What Is A Junior Groomsman?
Photo by Melanie Conner Fine Art Photography
There's an age gap between a ring bearer and a groomsman. So when someone special to you falls within this range, it can be difficult to include them on your wedding day. Enter the junior groomsman. As couples include their younger siblings, nephews and own children, the junior groomsman is becoming more commonplace. Let's take a look at the role of the junior groomsman, and how it's a little different from that of a groomsman.
How Old Is A Junior Groomsman?
There is no set age for a junior groomsman. Typically, it’s about age 9 to the early teens. The definition of a junior groomsman is a member of a wedding party who is too old to be a ring bearer but too young to be a groomsman. So as long as the child falls in that range, he would be considered a junior groomsman.
What Does A Junior Groomsman Do?
A junior groomsman has much of the same duties as the groomsmen, with a few exceptions. Unless a PG event is specifically planned, the junior groomsman usually doesn’t partake in bachelor party planning or attending. He does attend the wedding rehearsal, along with the rest of your wedding party. On the wedding day, a junior groomsman might also help supervise the flower girl and ring bearer. If a dog is part of the wedding day, the junior groomsman is a great person to put in charge of the pup. A junior groomsman can definitely help guests find their seats if there are no official wedding ushers.
Does A Junior Groomsman Need A Partner?
We can all picture bridesmaids and groomsmen walking down the aisle together. But a common question is who the junior groomsman walks with. If the wedding party includes a junior bridesmaid, then the junior groomsman should definitely walk down the aisle with her. If not, there are still a few options. A junior groomsman could walk alone behind the flower girl and ring bearer, almost as a supervisor to keep those kiddos headed in the right direction. He could also escort the flower girl if there is no ring bearer in the wedding party. Sometimes the junior groomsman walks alone or with a bridesmaid. (It’s better to have a junior groomsman walk with a bridesmaid than to have just one bridesmaid walk alone.)
Where Do Junior Groomsman Stand?
Just because the word junior is in his name, doesn’t mean he can’t stand with the rest of the guys. A junior groomsman will typically stand with the groomsmen during a wedding ceremony. Unlike a ring bearer who is usually too young to stand still for an extended period of time, a junior groomsman is old enough to stay in place for the ceremony. The junior groomsman usually stands at the end of the groomsmen, farthest from the groom, during the wedding. This is mainly for aesthetic purposes. Now if the junior groomsman is also the junior best man, then he’s going to stand in the same place the best man would, next to the groom. Once it’s time for pictures with the wedding party, we usually see the junior groomsman front and center among the groomsmen. (Again, aesthetics.)
What Does A Junior Groomsman Wear?
Most junior groomsman will wear the exact same, or close to the same, attire as the groomsmen. The same suit or tux, same tie style and tie color, same style of shoes, etc. There might be some slight variation if the groomsmen’s suits do not come in the junior groomsman’s size. Perhaps he’ll wear a vest instead of a suit jacket in this case.
The junior groomsman’s attire should be more mature than the ring bearer's. The necktie is a big part of this. It’s popular for groomsmen to wear neckties while ring bearers wear bow ties. In this case, the junior groomsman should match the groomsmen and wear a necktie as well.
How To Ask Your Junior Groomsman
As long as it’s age appropriate, a junior groomsman can be asked to be a part of a wedding party the same way as the other groomsmen. If that's not the case, then create something special for the young man. Perhaps a gift box of sweets that includes a Ring Pop® and box of Junior Mints® along with a note asking him to join your wedding party. If the junior groomsman to-be is on the younger side, he'll get a kick out of a top secret mission box. Get creative and create a message that he must decode, asking him to be the junior groomsman. And hey, there's nothing wrong with a simple card or in-person invite to be a part of the big day, too.
Junior Groomsman Gifts
Again, it comes down to age appropriateness as to whether you can gift your junior groomsman the same thing as the groomsmen. (Meaning, he can't have alcohol or cigars and he shouldn't have a weapon, even if it's for display.) If the young man is a sports fan, there are a number of places that engrave footballs and baseballs with names and other info. More traditional keepsakes are common wedding party gifts, so you can always take that route. However, realize that a 10-year-old boy might not appreciate an engraved money clip or pocket watch the same way the rest of the groomsmen would. So perhaps add on something small just for him, like a toy.
The role of junior groomsman is a great way to incorporate a younger sibling, nephew or child on your wedding day. A junior groomsman falls between the ages of a groomsmen and a ring bearer. He takes on many of the same roles as the groomsmen at the rehearsal dinner and the wedding day. Take cues from the groomsmen for his attire and be sure to show your appreciation for him with a gift.