Wedding Luncheon Etiquette

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Brides often worry about the rules for a wedding, rather than planning the wedding they want. When you're planning the bridesmaids’ luncheon, though, you needn’t worry: No rules exist, other than, perhaps, no guys are allowed. It doesn’t even have to be a luncheon.

The Traditional Luncheon

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Let your budget, tastes and the bridesmaids’ schedules dictate the time, style and place of the luncheon. Even a traditional luncheon is sometimes a breakfast on the wedding day or a tea on the day before. The bride plans and pays for it, although mom can help with either of those tasks. For a luncheon, invite all of the women in the wedding party as well as relatives, but definitely include the women in the groom’s family. The food is generally light finger food or salads. This is also the usual time for the bride to give thank-you gifts to her attendants and others who have helped.

Nontraditional Alternatives

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If you can’t afford a formal luncheon, or it’s impossible with everyone's conflicting schedules, make it an informal gathering, with pizza and movie after the fitting. Some brides prefer to treat their bridesmaids to a manicure or pedicure and a day at the spa. Some even ignore the rule about no men -- mixing it up with the groom and groomsmen at a picnic, a museum outing or a lunch at home.