What is Bridesmaids' Luncheon All About?
What is a bridesmaids' luncheon?
With all more or less formal activities related to one's wedding, it's easy to get lost in all the terms. Then the etiquette with who, when, why and other impoortant questions follows. And when we learn the basic rules, we are actually expected to break them creatively ...
One common mistake is to confuse a wedding shower with a bridesmaids' luncheon. In general we are dealing with parties and gifts in both cases, but they are not exactly the same. We have a bride and her maids in both cases as well, but their roles can significantly differ.
If we start at the basic question: which one is a must and which not, we can say the bridal shower is a part of official wedding procedure, while bridesmaids luncheon is treated more like an option. After all a wedding shower has much longer tradition and pretty solid logic behind its origin - to provide necessary resources to the newlyweds, while bridesmaids' luncheon is more like a cream on the top, sort of spoiling or, if you prefer to say so, another way to show your gratitude to people who are closely involved in your big step.
Look at it like at some kind of addition to everything what is already going on and a chance to take a short break before the big moment, the wedding itself.
It is typically thrown one day before or even on the same day as the wedding, maybe few days, but typically not more than a week before, so it should not be complicated! A nice lunch in circle of close friends will do just fine. Well, if you still like to be a bit extravagant, you can still opt for an overnight retreat with a brunch next day or spoil yourself for a whole weekend ...
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Who supposed to organize the bridesmaid's luncheon ...
... and who is invited
Being more casual than formal, we can expect there are no fixed rules about organizing bridesmaid luncheon.
It can be organized by bride (in most cases), or one of bridesmaids (or all of them), or one of her friends or relatives (in this case mothers and aunts are on the top of the list, bride's relatives before the groom's).
Who should be invited to the party? Well, it is up to organizer, but there is one rule telling boys should not be there. This is different situation than at bridal showers, when the main goal is to provide some useful stuff for bride's home, what actually means this things can be useful to the groom too (so in most but not all cases, the term bridal shower is interchangeable with wedding shower, meaning guys can be there).
So bridesmaid's luncheon is meant for girls only. The idea of this event is to provide few moments of relaxation before the ceremony and reception, maybe having some small talk about dresses, last details and similar stuff, to gossip ...
In recent years this 'tradition' is sometimes forgotten, so even in this area we are not limited anymore.
But in general try to keep it simple and limited to small group. This means everybody could communicate with everybody else without a phone or long walks.
However we should note bridal shower is more for bride's friends and colleagues, including people who are not necessary invited to the wedding.
Luncheon on the other hand is more for people who are directly involved in organizing the big day and probably play important part of it as well. It is also great chance to introduce important people (well, ladies) from bride's and groom's life, who maybe never met before, and could fail this opportunity at the wedding, when the number of guests will probably be much higher and the program much more intense.
Ability to introduce some of the wedding guests to each other is an opportunity and responsibility for the organizer at the same time. How to break the ice? With some prepared activities, of course!
Who, When, Why and How
Wedding is a big event with lots of responsibility. If you are involved, no matter if you are one of the newlyweds, their parents, close friends or other important characters, you already know how many small details have to click, before everything is just right. A good step by step guide through the joys and concerns can come handy in so many situations it is truly recommended to have one, written by an experienced writer.
What is a bridesmaid supposed to do?
Let's face it. We all learn on mistakes, but it's always better to avoid them. With the right book you'll easier focus on the tasks which should be done and the enjoyment which should follow on your big day.
Where to held it?
In most cases bridesmaids luncheon is held in a restaurant, sometimes at home of the bride or one of the bridesmaids, but we can also use a coffee shop or pizzeria. It is all about company!
Another lovely tradition
Bridesmaides' cake is another part of tradition which has long history with many variations. The main idea is to bake a coin or a ring in the cake and see which of the guests will get it. This is of course sing of good luck and she is possibly next to wed.
Apart from rings and coins there are all sorts of charms available, mostly made of silver (material with well-known magical properties). We are limited only by our own imagination. Some make a step further and provide charms for all the bridesmaids. In this case each is tied to a ribbon and each of the girls have choose one ribbon (without knowing what is tied to it and baked in) before the cake is cut.
Beware - not everybody is familiar with this kind of cakes, so make sure each one of them can expect a surprise on her plate. Although we all like surprises, nobody is particularly fond of unpleasant ones.
One more thing. Although we have completely free hands and are probably in most cases limited with the chosen wedding theme, the color of the bridesmaides' cake is in most cases pink. Didn't we already mention bridesmaids' luncheon is a girlish thing?
Differences between bridal showers and bridesmaid's luncheons?
While a wedding shower is a party (sometimes very wild one) where guests give presents to the bride and everything spins around her, brideasmaides luncheon is more intimate event, where bride in most cases presents her bridesmades with gifts.
They can of course give her presents (or one bigger present) as well but this is, after all the expense they are already through, by no means expected from them.
This kind of party is more like hanging out. Just don't forget the camera!
Idea for the gift with personal touch
If you decided for the gifts they don't need to be expensive. You are probably dealing with really close friends, so personal touch is a priority. Here we can see a nice example how can we make something useful and fun in only few simple steps.
This is kind of gift from 'to be remembered' category.