Photo: Britt Latz Photography
Weddings can be a tough affair for any child, but tween wedding guests between the ages of 9 and 14 often find themselves saddled with juvenile jobs or left to watch tipsy guests storm the dance floor at the reception. Our etiquette experts weigh in on how to include a tween-aged niece in your wedding celebration without giving her a toddler's job.
Determining the best place in your wedding for a niece who will balk at being a flower girl but isn't quite old enough to shoulder the responsibility of being a bridesmaid may seem impossible, but the solution is actually quite simple: name your niece a junior bridesmaid. The title has a sophisticated ring to it which will make your niece feel like a true member of the wedding party, but the duties of the role are fit for a younger 9-to 14-year-old attendant.
Unlike the simpler role of a flower girl, the more involved job of a junior bridesmaid is to support the bride and her bridesmaids in planning and executing the perfect wedding. The beauty of a junior bridesmaid role is its flexibility; your niece can help as much or as little as she wishes, but she will still take part in the processional and count herself as part of the bridal entourage. A junior bridesmaid position also has the added perk of a more sophisticated ensemble than that of a flower girl, often resembling a more pared-down and age-appropriate version of your bridesmaids' dresses. As a junior bridesmaid, your niece will be by your side throughout the wedding planning process and the big day itself, and will have the chance to learn about the duties of a bridesmaid without diving in headfirst.