The Problem With Tweenie Bridesmaids

Having a bridal party with bridesmaids who are between the ages of about 8 and 13 yeas of age, poses a bit of a dilemma for the bride. They are […]

Having a bridal party with bridesmaids who are between the ages of about 8 and 13 yeas of age, poses a bit of a dilemma for the bride. They are young yet not so young that they would look right in the fuss and frills of a little flower girl. Due to modern fashions for this age group, they are accustomed to wearing clothes that sometimes when translated into bridal wear appears too mature. Most young girls of this age are quite confident and on occasions know ‘what they want’.

We have had the most success when first chatting to the bride and determining what her designer wedding dress looks like.

Finding out what the overall picture is that she has in her mind and how the girls in question fit into this picture. Does she want them to dominate, blend in or be in the background? On occasions tweenies will be asked to be a bridesmaid merely to keep the peace in the family rather than be a feature of her big wedding dream.

Talking to the girls can help as most of the time you will be required to ‘sell’ the idea of the dress to them and usually there will be something they do not like about it. As a last resort you may need to point out that at their wedding, they will have complete choice but at the moment it is the bride’s big day.

Having the mums as part of the group when visiting the designer is a big help. This is especially true if the girls are not extremely close to the bride. Finding out what features on a dress makes them itch and fiddle with the garment helps in designing a dress that will be worn all day.

Now comes the bouncy castle question. Is there going to be a bouncy castle because if there is the dress will probably not last and will only be fit for the dressing up box afterwards.

When starting the design of the dress for this age group, we generally follow the following guidelines. If the brides wedding dress is strapless we would attempt to keep the same neckline but add straps. For younger bridesmaids using a strap that is about ½ inch thick works really well. If the bridesmaid is older then a shoestring strap may be more appropriate.

Regarding the cut of the skirts: Using a circle or swing cut skirt is better than a full fairytale skirt that is the natural choice for little flower girls. For the older bridesmaids we have often used an A-line or panel cut, thus creating a fair amount of movement on the hem but not to the extent that it is inappropriate for their ages.

Some girls of this age have a bit of a tummy. We have had occasions when the 13 years old bridesmaid wears size 7 shoes and normally wears a size 16 clothing. Resolving this issue is normally quite easy by using an empire line. Designing the dress like this means that the neckline that harmonizes with the bride can be retained and not clash with the other bridesmaids.

Another bridge to cross is the problem of slight bust development in some. Make a decision early on with the bride and mother as to whether or not she will be wearing a bra and stick to it.

In cases where one of the younger girls is taller then some of the adult bridesmaids, using the different height shoes can help. A suggestion can be made to the bride about making a distinction between the ages by the colours that are worn or the jewellery. Discussing why certain decisions were made about the styling with older girls has been a good way of getting them on board and has always paid off later.

Where possible incorporate the bridesmaids ideas and opinions. This is always a good talking point during fittings. Some of the best laughs I have had while do fittings have been from this age groups as they can come up with some true gems.

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