One of the toughest tasks asked of any engaged couple is the duty of choosing your wedding party. Who do you want to include? Who are you afraid to offend? Who do you need standing next to you on the big day?
Before you answer these questions, please consider the sub-species of the groomsman genus you may have failed to consider: the rare but precious junior groomsman.
Hold up, what is a junior groomsman?
The exact definition is debated, but a simple rule of thumb is a junior groomsman is too old to be a ring bearer and too young to be a full-grown groomsman. He is old enough to walk, old enough to talk, old enough to feel silly carrying a ring on a little pillow, but probably not old enough to drive and certainly not old enough to drink.
Ok, so what’s a junior bridesmaid?
Again, junior bridesmaids are too young to be conventional bridesmaids but too old for a job like “flower girl” or “ring bearer.” Like any other member of the wedding party, they are included in the majority of the festivities — but probably not the bachelorette party, unless it’s PG.
Whether groomsmen or bridesmaids, the main objective is to include people in a way where they will feel comfortable and their role will be age appropriate.
Now that we’ve cleared that one up, let’s talk about the roles and responsibilities of the junior contingent of your wedding party.
How to Choose Junior Members of Your Wedding Party
Are you thinking about including junior groomsmen and bridesmaids? Here are a few considerations:
- Are they family members or other close family friends? Many engaged couples can’t think of a single teenager they would want in their wedding. However, others have a full ensemble of younger siblings, cousins, or family friends who they would want to include.
- Would they be embarrassed to carry rings or flowers? Tweens, teens, and many grade-schoolers might consider themselves too old for rings and flowers. “That’s kid’s stuff,” they’ll say. And good for them! That’s why we have junior ‘men and ‘maids.
- If this person were older, would they be a groomsman or bridesmaid? That should be the kicker. It should be someone who is close enough to otherwise qualify. If not, maybe they’re better off enjoying the show from the seated section.
Remember: no one is requiring anyone to include groomsmen or bridesmaids.
How to Include Your Junior Groomsmen and Junior Bridesmaids
Next up is the tough question of what the heck to do with these folks.
Here are some guidelines:
- Junior groomsmen and bridesmaids walk down the aisle. Typically, they walk themselves down the aisle, or as a crew — it can be a little odd to pair up ages that don’t match.
- They stand with the rest of the bridal party during the ceremony
- The junior wedding parties can either be seated with the wedding party during the reception, or at a kids, tweens or teens table. It really depends on how many of them there are and what the overall wedding vibe is.
One good rule of thumb: as mentioned before, don’t invite the junior groomsmen to the bachelor party unless it’s very tame.
Do you have to get gifts for junior groomsmen and bridesmaids?
But of course you do! Lucky for you, we’ve put together a guide for junior groomsmen gifts.