A Junior What?

There are a lot of “junior things.” For instance, there’s Junior Mints.


There’s junior/senior prom, which bridesmaid Mang and I attended. Here’s our senior year (our dates not pictured because I’ve repressed all memories of them):

There’s this Junior, of course:


And what about Face from Nick Jr.? Anybody remember him?


But a junior bridesmaid? Does that just mean a very small bridesmaid? I mean, Bridesmaid Mang is very short…

Love to Know gives the following definition for a junior bridesmaid:

“The role of a junior bridesmaid is perfect for a girl who isn’t quite old enough to be a bridesmaid, but she is too old to be a flower girl. A junior bridesmaid’s role offers those in-betweens the opportunity to participate in the wedding and be an important part of the bridal party.”

OK, that’s helpful. Love to Know also goes on to list the responsibilities of the junior girl. (Visit the website for a longer explanation.)

  • Purchase a Dress – a.k.a. have Mom and Dad buy it
  • Attend the Rehearsal
  • Participate in the Processional – will go down the aisle; doesn’t need an escort
  • During the Ceremony – stand up with Team Wedding
  • Receiving Line – not part of the line if not part of the family
  • During the Reception – hand out things
  • Attending a Shower– doesn’t plan, but welcome to attend
  • Attend a Bachelorette Party – um, if appropriate

So what does this have to do with us? Well, we’re having a junior in Team Wedding. After asking four out of five of Mr. G’s siblings to be in our wedding, it didn’t seem right to leave out FSIL LB just because she wasn’t quite old enough to be on the team. This way all of Mr. Giraffe’s sibs get to be part of our day.

FSIL LB, me, & TB circa 2007

Even though I’m not quite sure about BM dresses yet, I’m already thinking about our JBM dress. It’s really important to me that LB is dressed “age appropriately.” I mean, sure, she’ll be standing with a group of twentysomethings, but she’ll just barely turn 13 before W day. Mr. G and I don’t want anything too short or low cut. I also read online (and everything the Internet says is true) that it’s not appropriate for a JBM to wear a strapless dress.

On the other hand, LB will be a teenager, and I don’t want her looking “too young.” I don’t think she’d feel special if she didn’t get to look “fancy” like her older sister and FSIL. (Sidebar: She already calls me her sister. How sweet, right? Or at least she has me down as “sister” on her Facebook page. Same difference.)

Believe it or not, it’s been really hard to find a dress that’s not too young or old.


Uhhhh, sorry House of Brides, but even though you’re telling me that that’s a JBM dress, I don’t quite think it is.

This dress, on the other hand, was also marked a JBM dress, but it’s too young.


So where does that leave us? I had no clue. Once I find some dresses that are worth considering, I’ll share them with you guys for sure.

You want to know the real trouble, though?

Differentiating LB from the rest of the team. I want her to look like a JBM, not a BM (which is why she’s not wearing a dress for a 25-year-old). The problem is that I asked LB to be in the wedding when she was 11. She’s 12 now and recently hit her growth spurt—she’s shooting up like a weed. She’s now taller than two BMs, the same height as one, and only two inches shorter than me. Oh man! It’s so hilarious—it seriously cracks me up.

Anyone else figure out how to dress a junior bridesmaid? Or is it really just kind of impossible?


Mrs. Giraffe

Wedding Date:
May 2011
This Is It
One Thing...
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  1. elephant Member
    elephant 6339 posts, Bee Keeper @ 4:51 pm

    Good luck finding a dress! We don’t have any junior bridesmaids, but I can see how finding something that isn’t too young or too old could be difficult.

  2. Guest Icon Guest
    Michael, Guest @ 5:22 pm

    The Nick Jr face brings me back… “only on nick jr…..do dododooooo.”

  3. Member
    Pwitty 387 posts, Helper bee @ 5:51 pm

    I would pick out your BM dresses first and then ask your JBM to help you look for coordinating dresses – if she gets to help you look, you know it’ll be something she’s comfortable in. After you have the BM dress picked out, I’d start looking at teen formalwear (even some of the dresses at Deb’s would be appropriate depending on what kind of BM dress you pick.) Depending on if she’s still growing, you might wait until closer to the wedding and try to buy something off the rack.

  4. Member
    feministbride 283 posts, Helper bee @ 5:53 pm

    I’ve never like the designation JBM… it seems to me the only real difference beyond their ability to contribute financially to showers etc is participation in the bachelorette party and the need for an age appropriate dress. But that’s just my two cents… I can’t wait to see what dress you come up with for her!

