What is it? Who hosts? Who attends?
Just when you thought you figured out engagement parties, bridal showers, bachelorette parties, and rehearsal dinners, your future mother-in-law brings up the idea of hosting a bridal luncheon. That’s right, yet another pre-wedding event to worry about. While a bridal luncheon is certainly not required by any means, you shouldn’t automatically eliminate it from your itinerary. It can actually be a lovely way to relax with the women in your life.
Traditionally, bridesmaids or the mother of the bride would host the gathering, but a modern trend is the bride herself organizing the fête. Normally, it is considered against etiquette for the bride to host pre-wedding events, but in this instance, the luncheon is used to thank the bridesmaids for their help along the way. It also makes for a great situation to give gifts to your attendants, rather than during the rehearsal dinner – when others are around – or during the chaos of getting ready the morning of the big day.
You may still be wondering what a bridal luncheon actually is. Obviously a lunch is the more typical form, but it can be a brunch, dinner, or even a day at the spa. The purpose is to take some time right before the wedding – either that morning or a day or two before – to relax and bond with the women involved in your big day. Afternoon tea with light sandwiches tends to be a popular menu style for such an event, for example. Think a classy garden party. Of course, it depends on your personal taste and style – the bridal luncheon can feature whatever food and activities you desire!
The guest list is meant to include the ladies who are in the ceremony, such as your bridesmaids, the flower girl, and your moms. It’s also proper to include the mother of the flower girl. If you don’t mind having a slightly larger celebration, it is a nice gesture to include your future spouse’s sister – if she isn’t already a bridesmaid, grandmothers on both sides, and any aunts or cousins with whom you are especially close.