long drop pearl earrings as her bridesmaid gifts, she might give the junior bridesmaid a pair of pearl stud earrings instead. Have your junior bridesmaid coordinate as much with the bridesmaids as can be done in good taste, as it will be an absolute thrill for a girl of that age.
The junior bridesmaid role can be a very useful one, as it allows you to find a place in your wedding for your young relations of all ages. Whether your wedding party will be large or small, if you have a special tween in your life, by all means, invite her to be the junior bridesmaid in your wedding. You can bet that it will be a true pleasure for her to be included.