Your ten-year-old niece—she's probably a little too old to be a flower girl, but too young to be a bridesmaid. But still, you want to include her in your bridal party. Our wedding etiquette experts explain how you can in our daily post.
What's the difference between a flower girl and a junior bridesmaid?
Your niece would make a perfect junior bridesmaid—it's traditionally a role for young ladies aged 9 to 14. A junior bridesmaid walks down the aisle with the other bridesmaids wearing a dress that's perhaps not as grown-up or sexy as the other dresses. She can be involved in planning the shower and help with other pre-wedding tasks (she'd probably get such a kick helping you shop for your wedding dress!).
Little girls under age 9 can serve as flower girls; typically, they walk down the aisle before the bride carrying a basket of petals (that she can toss as she walks), a nosegay or pomander of flowers, or an alternate accessory (we've seen sweet flower girls coming down the aisle wearing whimsical fairy wings!). After the procession, the flower girl's work is done and she can take a seat with her parents. Keep in mind, though, that flower girls should generally be at least 4 years old and mature enough to handle their role in the ceremony.
A very shy child might get stage fright, so be sure to ask their parents whether they think their kid will be able to handle being in the spotlight.
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See photos of bridesmaid dresses