The junior bridesmaid is a young girl generally from the age of about 7 to 14, too old to be a flower girl, but too young to be a full-fledged bridesmaid. Girls of this age shouldn’t be left out of the festivities as they will usually treat their role with great seriousness and honor.
While the junior bridesmaid isn’t responsible for giving the bridal shower, they can still play an active role in the planning process, and shouldn’t be excluded from meetings and get-togethers regarding the wedding. For the shower they can assist with decorating, clean up, make favors, help with the games, and also help with guests who may have special needs, among many other things.
Since junior bridesmaids aren’t invited to racy bachelorette parties, they can still attend the milder pre-party that mom, grandma, and the other conservative guests are invited to. However, if the party is appropriate for all ages such as a daytrip to the spa, the junior bridesmaid should definitely be invited to partake in the fun.
Ask the junior bridesmaid her opinion about her dress and she’ll feel honored that her input is so important to the bride, regardless of her young age. Junior bridesmaid dresses should be a similar color and either the same or a similar style as the bridesmaids. Strapless gowns or dresses that are cut too high may not be appropriate for younger girls, so straps could be added to existing gowns, or simply choose a similar style gown but with sleeves.
Junior bridesmaids shouldn’t wear high-heels, but instead can wear flats or ballet slippers that match the dresses. The girls should also have either small bouquets to carry, or matching corsages or hairpieces.
If the junior bridesmaid is a child of either the bride or groom, she can play an extra special role in the wedding by either escorting the bride down the aisle, reading a poem, or even singing or playing a special song or instrument during the ceremony. Another lovely idea is to have everyone participate in an exchange of family vows. After the bride and groom say their vows, the junior bridesmaid and any other children of the newlyweds can gather around as their parents promise to love and cherish each of them equally.
Some duties of the junior bridesmaid include:
– Helping to assemble favors for the shower and wedding reception.
– Helping decorate for the shower or rehearsal dinners.
– Going dress shopping.
– Giving wedding programs to the guests as they arrive.
– Handing out rice, confetti, rose petals, or bubbles to guests for after the ceremony.
– Helping ushers seat guests before the ceremony.
– Walking down the aisle as part of the procession and standing in attendance during the ceremony.
– Standing in the receiving line, which is really only necessary at the request of the bride and groom.
– After the wedding, the junior bridesmaid should also write a note to the bride thanking her for including her as such a special part of her big day.