Time for Tea: The Perfect Tradition for Thanking Your Bridesmaids
From the very first time you show off that ring to the moment you reach the altar, your bridal party is there to hold your hand (and your train). Thats why a bridesmaids tea is a tradition that should be observed far more often; a delightful way to thank the ones who follow you every step of the way on your wedding journey. Heres how to do it, and do it right.
Who should you invite?
Your maid of honor and bridesmaids have to be there thats a no-brainer. Your flower girl or girls should also come along (provided you host the tea at a kid-appropriate venue, of course). Some brides like to share the event with other women who mean a lot to them too, including female family members and future in-laws. There are no solid conventions relating to this, however; the party is generally all-female, but it can be as large or as intimate as you choose.
When should you hold it?
A bridesmaids tea is about expressing gratitude for all that your favorite ladies have done for you in the lead up to the wedding, so its usually one of the very last items on the pre-ceremony agenda. It can take place either a few days beforehand or, in the case of some astonishingly blasé brides, on the actual morning of the nuptials. Envy the lady who is laid back enough to pull that off without at least one meltdown!
What should you do?
Again, there are no hard and fast rules about what activities if any you should incorporate. Many brides give speeches, but if youre already stressed out from the pressures of the approaching day just remember this is far from obligatory. Indeed, nothing is obligatory; youll be fine provided you keep just one thing in mind: that this is the one part of the wedding process where you relinquish your starring role to others!
Having said that, there are some customs that can add a traditional touch to a bridal tea. Consider cute superstition-based ideas such as baking charms into a cake. The charm found in each persons slice represents her future. Stick to whimsical symbols like horseshoes and shamrocks here.
How can you make it special?
Your bridesmaids give you many gifts, both literally and figuratively, and now is the time to give back. Think of truly individual gifts to give your bridesmaids and lay them at their places for them to open when they sit down. Put in the effort to really think of something that reflects the personality of each of these important women. The response you get will be so rewarding youll be glad you didnt cop out by giving everyone matching gifts.
Finally, bear in mind that one of the great beauties of the bridesmaids tea is that its an extremely informal tradition, so every bride has complete freedom to put her own spin on it. You know your bridal party better than anyone, so you know what they like. Make sure you go somewhere that offers some of their favorite edible treats, or a venue that has special significance within your friendships, and your bridesmaids tea will be the beautiful gesture of gratitude that it should be.