Bridal luncheon - who to invite?

TwinkleJune 21, 2005

I'm a bridesmaid. The bride has requested absolutely no bachlorette party, so the bridesmaids are all taking her out for a "spa day" and lunch on the day before the wedding.

We had envisioned this as just the bride, bridesmaids and the mothers of the bride & groom. But we are wondering if we should invite other female family members & close friends. They are a very close-knit family and might be offended if they aren't included.

The rehearsal dinner is two days before the wedding, and basically all family and close friends are invited in addition to the wedding party. So the order of events is: Rehearsal dinner, spa day, wedding day.

Should we include all of these close family and friends in the spa day or maybe just the lunch? And who should pay if we do invite them? The bridesmaids are going to pay for the bride and mothers.

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My vote: ask the bride.

And if you DO make it more people, then they should pay for their own (be sure to tell them how much it will cost them if they come; tell them that's simply their own expense, and that the bridesmaids are covering bride & moms).

But I personally would leave it at bridesmaids. These are the people the bride is close enough to, to include in the wedding party. The other, slightly more extended people can get their jollies at the rehearsal dinner.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2005 at 2:14PM
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I would go with just the bridesmaids and moms. That makes for a more intimate and fun time. If there is a shower, the other ladies can celebrate with the bride at it.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2005 at 5:23PM
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I agree. In general, it's better not to "invite" people to pay their own way at an entertainment. (I don't mean where a group of friends goes out together Dutch treat and maybe treats the birthday girl or whatever; I mean a party with hosts and invitations, but the "guests" are expected to pony up not only for a gift, but for the food, drinks, etc.)

But I don't blame you for not wanting to treat several women to a spa day! That can get really expensive. On the other hand, a spa day isn't for everyone, and I think some people might feel put on the spot: "I really don't want to go for an expensive spa day with my niece and her girlfriends, but will they feel bad if I decline?" Conversely, I don't think people will feel snubbed if they aren't included in a bridesmaids' outing.

Maybe you could invite the others for lunch only?

    Bookmark   June 22, 2005 at 12:14AM
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There have been several showers already, and at the last one I was invited to, I was told at the end that the bridesmaids and others were supposed to "put in" for the shower. "Oh, and your share is $65.00". This was at a person's home, just a few homemade sweets and some drinks. I was speechless, but apparently that is how that group does these things, so I smiled and wrote a check for both me and another bridesmaid who didn't have that much cash with her.

I think it's awful to ask guests to pay for their share of things, but on the other hand I can't afford to pay for a big day out for a bunch of additional people. The bride is so stressed out right now, I wouldn't want her to have to put together a guest list for her spa day. But I do feel like we're stealing her away from her wedding guests. A lot of people are from out and town and may expect to be entertained.

The bride doesn't really know we are doing this. We will tell her before in case she has other plans, but right now it's sort of a surprise, and a way to help her de-stress right before the wedding. We want her to be relaxed and beautiful!

I guess we could just have the bridesmaids and moms, and if somebody gets offended I'll take the blame.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2005 at 9:07AM
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just the bride, mothers and bridesmaids. a spa day can get pretty pricey. if anyone gets offended just tell them that this was your gift to the bride and that you just couldn't afford to bring an entire entourage...

    Bookmark   June 22, 2005 at 2:49PM
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Twinkle, you brought up some important factors. This is to take place when there are already out of town guests there? You're right, it might be a problem to take the bride away. Maybe discuss this with her mom if you want it to be a surprise -- but the bride may have plans of her own, and/or may well have some last-minute errands and tasks come up. You don't want your surprise treat to turn out to be an inconvenience for her because she had planned to do something important then, or had to pack for her honeymoon, or do some last-minute errands, etc. As you said, the idea is to help her DE-stress. I think even something as lovely as a spa day would just stress me out more if someone surprised me with it during the busiest days of my life!

Do you all live in the same town? If so, I'd plan the spa day well before the wedding, not the day before. But there may be out of town bridesmaids. If so, and you really only have the day before the wedding to work with, I'd recommend forgetting about the surprise part so that the bride won't count on having that time free. You don't have to tell her all the plans, just the hours she'll be needed.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2005 at 4:50PM
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You should not have had to help pay for the costs of a shower if you were not involved in planning the shower and in the decisions that require an outlay of funds. It is very rude to hand someone a bill for something that they knew nothing about. From an etiquette perspective, the maid of honor and/or bridesmaids do not have to plan a shower if they can't because of distance, finances, time or another reason. The person who hosts the shower is the one who pays, not everyone in the wedding party.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2005 at 10:14PM
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Aside from any other considerations about the surprise factor, bride's schedule, etc., be aware that if the "spa day" includes facials you really want to schedule them a week or two before the wedding. A facial can leave the face very red, and possibly tender!

    Bookmark   June 24, 2005 at 11:08PM
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There are four bridesmaids - three are sisters of the bride who live out of town, and one is a friend who lives near the bride. So there is no way we could do it in advance. We won't get facials - good point about the redness thing. But we will get a massage, and get our nails done, and a pedicure. The bride isn't really a "girly girl" and may not have thought about scheduling her manicure.

I think we will stick to having just the bridesmaids and moms. If we don't get facials, it won't take up the whole day. That way the bride can have the rest of the day to do whatever she needs to do.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2005 at 9:57AM
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