One of the last girls-only get-togethers on the list of pre-wedding parties is the bridesmaids’ luncheon. The bridesmaid luncheon, or tea, is a way for the bride to say “thank you” to her attendants for their love and support during the wedding
planning process. It’s also one of the only parties the bride throws herself, so it’s now her turn to make the party arrangements. Here, we give you the skinny on how to plan a bridesmaids' luncheon worthy of the wonderful ladies in your life.
The bridesmaids’ luncheon is typically thrown a few days prior to the wedding day. When planning the day, brides should keep in mind the traveling schedules of all her maids to make sure everyone will be in town to participate in the festivities. And contrary to the name, the luncheon doesn’t have to take place in the afternoon. Some wedding planning brides prefer a formal, seated dinner to be held in the evening, or even an early morning breakfast with tea while reserving the afternoon for other fun bonding activities with guests.
Bridesmaids’ luncheon venues can be anywhere from a restaurant or a day spa to a hotel suite or the patio of a private home. The purpose is to spend bonding time with your girls, so choose a setting where everyone can relax and/or share a great meal while celebrating your big day.
Although the guests of honor are your bridesmaids and the maid/matron of honor, you can also invite your mom, the groom’s mother and others participating in your wedding planning in some way (flower girls, hostesses). Also, don’t forget about other VIPs like the grooms sister and special aunts who’d want to join in on the celebration.
What (to do)
Eat, drink and be merry, of course. Unless you’re hosting the luncheon at a restaurant, you’ll need to plan a menu for the event. With traditional wedding planning, a luncheon menu includes finger sandwiches, pastries, fruit and other light fare. However, it’s a good idea to cater the menu to the tastes of your bridesmaids. After all, this is their party, so provide foods and treats they’ll enjoy.
The bridesmaids’ luncheon is also the time when you present each of your maids with tokens of appreciation (i.e. gifts!), accessories for the attire, and offer a few heartfelt words about your friendship with her. It’s also common for the bridesmaids to pitch in and purchase a gift for the bride and present it to her during at this time.
Another tradition for the bridesmaids’ luncheon is the charm cake. Symbolic charms are attached to ribbons and placed on the cake plate. Once the cake is cut, each bride must pull a ribbon with a charm. The charm represents luck and fortune for the one who has retrieved it.
Your bridesmaids have served as a sounding board, support system and all around go-to girls for wedding planning and this time in your life, so honor them for all they’ve done. The bridesmaids’ luncheon is also a bittersweet time where your friends will want to share memories and stories about you. Married attendees will also want to offer words of encouragement and advice for your wedding planning and your new life ahead.
Getting married is one of the most important times in a woman’s life—a time where having the love and encouragement of good friends and family is essential. Hosting a bridesmaids’ luncheon is the perfect way to say thank you to those closest to your heart who are there to share in this joyous occasion.