Perhaps you have a sister, niece, or special friend that is around the ages of 8-12 years old that you need to include in your wedding. Of course, you want her to contribute to the wedding and you want her to feel special. How do you manage that?
You can go the traditional way of just letting her walk down the aisle, or you can make some changes to make this day special for you and her.
We will share with you a few of our ideas. These are gathered from weddings around the world and they are proven to work beautifully.
Do you have more than one child that can be a junior bridesmaid or junior groomsmen? If so give them equal time for the wedding. They can trail the adult members of the bridal party and add a sense of love and warmth to the ceremony. Having more than one makes them part of the actual wedding and not an add on.
Lose the word “Junior”
Ask your little lady to be a bridesmaid, not a junior bridesmaid. Give her duties and responsibilities as you would other bridesmaids. You will be amazed at how seriously she takes them. She can:
- Man the guest’s book
- Pass out programs
- Help the attendants with seating parents or grandparents
- Pass out bubbles, rice, or balloons
- Help with cleanup
- Assist the flower girl and help with younger children
Make her part of the bridesmaid group. Take her shopping and allow her to come along on manicure or hairdressing days.
The junior bridesmaid dress should be a smaller version of the bridesmaid’s dresses. However, if the main bridesmaid’s dress is one that is strapless, has a plunging back or neckline, or has a large slit up the leg, it is not appropriate for a young child. Select a dress of the same style and color but one with sleeves and a fuller neckline. Do not expect her to maneuver gracefully in a shawl. Instead, provide her with a lace jacket or a bridal cape. Make sure the shoes are flat or with a very tiny heel. She is not at the most graceful of ages. Help her out with proper clothing.
You can allow your special young lady to recite a poem, read religious verses, or participate in the exchange of “family vows”. But the most successful weddings have the youngsters in the wedding entertain the guest.
Let them work with the DJ to perform a special dance. Ballet is great but Hip Hop is a lot of fun too. Look online for some great dance costumes for girls. They are sure to be a big hit.
After the bride has her “Father – Daughter” dance let the junior bridesmaid have her father – daughter dance (if she is a daughter of the bride or groom) before the dance floor is opened to all guests.
Buy an instant photograph camera and a few boxes of film. These photos are like mini versions of the old Polaroid Instant cameras. She can be the junior photographer and take photos throughout the reception. You might be surprised at the great shots she may get. Present her with a special wedding photo album as a thank you for all of her hard work. She can build her own photo album which will help her preserve memories of a very special day.
With a little imagination, a tiny bit of patience, and some love, your junior bridesmaid will enhance your wedding and she will bond with you forever.