A bridesmaids' brunch or luncheon is an opportunity for the bride to honor those who have agreed to support her and walk down the aisle with her at her wedding. As with all aspects of planning a wedding, there are suggested protocols for this event. However, every bride should plan to honor her bridesmaids in the way that best suits her personal style.
Who Should Host and Whom to Invite?
Traditionally, the bride hosts the bridesmaids' lunch. However, sometimes the mother of the bride hosts the event or the two host it together. This celebration is meant to honor those women and girls who have agreed to participate in support of the bride, and the guest list should include all bridesmaids (and matrons), junior bridesmaids, flower girls and the mothers of all of these participants. Brides sometimes include some of their other female family members such as grandmothers and aunts of the bride. The guest list for a more expansive bridesmaids' luncheon or brunch could also include other close female friends of the bride who are not in the bridal party.
Where Should It Be Held?
This depends upon the formality of the event. For an informal bridesmaids' brunch, consider having it in the home or backyard of the bride or the bride's mother. Opt to host a more formal brunch at a local country club, hotel or restaurant. Make sure to consider how much time, energy and money you have to devote to paying for the venue, food, decorations and gift giving when considering how simple or fancy the event will be. Remember that this party isn't a time to go over wedding details or plans, but rather a time for enjoying each other's company. So, choose an atmosphere that will most support the group's enjoyment.
What Should Be Served?
Don't plan a menu that requires you to spend the whole event stuck in the kitchen. Hire a caterer or opt to hold the brunch at a venue that will serve and prepare the food for you. For ease of time and budget, keep your menu simple. Start with celebratory drinks of sparkling cider or a simple sparkling wine and orange juice drink called a Mimosa. For the meal, offer an egg and non-egg option (quiche or waffles, for example) and serve muffins or toast alongside the main course. Finish with fresh fruit or pastry and coffee and tea.
Should Gifts Be Given?
Absolutely! Just as a bridal shower involves guests bringing gifts to honor the bride, a bridesmaids' luncheon wouldn't be complete without gifts for the attendants that reflect the gratitude and appreciation that the bride feels for those participating in the wedding. The restrained but commemorative nature of the perfect bridesmaids' gift was reflected by Princess Diana's selection of a modest but distinctive box containing the silk worm that had spun the silk for her gown given to each of her attendant. Consider giving your bridesmaids something monogrammed with their initials such as stationery, a tote bag or robe. Give your gift a personal touch by hand-selecting a bottle of wine, knitting gloves or creating your own earrings or bracelets.
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