There is something uber cute about little people having roles in weddings. You can’t help but smile when you see a little person dressed up to the nines taking a stroll, waddle, or *gasp* stumble down the aisle – even if their tiny suit or dress already has streaks of jam or grass stains…
But how young is too young when it comes to deciding who to include in your wedding party?
There are some guidelines floating around, which, let’s face it, have probably been pulled together by parents who are well aware of the unpredictable tendencies of infants all the way through to the potential tantrum town of toddlerdom and out the other end into pre-teens.
So, we’ll take a look at what the general rules are on the age ranges for various kid-related wedding party duties, but remember, the child’s parents will know best how much their little angel will be able to cope with. Some three-year-olds will be more than capable of following instructions to walk down the aisle and toss a few petals here and there, while for others, this will be the makings of a nightmare.
Let’s start at the opposite end of the age spectrum and work our way down.
Young people up to the age of 16 fall into the junior bridesmaid and junior groomsman category. Most people suggest those aged from 11 and up are the perfect fit to stand at with the wedding party during the ceremony in smaller versions of what the older bridesmaids and groomsmen are wearing.
That said, it is probably better to err on the side of caution if you have a nine or 10-year-old that you’d wish to include and consider bumping them up to the junior role, because a 10-year-old flower girl might just look a little out of place.
This is a great little category where you can allocate a special duty for those children who are too old to be flower girls or ring bearers, but are still too young to fit into a junior bridesmaid or junior groomsman role.
For argument’s sake, let’s say this is for the eight to 11-year-olds. Sure, they won’t get to walk down the aisle, but if you get them in a special outfit and explain the importance of their roles to them, your little ushers will likely embrace their role to seat guests with gusto.
As we move down the age brackets, we come across the three to seven-year-old ring bearers. You need your ring bearer to be able to follow simple instructions and to have the confidence to walk down the aisle as one of the first in the procession.
With toddlers, make sure they can see mum or dad at the end of the aisle before sending them on their way, and you can always pair them up with one of the older members of the bridal party if that makes them feel more safe and secure (which will, in turn, minimise the chances of them losing it on the day).
Known to elicit lots of ‘oohs’ and ‘aaahs’ on any wedding day, the flower girls are also usually ages between three and seven.
If you have a younger flower girl in mind, remember that they do not necessarily have to perform any duties. If they can handle scattering petals, tossing glitter, or handing out flowers to guests seated in the aisles, that is great! But it’s not the end of the world if it will be a challenge just to get them to walk from one end of the aisle to the other – the cuteness factor will still very much be there.
If they’re too small to walk themselves…
You definitely need to be able to walk in order to graduate to flower girl or ring bearer status, but if the little poppet you have in mind hasn’t yet reached that milestone, you don’t have to rule them out completely.
Those under the age of three can still be in your wedding party, but you will need to get creative on how to get them down the aisle.
Some couples have had someone pull them in a wagon, push them in a pram, or tow them along propped up in a small car. Dressed in their tiny formal wear, you won’t be able to help but smile when you see them!
Of course, there probably is a stage where they become too young to be in the bridal party, and that is when they cannot hold up their own heads, or be sat up in said wagon, pram, or car. It would just look a little weird to have someone wheel down an infant in a pram, or carry one down the aisle just because.
That said, if this precious bundle means everything to you and your partner then there is no reason why he or she cannot be a part of your big day.