In appreciation and gratitude for their participation in her wedding, it is traditional for the bride to treat her maids to a party.
Everything else is pretty much up to the bride. The formality of the event can range for an a casual brunch, afternoon tea, or a night out on the town. The luncheon can be held at the beginning of the engagement as a means to introduce the bridal party. Or, it can be held closer to the wedding date, which is more traditional. The guests always include the bridesmaids. Other brides might include flower girls, their Mother, the Mother of the Groom, or other female relatives.
During the Bridesmaid Luncheon, the Bride may choose to give her attendants their gifts. Another fun tradition is the “charm cake”. Originating, in England during Victorian times, silver charms (one for each bridesmaid) are attached to ribbons and then placed underneath the bottom layer of a cake. Each bridesmaid pulls a ribbon to discover her symbolic charm at the end. The symbols can include a ring (next to be engaged), a flower (love will blossom) or a wishbone (lucky in love). Unless you have an enormous bridal party, you should have no trouble finding one individual charm for each maid.
Tomorrow, I will tell you what I did for my Bridesmaid Luncheon.