Including children and teens in the bridal party isn’t uncommon for today’s brides, and it is certainly a nice touch: while adding a bit of personal charm to the wedding, it brings attention to the importance of family to the new couple and can help contribute to familial closeness. It lets the families know that they are being thought of, even on the biggest day of the bride’s and groom’s lives.

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When I was young, my aunt decided to include her family in her special day by inviting her nieces and nephews—my sister, my cousins and myself—to be part of her wedding party. I was more excited than I had previously imagined possible; the dress I would get to wear was a beautiful, floor-length gown in a rich blue. I couldn’t envision anything more regal, and well, blue was my favourite colour!

I had my fancies of glamour and glitz, styled hair and flawless makeup: what I didn’t count on was my aunt’s expectation that I would dance with my cousin at the reception, which I was not thrilled about. As a result, I did learn the importance of placing the bride’s vision first before my own wishes—which I still think was a very important thing to learn.

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The day of the wedding dawned a cold, clear October day. The morning at the salon went smoothly, aside from one little hitch: I was ignorant enough in coiffure concerns that I thought swimming in a chlorinated pool the night before was an excellent idea. I mean, what kid wouldn’t? Well, ladies, let me tell you that chlorine hair is harder to work with than freshly shampooed hair. The poor lady at the salon was quite confounded until I confessed to my faux pas, after which she layered on the hairspray and we hoped for the best.

The wedding itself was a beautiful French Catholic service, in which I had no idea what was happening, but I was satisfied afterwards that I had conducted myself properly. The final lasting impression I have of being a young bridesmaid in my aunt’s wedding is the sensation that it was my first chance to act as an adult, as an important part of my family. It was a wonderful experience, and I would recommend it to any bride with dear young family members.

Erin Green is a soon-to-be graduate of the Languages and English departments at Wilfrid Laurier University. She has aspirations in the publishing world and is familiar with the Romance languages, perfect for the romantic side of her. Her speciality is Spanish and she is rapidly gaining experience with the French and Italian languages as well.

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