Junior bridesmaids are typically girls ages 9 – 14 and are too old be considered flower girls, but too young to be bridesmaids. They do many of the same things that bridesmaids do – attend showers and dress fittings, take part in the rehearsal and the ceremony and sit with the wedding party at the reception. Often a junior bridesmaid is a sister or daughter of the bride or groom, and someone on whom the couple wants to bestow a special honor.
Junior bridesmaids pose certain challenges when it comes to choosing wedding party attire. They are one part young woman and one part little girl, and special considerations need to be made to accommodate their stage of life when serving in this very important wedding role.
Dresses for Juniors
Girls in this age group are starting to take on many characteristics of teenagers, but are not fully developed young women yet. If your bridesmaids have selected very mature or revealing gowns, you’ll need to select complementary, but age-appropriate junior bridesmaid dresses.
Image by Archetype
The main differences between junior bridesmaid dresses and their adult counterparts are the necklines and sleeves. Juniors usually need higher, less revealing necklines and should wear sleeves or straps instead of being completely sleeveless.
Image by Christa Elyce Photography
If the junior is not the bride’s daughter, it is important to include her parents when choosing a dress to ensure you choose something that everyone is comfortable with her wearing.
While some brides want to choose a shoe style and color for all of their bridesmaids, juniors are not usually able to manage the same towering high heels that young women wear. Children’s dress shoes usually come in pretty, but less treacherous styles with lower, wider heels and more support overall. Color options in children’s dress shoes may be limited to white, navy or black, however. Some girls in the age group can wear small adult shoes, which may help with selection. If not, you can find specialty dress shoes that are available in children and adult sizes and that can be custom-dyed to match dresses if needed.
Hair and Makeup
Include junior bridesmaids in hair and makeup services if offered to the bridal party. All kinds of hairstyles are appropriate, and this is one area where you might be able to have them match what the bridesmaids are wearing. Only the oldest girls in the age group will have experience wearing makeup on a regular basis. A makeup artist or a talented friend should help them apply wedding day cosmetics, keeping the look more natural than dramatic and using products appropriate for sensitive skin.
As with all bridal party members, it’s a good idea to give juniors some guidance about their wedding day jewelry. They may or may not have pierced ears, so be reasonable about demands for things like dangling or heavy earrings. Their own personal jewelry collection may still be pretty limited, so either gift your preferred jewelry, or keep your expectations both minimal and flexible.
Junior bridesmaids are a youthful and refreshing addition to any bridal party. It takes only a little bit of forethought and room for adaptation to choose attire and accessories that will look great on them and make them feel as special as they are to you.
Wendy is a super-connector with Outreachmama.com and Toweringseo.com who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.