  5. Member
    NoneOfYourBeeswax 77 posts, Worker bee @ 6:33 pm

    Since you are getting married in May, I think you should take your JBM dress shopping at a department store as soon as the prom dresses come out. That way, you guys can find an age-appropriate style in the correct color closer to the wedding date. I think prom dresses come out in January, so that would give you a few months to find something (but don’t wait too long before all of the good dresses are gone).

  6. Member
    missDNA 231 posts, Helper bee @ 6:44 pm

    This was really helpful! Thanks! I’ve been meaning to look into responsibilities, etc of a Jr BM. I want to ask my cousin since I’m going to ask her younger sister to be the flower girl, and I don’t want her to feel left out.

  7. Guest Icon Guest
    Cynthia, Guest @ 6:54 pm

    Loved the post. You bring up some interesting points. Best of luck!

  8. Member
    MargoSLaw 3 posts, Wannabee @ 7:08 pm

    My neice is going to be our JM – shell be almost 10 at that point, but she’s crazy tall! There’s a couple of stores in LA that sell dresses for girls bat-mitzvahs…we’re going to look there for her. As long as she fits in with the color scheme, i’m not worried about her having a “junior” version of the bridesmaids dresses.

  9. Member
    Missbliss 877 posts, Busy bee @ 7:41 pm

    Look in the Junior misses department. The other location you might find something that works is a Children’s catalog company… Some of them specialize in formal styles for families… and have seasonal junior bridesmaid gowns. Even if they don’t carry her size, if they carry a style you like you can look for it in the bridal shop or have one custom made by a local seamstress. My guess is that the cost of having one made will be about the same as ordering one!

  10. Member
    chrispygal 1472 posts, Bumble bee @ 8:01 pm

    I believe a lot of the big desigers for BM dresses also have Jr Bridesmaid dresses that are in similar fabrics and coordinate well with the rest of their lines. That’s what I’m banking on for my two Jr’s. :)

  11. Member
    Georgia Bee 1743 posts, Bumble bee @ 8:30 pm

    My niece just turned 13. The BM dresses wouldn’t work for her pre-puberty figure. We ordered a different dress in the same color/fabric and added straps. She had her hair done and a little make-up. Age appropriate but “grown up” enough. I also like the prom dress idea.

  12. Member
    cr6zy 1187 posts, Bumble bee @ 8:38 pm

    my jbm dress was easy peasy. i found dresses that i absolutle loves and ordered them to the BMs and then the smallest one for the JBM. i wanted her to match. she will be my step daughter so i wanted her to be included but she will be nine so she is to old for a FG. but she will be matching all the BMs with the exception of jewlery and shoes (i cant see her walking in high heels)

  13. Guest Icon Guest
    Katie, Guest @ 9:24 pm

    Maybe adding a cardigan or wrap of some sort to a dress that more-or-less matches the bm’s would make the dress appropriate and also allow her to stand out in her special roll. Good luck shopping!

  14. Member
    Winter12 197 posts, Blushing bee @ 9:56 pm

    I’m not anywhere near handling bridal party things nor am I good at knowing what looks good, but I just wanted to add that I remember Face from Nick Jr.

  15. Member
    rosesandhydrangea 31 posts, Newbee @ 10:36 pm

    Alfred Angelo has junior bridesmaid dresses that are pretty and much more age appropriate for a teenaged girl.

  16. Member
    mssmiley 349 posts, Helper bee @ 10:59 pm

    i work at nordstrom and right now is what we call “homecoming season” we have young girls every single day who want to look like grown ups while their moms want them to look like little girls. i’m actually in the kids’ dept. and used to work in the juniors dept… both get a ton of excellent dressy dresses, especially that are appropriate for homecoming dances and the upcoming holidays. i think you should definitely make a day of it and take FSIL LB to the mall. the two of you can hit up every dept store and maybe score something just perfect…. i’ve also seen alot of great dresses for this age group at dillards. not sure if there’s a dillards in chicago.. but the largest nordstrom is at the oakbrook mall. good luck!

  17. Member
    amykate 180 posts, Blushing bee @ 11:39 am

    We used both Lulakate for our BM’s and our JRBM. They have two options for JRBM. We were able to order on BM dress in a 00 and alter the straps and for one JRBM, and then we were able to order fabric from Lulakate and make a dress for our other JRBM. If making a dress isn’t an option, they two options they have are very nice, but didn’t come in both of our JRBM sizes, one is 14 and one is 11.
    Good Luck!

