Ladies luncheons are lunch events that allow women to get together at a restaurant or somebody's house for an hour or two of socialisation. Luncheons can be purely for the purpose of seeing friends, or they can be hosted as a working lunch session for women who are planning charity events or fundraisers. The organisation of the luncheon is usually tasked by one lady who wants to get the group together.
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Select a luncheon location. Think about past luncheon settings and whether or not they worked well. If you did not enjoy a particular restaurant for a luncheon in the past, keep it off of your list. Decide if you want to host the luncheon at your house and have it catered. Consider how many women you will be inviting.
Make a list of the ladies you want to invite to your luncheon.
Review your calendar or datebook and select a date and time for the luncheon. Since you are the hostess, it is important for you to pick a date and time that works for you, and then check with your guests to see if they can make the luncheon. It is important to consider what else is going on around the time of your luncheon date. For instance, if you want to throw the luncheon over a holiday weekend, your guests may have conflicting plans. If you are planning the luncheon around a busy time of year, be flexible and pick a different date.
Invite the ladies. Select an appropriate invitation method, such as calling them on the phone, e-mailing them, text messaging them or sending formal invitations in the mail. The purpose behind your luncheon will determine how casual or formal to make your invitations. If you are hosting a ladies luncheon as a fundraiser or for a working committee, go the more formal route by sending invitations or making phone calls.
Set an RSVP date for the guests you invite to the luncheon. An RSVP date gives them time to decide if they can make it, and it allows you enough time to contact the restaurant to make the reservation for the group lunch. Or, if you are having the luncheon in your home, it gives you enough time in advance to make arrangements with a caterer.
Keep a list of those who say they will attend the luncheon. Keep another list of those who regretfully cannot make it. For formal events, it is good etiquette to send out notes to those who did not attend after the luncheon, saying something such as "We missed you at the luncheon, and hope you can join us next time." For informal luncheons, this step is not necessary.
Contact the restaurant when you get the final headcount and make reservations for your luncheon. If you want to decorate the table for your luncheon, ask the restaurant what types of table centrepieces they have as standard, and whether or not they allow you to bring in your own. Make arrangements with a florist if you want to bring in your own floral centrepieces.
Arrive at the luncheon location early and welcome your guests as they arrive. It is in good form for you to be the first one there, since you were the one who organised the luncheon.
Thank everybody for coming at the beginning or the end of the luncheon. Do a toast to all the wonderful ladies at the table.
Tips and warnings
- For bridal, baby shower or birthday luncheons, specify whether or not bringing gifts is appropriate on the invitation.
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