There’s a reason that weddings are often referred to as “the big day”. Weeks, months, and sometimes years go into planning and preparations, and most couples look forward to the day with a mixture of excitement and nervous anticipation. But the days leading up to the wedding can be just as important as the day itself.
Rehearsal dinners, bachelorette and bachelor parties, and bridal showers are all traditional steps in the process of celebrating the upcoming union. The bridal luncheon is another such tradition, but with a twist – this one’s for the bridesmaids!
According to Inside Weddings magazine, the bridal luncheon is traditionally planned and hosted by the mother of the bride, or by the bridesmaids themselves. But modern-day brides have changed the script by hosting the event themselves, taking this opportunity to thank their bridesmaids for everything that they have done for her.
Many brides have taken the tradition one step further, and are opting to throw a fun and festive brunch instead. After all, who doesn’t love comforting foods, sparkling beverages and great conversation on a lazy weekend morning?
Don’t worry if you’ve never hosted a brunch before – we’ve put together all the tips, ideas, and essentials you’ll need to throw a perfect bridesmaid’s brunch.
Do I need invitations?
Are invitations a necessity for a bridesmaid’s brunch? Not exactly. This is meant to be a more intimate and casual affair than a rehearsal dinner or a wedding ceremony, after all. But, receiving an invitation to the event is a good way to show your bridesmaids how special they are to you. It shows that you are putting just as much effort and care into planning a special day for them as they are for you.
While an email invitation may work best for some, an elegant paper invitation can help to set the tone of the event. A handmade invitation is also a great way to show your thanks, and Pinterest has plenty of ideas to offer for crafting beautiful invitation cards for your girls.
What food and drinks should I serve?
One of the best things about throwing a brunch is that you can serve almost any kind of food and drink you can think of, and it would likely still be appropriate for the occasion! Since you are serving a crowd, however, we recommend a few party-friendly ideas:
- Small bites, such as miniature quiches, bruschetta and spanakopita are great starters to help stave off hunger while the main dish is cooking.
- Large casserole-style dishes are easy to prepare and perfect for feeding a crowd, such as strata, frittata, and bread pudding.
- Don’t forget the salad. A large, communal bowl of fresh salad greens, dressed with fruit, nuts, and cheeses is an excellent way to keep your guests satisfied between courses.
- Mimosas are a brunch classic for a reason. They require only two ingredients: sparkling wine and your fruit juice of choice! Making mimosas by the pitcher saves you the time and energy of mixing individual cocktails for each guest, and encourages your bridesmaids to indulge as much as they like.
Do I have to host?
Many brides-to-be get excited at the thought of hosting a bridesmaid’s brunch in their home. They can decorate their space however they like, and they get to flex their chops in the kitchen by cooking up all manner of fancy brunch dishes and hors d’oeuvres.
However, this might not be possible for every person. You may not have enough space to accommodate all of your bridesmaids, and while you may cook a mean bowl of buttered noodles, you want your bridesmaids to be able to enjoy something a little more complex.
You can still throw a magnificent brunch without feeling the pressure to host. A close friend or family member may be more than happy to lend you their dining room or back patio for the occasion, and your favorite brunch restaurant may offer catering services for small groups. If the weather is nice, a local park or botanical garden is a perfect place to throw a picnic brunch.
Are gifts required?
The short answer? No. A bridesmaid’s luncheon or brunch is a more intimate, relaxed affair than a bridal or engagement shower. It’s meant to thank your bridesmaids for all of their hard work and their friendship.
However, if you want to take the sentiment one step further, there’s no rule that says you can’t offer party favors or other small gifts for your girls. A bouquet of fresh flowers, a gift card, or handmade goods are all appropriate gifts for such an occasion.
Throwing a brunch may also be a great time to surprise your bridesmaids with accessories to match their bridesmaid’s dresses for the wedding. A piece of jewelry, matching handbag, or elegant hairpiece are all great ways to tie their look together, and what better time to present them then when you are all gathered together over mimosas?
(P.s., Still looking for bridesmaid dresses? There are a ton of great options to be found at low prices here.)
Throwing your bridesmaids a festive brunch is a fun and laid-back way of saying thank you. However, don’t forget to address your bridesmaids as individuals as well.
Take the time to take each of them aside and say thank you for being there, and for all that they have done to help make your wedding day special. They will remember this small gesture for years to come, and will remind them of how much your bond means to them.