Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Bridal Party PARTY {brunch, luncheon, dinner}

Hi all - I'm terribly sorry we have been missing so much the past few months... I know I promised to be better about blogging and I've failed miserably at keeping up with that promise.  This summer has just been super busy and my focus has been elsewhere - which is no good!  I'm going to try really, really, really hard to get back up to blogging as much as I used to!

Anyway, happy Wedding Wednesday to you all!  I know that typically we do a real wedding, engagement session or bridal shower, but this week I wanted to mix it up a bit.  With that said, make sure to continue to check back for our Wedding Wednesday series because we've got some great real weddings coming up on the blog that you won't want to miss!  But for today's post, we want to talk to all you brides out there about one party you can host for your girls who are standing up for you on your big day.

One thing a bride must never forget when planning her big day is her girls and the time they are taking out of their lives to stand up for her on her big day.  Being a bridesmaid is usually a super fun experience, and honorable as your bride-to-be friend only chooses so many people to be by her side.  With that said, it can also be very expensive {with traveling, gifts, hotel stays, attire, jewelry, etc.} and time consuming {if there are multiple showers to attend, the bachelorette party, rehearsal dinners, weekend events, etc.}.

So, what can a bride do to show her appreciation for her bridesmaids - well, how about hosting an event in THEIR honor? What kind of event you ask?  I'm going to call it a bridal party PARTY {it's sometimes referred to a bridesmaid luncheon, but the event could be hosted any time of day}.

A bridal party PARTY is a way to get the bride and her bridesmaids together right before the wedding to thank them for everything they have done thus far in the planning process, and what they will be doing for on your wedding day.  It's also a great way for those 'maids who don't know each other very well, or who are from out-of-town, to get to know each other for the big day.

I know what some of you might be thinking - with the cost of everything else I'm paying for my wedding, how can I afford to host another party for my girls?  Well brides, this is definitely an extra cost you should be factoring into your budget early in the planning process.  However, if you're close to the big day and don't have much of a budget to throw something extravagant, don't fret.  Bridal luncheons don't have to be expensive... but they should show your appreciation to your bridal party.  Below are some of our favorite ideas, for every budget.

- Bridesmaid Brunch: Prepare some easy brunch foods and have your ladies come over for a couple hours to mingle.  Food items could include crepes, fresh fruit, mini cinnamon rolls, mini french toast, an egg bake, mimosas and lemonade.  The brunch can be as laid back or extravagant as you like - making it an excellent choice for brides  with any type of budget.  You can make the food yourself {especially if you're a fabulous cook!} or have the event catered in.

While this spread is for a baby shower brunch, the color scheme and food choices are PERFECT for a bridesmaid brunch!

- Bridesmaid Luncheon or Dinner: Much like the brunch, a luncheon or dinner is a great choice for brides with any size budget.  The luncheon or dinner can be hosted at the brides home {or brides parents or in-laws to be} or at a favorite restaurant. The nice thing about hosting a luncheon or dinner rather than a brunch is the wider selection of food to serve.  Since you will have the event just days before you wedding, you can put together a menu for all of your girls to enjoy - mixing both healthy and not-so-healthy options.  Some of my favorite menu ideas include mini grilled cheese with tomato soup shooters, mini burgers, chicken and veggie kabobs, Caesar salad {or any type of salad} and fresh fruit and veggies.

Spruce up the dining room with a pretty table cloth, pretty china, vases and flowers

- Bridesmaid Spa/Salon gathering:  This type of get-together might be for brides with a larger budget depending on how its held.  One option could be to take the bridesmaid to a local spa/salon and pay for mani/pedis and a little luncheon following.  Another option is to host a spa party at the brides home {or parents' home}.  Provide different items needed for a mani/pedi party at home {lotions and oils, toe separators, polish, top coat, etc} - you can also provide a light lunch and some mimosas for your guests to enjoy.

Create little goody bags for your guests {you could use some ideas above as part of your bridal favors - make custom totes and you're all set}

So - there are some of our favorite ideas for a bridesmaid get together.   What fun things have you done for your bridesmaids {or as a bridesmaid} for a bridal party PARTY?  What gifts did you give or receive as a bridesmaid gift?

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