Ahhh…friends. Good friends. Great friends. Best friends. They’ve been with you through thick and thin. The good and the bad. And the ups and downs. And through it all, they’ve always showed you their unconditional love and support, either with a shoulder to cry on or with shouts of joy and happiness. You consider your friends to be really precious—and such an important part of your life. So why not get everyone together to celebrate exactly that which is so very special to all of you: your dear friendship. One great way to do this is to host a luncheon. But not just any luncheon. A friendship luncheon! This is your chance to get together and talk, laugh, cry, reminisce, linger, and relax. The focus is squarely on the beautiful bond you all share. To help you plan this get-together, the editors at Blue Mountain have compiled a list of 5 simple steps to hosting a fun and fabulous friendship luncheon. We think you’ll find these tips extremely helpful. Now enjoy!
- Pick a date. With everyone’s busy schedules nowadays, this may be harder than you think. But as the host, you need to start with your own calendar first. What dates and times are best for you? Then either email or call your friends to see which of those dates are good for them as well. (There are even online scheduling sites you might want to try.) If everyone can agree on the same date, perfect! Move on to step 2. But if some can’t and you’re determined to have every invitee come, you may have to start over with a new set of dates. (May we suggest you try to gather on actual Friendship Day, which falls on the first Sunday of August every year?)
- Send out invitations. It’s so much more fun to make your friendship luncheon official with a pretty invitation. You might want to print out something nice on paper stationery and actually mail it to your friends. Or you might want to choose a special eCard to email instead. Regardless, you’ll want to include all the basic details: date, time, location, RSVP date, and contact information (either a phone number or email address). If you’ve decided to set up your party as a potluck, be sure to also include which food/drink you’d like your guests to bring. Make sure to send your invitations at least 4-6 weeks before your event in order to give guests plenty of time to plan ahead.
- Plan the menu. Here’s where it gets fun! If you don’t already have a fixed menu in mind, try to narrow it down by thinking through a few things first. Do you have a specific budget? Do you want your luncheon to be formal or casual? Do you want everyone to mingle buffet-style or sit down? Do you have a theme? (Think ladies’ tea, New York deli, light and healthy, or a Mexican fiesta for just a few ideas.) Do your guests have any food restrictions or allergies? Do you plan to serve alcohol (such as wine, sangria, Champagne, or a fruity cocktail)? The answers to these questions will help you decide exactly what you’d like to serve. Just remember, whatever you do, this isn’t the time to be experimenting with something brand new or complicated. That will only add to the anxiety level. Go with what you know and are comfortable with. After that, relax and have fun!
- Provide favors. Offering a favor to each of your guests is a really nice and personal touch they are sure to appreciate! These can be given upon arrival, displayed on your luncheon table, or passed out as a parting gift. They don’t have to be expensive or fancy or even over-the-top. But to help make your luncheon more personally memorable, they should be a gift that honors your friendship. A few ideas include a laminated throw-back photo of your group made into a magnet; a stem, bouquet, or pot of flowers that signify friendship (such as chrysanthemums, geraniums, ivy, yellow roses, or zinnias); or a meaningful quote printed out, placed into a lovely frame, and displayed at each place setting.
- Send a thank you. Although it’s probably more common for guests to send a thank you to their host, it’s also just as thoughtful for a host to send a thank you to her guests for coming. Be sure to include something personal in each note that shows you took the time to reflect on your special friendship. There are so many lovely thank you eCards to choose from. Be sure to pick one that both reflects your style and conveys your message. If you need help with what to write in your thank you note, check out these helpful tips.