  18. Member
    completelyrandomsally 618 posts, Busy bee @ 1:02 pm

    I was in a wedding 5 years ago and her junior bridesmaid had the same pink strapless dress as the rest of the bridesmaids, but her grandma added thick straps. It looked great!

  19. Member
    bpcmarj 681 posts, Busy bee @ 1:33 pm

    Initially, we figured that my sister would be our junior bridesmaid (she is 12), but by the time our wedding actually rolls around she will be almost 15. I feel like she’ll be stuck in the middle again, so I might just have her wear a dress like the other bridesmaids. I will most likely have them all wear different dresses anyway, so I will make sure the one that she picks will be age appropriate.

    I found that David’s Bridal had some Jr. BM dresses that were not too young looking, and some coordinated very well with the BM dresses. Good luck!

  20. panther Member
    panther 1112 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:27 pm


  21. Member
    Florin 70 posts, Worker bee @ 3:32 pm

    I’m calling my youngest sister a bridesmaid even though she’ll only be 13. My other 23 year old sister is a bridesmaid and I don’t want the younger one to feel cheated. I’m getting their dresses both from J. Crew and the 13 year old can wear one in the petite sizes. Not all of their designs are age appropriate, but they have some that will work.

  22. Member
    Ms. Anemone 624 posts, Busy bee @ 4:25 pm

    Haha, I have always been a little confused by the whole JBM scene, too–but we are going to have one!
    My FSIL will also just be 13 before the wedding. I have no idea what to do for her dress yet!

  23. Member
    MissCatherine 278 posts, Helper bee @ 4:31 pm

    Hmm I think that Mori Lee has some “sweet 15″ type dresses that would be totally pretty for a junior bridesmaid. Take a look – and see if you can find any that aren’t too “cleavagey” :)

  24. Member
    Wren 12 posts, Newbee @ 4:45 pm

    Have you looked at Aria for bridesmaid dresses? I know Ms. Sloth mentioned it (and the try on program) for her gown, but it’s perfect for BMs and JBMs. They are a bit on the expensive side, but they’re great quality. There are only stores in DC, Boston, and LA, but the dresses are amazing. And they have about a trillion styles, including styles for flower girls. I’m sure you and your JBM will find something to love! I’m putting the website here too!

  25. Guest Icon Guest
    Molly, Guest @ 8:26 pm

    My niece is going to be a bridesmaid (technically a junior bridesmaid, since she’ll be 11. But I’m not making the distinction. My nephew is a groomsman and he’s 13 – so they’ll be each other’s “escorts”.) My bridesmaids gowns are by Priscilla of Boston and they will outfit Misses’ sized bridesmaids or flower girls. Nothing over a little girl’s size 6. My niece is tall, but a skinny thing. I just bought her a size 2. I have a wonderful seamstress who will make thick straps out of the material cut off when it’s shortened.

    The only thing I’m doing for her that’s different is that HER pearl necklace/earrings have smaller pearls and I’m not letting her wear heels.

  26. Member
    jgoulart 1069 posts, Bumble bee @ 9:06 pm

    I’m sorry your having troubles finding a dress for your JBM, and I can see how it’d be tough. I agree that a cardigan might help or maybe a dress she chooses in your color palette?

  27. Member
    heathermarie18 71 posts, Worker bee @ 9:24 pm

    My junior bridesmaids were 9 and 11 (the 9 year old is to the far left and the 11 year old is to the far right… we’re all so short they pretty much blend right in!):


    I chose the color and I let all of my bridesmaids pick their own dresses from David’s Bridal (including the little girls!). My 4 bridesmaids had different strapless dresses; my junior bridesmaids had dresses with straps and different navy blue sashes. I think they looked great!

  28. Member
    anarpo 8 posts, Newbee @ 7:39 am

    Egads! This is exactly what’s happening with my planning. My wedding will definitely be low-key (no bridal party), but I wanted my neices to take part. I spent the greater part of my childhood wishing I could be a flower girl and it never happened, so I decided that I wanted my neices to feel like super-duper-pretty-princesses and fuss over them while I get fussed over. I’ve decided that I was going to let the older one (10) decide if she wanted to go frou-frou and dress the younger one (6) accordingly. I think that having a less formal affair is going to make the process a bit easier. Because of their age differences, I also don’t want them to have the exact same dress – just simple and complementary dresses. Maybe have fun with the shoes and other accessories. Good luck!!

  29. Member
    jordynrose 6351 posts, Bee Keeper @ 12:38 am

    I totally remember Face!

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