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Customs and Traditions

How to Incorporate Niece into Wedding?

My fiance's niece is eleven years old and specifically asked to be included in our wedding. I suggested to FI that she be a jr. bridesmaid, since my FI's 16-year-old sister will be a bridesmaid as well, but FI thinks eleven is too young and that she would be uncomfortable. She's a bit too old to be a flower girl, and since we're getting married in a really traditional church, there's unfortunately not any parts of the actual service I could delegate to her since she's not a member, like lighting of candles or reading any Bible passages. Can anyone think of any other ways I could involve her in the wedding day?  I don't have any siblings and never really spent much time around children, so I'd really like to start a good relationship with her since she is my only (and first) future niece. 

Re: How to Incorporate Niece into Wedding?

  • edited July 2013
    All bridesmaids do is walk down the aisle, usually holding flowers. How on earth would that make her uncomfortable? Bridesmaid, reader or guest are your choices. (Your church really won't let a non-member read during the ceremony? Would they not allow any kind of secular reading?) Although you might ask her if she wants to be a flower girl or a bridesmaid. I agree that at 11 she will likely feel that flower girl is a 'baby' role, but she might not, so you could get her opinion first.
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  • She's definitely not too young to be a bridesmaid- anyone too old to be a flower girl is old enough to be a bridesmaid- tween and young teen bridesmaids are quite common.  But you can ask her which she'd prefer- I had a ten and a half year old cousin who reeeeeeally wanted to be a flower girl; eleven is right on the line where some girls might think it was a baby role, and others might still want to do it.

  • She can be either a BM or a flower girl. If you want to incorporate her (it's your choice, btw - just because someone asks to be in the wedding doesn't mean you need to include them), I would ask her what she prefers and go with that. 

    I'd also make sure you're communicating this to the parents since they'll be the ones purchasing the dress and make sure you get their budget and permission.
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  • edited July 2013
    I think FI's thought isn't so much that she'd be uncomfortable walking down the aisle, but that she'd be uncomfortable standing in front during the ceremony and sitting at the head table during the reception instead of sitting with her parents and brother, and particularly that he wouldn't necessarily want to exclude her from riding in the limo to the reception if she were a BM, but he wouldn't feel very comfortable drinking in front of his young niece en route to the reception. 

    And yes, unfortunately our church does not allow secular music or readings; (we're not even allowed to have bare shoulders.) I'm trying to think more of one or two specific things I could give her to make her feel included, since we certainly want her to be, but not necessarily part of the bridal party, since FI has expressly said he didn't like that idea, although I will ask her if she'd like to be a flower girl. 
  • kk181805 said:
    I think FI's thought isn't so much that she'd be uncomfortable walking down the aisle, but that she'd be uncomfortable standing in front during the ceremony and sitting at the head table during the reception instead of sitting with her parents and brother, and particularly that he wouldn't necessarily want to exclude her from riding in the limo to the reception if she were a BM, but he wouldn't feel very comfortable drinking in front of his young niece en route to the reception. 

    And yes, unfortunately our church does not allow secular music or readings; (we're not even allowed to have bare shoulders.) I'm trying to think more of one or two specific things I could give her to make her feel included, since we certainly want her to be, but not necessarily part of the bridal party, since FI has expressly said he didn't like that idea, although I will ask her if she'd like to be a flower girl. 

    Ask her what she would feel comfortable doing - she's 11; she's old enough to say. She doesn't have to sit at the head table nor does she have to ride in the limo to be a bridesmaid. A bridesmaids duties are pretty much done right after the ceremony anyway.

    Don't make up a job for her please (like passing out programs, guestbook). I think she's going to think the flower girl job is a baby job, especially since her 16 year-old cousin gets to be a bridesmaid.

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  • I was a Jr Bridesmaid when i was her age for my aunts wedding.  I did not sit at the head table nor did my younger sister who was a flower girl. As well we did not ride in the limo with the rest of the older wedding party. I didn't feel like I was missing out I just loved standing up there with my aunt and now uncle. that was the best part of it all.

     

    Another thing to think about is she will remember this forever. having the fun time getting the hair done and spending time with the big kids made me feel so special.

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • kk181805 said:
    My fiance's niece is eleven years old and specifically asked to be included in our wedding. I suggested to FI that she be a jr. bridesmaid, since my FI's 16-year-old sister will be a bridesmaid as well, but FI thinks eleven is too young and that she would be uncomfortable. She's a bit too old to be a flower girl, and since we're getting married in a really traditional church, there's unfortunately not any parts of the actual service I could delegate to her since she's not a member, like lighting of candles or reading any Bible passages. Can anyone think of any other ways I could involve her in the wedding day?  I don't have any siblings and never really spent much time around children, so I'd really like to start a good relationship with her since she is my only (and first) future niece. 

    I realize it's too late now, but is there a reason why you didn't just say no?


  • zitiqueen said:

    I realize it's too late now, but is there a reason why you didn't just say no?
    I'm not exactly sure how to answer that, she wants to be included and family is important to us, so I'd rather find a way to include her than tell her she can't participate. 
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Either have her as a regular bridesmaid or a guest.  Both are ways of "including" her.
  • My Fiance's niece is 11 years old and is super excited to be our flower girl. Leave the choice to her, does she want to be a FG or a BM, if she would rather be a FG than she's clearly not too old for it. Honestly, I think our niece is more excited to be a flower girl than she would be to be a bridesmaid.
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