It is not uncommon for a bride to host a luncheon for her bridesmaids to honor and thank them for their participation in the wedding. Following certain rules of etiquette when creating and sending invitations is best, so that bridesmaids will be fully informed of the event details, and can keep the invitation as a sentimental symbol of the wedding day.
All bridesmaids should receive their invitations to the luncheon a few weeks before the event, but sending the luncheon invitations at the same time as the wedding invitations is acceptable as well. It is appropriate etiquette to send the invitations using stationery that is the same color as the wedding invitations and place cards.
Adressing the Invitations
All invitations should be addressed to the bridesmaids only, unless the bride would like to invite other female members of her family, including her mother, grandmother and sisters who are not in the wedding party. Formal addresses should include the bridesmaid's name and title, i.e. Dr. or Honorable, and should reflect her marital status, i.e. Mrs. or Ms.
Type of Event
If the bridesmaid luncheon invitation is the same stationery as the wedding invitations and programs, it is safe to assume that the luncheon will be held in a facility that holds the same level of formality. If the bride would like the luncheon to be casual, it is best to send invitations with bright colors and a casual font. The event can be held outdoors (i.e., a barbecue or pool party), or can be held at the bride's favorite restaurant, for which emailed invitations and reminders, or phone invitations, are acceptable.
Bridal luncheon invitations should include the full address of the luncheon location, as well as the time the event is taking place. Traditionally, the luncheon can be held anywhere from ten in the morning to three in the afternoon, as these are considered 'brunch' hours. The bride usually does not request gifts at the luncheon, but uses this time to present her bridesmaids with tokens of her appreciation, i.e. jewelry pieces for the bridesmaids to wear down the aisle or expensive flowers.
It is best to include an RSVP card in the bridal luncheon invitation, especially if the event will be held in a restaurant or banquet hall where a head count is required. Traditionally, the bridesmaid luncheon is held the day before the wedding ceremony, or the day of the wedding, depending on what time the ceremony starts. All bridesmaids should be aware of this before responding to the invitation to confirm their attendance.
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