Bridesmaid luncheon Ideas & Advice bridesmaids in gray dresses

eleGALA tip

If your bridesmaids’ luncheon is on the day of your wedding, plan a light menu. The last thing you need is indigestion or feeling bloated in your wedding gown.

All About Bridesmaids’ Luncheons

Gather with the girls one last time before the main event…

Let’s face it: Weddings go by in such a blur that after the dishes have cleared and the flowers begin to wilt, many brides realize they never really had a chance to spend some quality time with their nearest and dearest. That’s what makes bridesmaids’ luncheons so great: They afford the perfect opportunity to get together and enjoy some time with your closest girlfriends one last time before the main event. They’re entirely optional, but this fun and typically hassle-free soiree is definitely worth your while. So what does it entail? 

Read on to find out…

What Is It

Bridesmaids’ luncheons are an opportunity for you to gather with your bridesmaids before the wedding and thank them for being a part of your wedding party. Think of the bridesmaids’ luncheon or tea like a reverse bridal shower in which you’re now the hostess. The etiquette surrounding the bridesmaids’ luncheon is pretty flexible, so feel free to adapt to suit your needs. The “luncheon” can be dinner, brunch, an afternoon of pampering at the nearby spa, or a group activity of some kind. The event can be formal and elegant or casual and fun.

When Is It

The bridesmaids’ luncheon usually takes place a day or two before the wedding. This allows any out-of-town bridesmaids traveling to the wedding to make it in one trip; however, if you fear the days leading up to the wedding will be too action packed and stressful, you may choose to have it earlier – especially if all your ‘maids live in town. 

Who Hosts

Usually, you (the bride), your mom, or another close friend or family member hosts in honor of your bridesmaids. Sometimes the bridesmaids may host in honor of the bride, but this isn’t as common.

Who’s Invited

Obviously all of the bridesmaids and junior bridesmaids will be in attendance, along with your mom and your fiancé‘s mom. Other attendees may include your close female relatives – sisters, cousins, aunts – as well as any flower girls. Regardless, it’s usually best to try to keep it intimate. This may be one of the few times during the whirlwind wedding weekend when you can relax and enjoy some close, quiet time with the special women in your life. Think of it as a bittersweet, fond farewell.

Where Is It

Bridesmaids’ luncheons can take place anywhere, although the venue should be close to the wedding and accommodations for any bridesmaids who may be traveling. If your ‘maids are all staying at the same hotel, the hotel dining room or other function room makes a great and convenient location. Restaurants, tea rooms, and country clubs also make good locations, or it can take place at the hostess’s home.

What Happens

Unlike showers, bridesmaids’ luncheons aren’t typically centered around planned games and activities. The one constant is that you thank your bridesmaids, either formally in a prepared speech or toast, or one-on-one throughout the event. The luncheon is also a great time to present your bridesmaids’ gifts, along with any gifts to the moms and grandmothers in attendance.

The girls may also present you with your something old, new, borrowed, and blue, or if the ‘maids went in on a group gift, they may present it at the luncheon. 

Other activity ideas?  The married guests can come prepared with an anecdote about marriage or advice. 

Ideas & Trends

So sipping tea and nibbling finger sandwiches isn’t your thing? Don’t worry, you’re not required to plan a formal luncheon. Use your imagination to craft an event your circle will enjoy. Here are some fun “tea and crumpets” alternatives:

  • a picnic
  • a hike
  • a wine tasting
  • a slumber party
  • a visit to an art exhibit, museum, aquarium, zoo, or any other cultural activity