Do you need one? The first time I stumbled across the idea of a Bridesmaid’s Tea I was long past my wedding and thanked my stars that I hadn’t had any bridesmaids. If you want to, I thought, your wedding can turn into so many social events before the big day that you find yourself in perpetual spin – the kitchen tea, the rehearsal dinner, the bridesmaids’ tea etc. etc.
And the expense! But is it really going too far? Some bridesmaids go to great lengths to make a wedding special. Often they’ve gone beyond the call to duty.
Some have flown miles to be by your side, they’ve bought their matching outfits that they will probably never wear again, they’ve led from the sidelines and been a great support. They’re your best friends and family, and the people who know you best.
A bridal tea (it doesn’t have to be tea, it can be a lunch, a breakfast, even drinks or a morning at the spa) is really an acknowledgement of how much you appreciate their contribution and effort. It’s also a way for all you girls to get together and bond, swap stories and generally celebrate away from the wedding.
Is there an etiquette to follow? Well, no. But there are a few guidelines you could use (again, it’s totally up to you).
When: a day or two before the wedding (sooner and not everyone will have flown into town)
Where: anywhere that is special for you, like a favourite tea room or garden café, your mother’s diningroom or garden, a local park for a picnic
Who: the bridesmaid(s) obviously, but you could also include your mother, your mother-in-law to be and other female guests or family members if you wanted to, but really it should be a close group of you and your girlfriends
What: it is at this event that you can offer your bridesmaids individual gifts as a thank you token of your appreciation for their part in the wedding. This might sound like an extravagance, but it’s important that they are honoured, and a token will remind them of the wedding. It doesn’t have to be expensive – even a heartfelt handwritten note with something small will say it all
Happy Wedding Planning!