is as well known for her entertaining as she is for her fabulous floral-print fashions. Just in time for wedding season, she offers suggestions for a bridesmaids' luncheon, inspired by an elegant affair (over the top and head-to-toe pink!) she hosted for a close family friend.
The custom of having bridesmaids at a wedding dates from medieval times. Two young girls, often sisters, and dressed alike, preceded the bride in the wedding procession bearing sheaves of wheat, which is a symbol of fertility. Over time, customs changed. Flowers replaced the wheat and the young girls were replaced by women who are contemporaries of the bride ‑- sisters, friends and in-laws to be.
A nice way to express thanks to these women is to revive the lost tradition of hosting a bridesmaids' luncheon ‑- a dress-up, fancy lunch party that the bride throws just for her wedding attendants. It's a way to personally acknowledge each bridesmaid and her contribution to the wedding, and to focus some attention on them, since they'll take a back seat to the bride at every other wedding party. For the bridesmaids, well they can celebrate their induction into the sisterhood of the dyed-to-match-peau-de-soie-pumps.
Excerpted from Essentially Lilly: A Guide to Colorful Entertaining
by Lilly Pulitzer
and Jay Mulvaney. Photographs by Ben Fink. © 2004 HarperResource.