I recently assisted organizing a bachelorette party for a friend of mine in São Paulo. As someone coming from Las Vegas, this was not the typical party I have seen involving "Magic Mike"-style dancers, a Pole Skills 101 class, or even a conservative spa day.
Chá de Lingerie, or literally translated as "Lingerie Tea," is a bridal shower party exclusively for the noiva (or bride) and her closest girlfriends. They all gather a week or so before the wedding, enjoy each other’s company by sharing memories, play games, enjoy delicious foods, and shower the bride with gifts of lingerie for her upcoming lua-de-mel (honeymoon).
Who should organize the party? There is no rule on who organizes this fun event. This could be a hired party planner, the bride’s friends, or the bride herself. Invitations can be as elaborate as the wedding invitation, or as green as a Facebook invite or e-card.
Who is invited? Keep the invitee list limited to close friends, and maybe the sister(s), sister(s)-in-law or girl cousins of the bride. Just like any other typical bachelorette party, and given the types of gifts presented, this is definitely not the time or place for the bride’s mother to be present.
Where? This event traditionally takes place at the bride’s home or the home of a close friend or family member. Depending on the number of attendees, a hotel suite or private event venue may also be appropriate.
When? There is no rule on the time or day of the week that this gathering occurs; however, a late weekend afternoon is the typical selection.
What is the appropriate decor? Decor should include a color palette that best matches the theme. The custom decorations plentifully available here in Brazil are mostly pink and black. Therefore, we went along with these colors. The dining room table surface had a tablecloth and a polka-dot table “skirt.” Pieces of lingerie cutouts were suspended from wall to wall, like an outdoor clothesline. Flowers, photo memorabilia, and customized scrapbooks of the bride and her friends should be prevalent, too.
The music should include a fun playlist that is high-energy and edgy and sets the right mood and environment for the festivities. Various one-of-a-kind teakettles go along perfectly with the party’s traditional name. Several resources, including Pinterest, have many great ideas of what others have done for the bride’s Chá de Lingerie. The whole point is to have fun, so adapt the style to bring out the best of the bride’s personality.
Food and beverage typically includes chocolates, various sweets, a cake or cupcakes, finger sandwiches and other canapés that guests would appreciate during this exciting event. Beverages can include various cocktails, champagne, fresh juices, cappuccinos and especially cold teas.
What to bring? The gifts that guests should bring are obviously--lingerie! These can include items found at your nearby Victoria’s Secret or other love boutique; however, it is highly recommended to bring gifts on the sexier side that the bride typically would not purchase herself. Gifts can even include erotic or other romance products and books. Rather than include a card of whom it is from, I have seen a game created by placing a note with a basic catchphrase on the outside of the gift. As the bride reads the note of this memorable catchphrase, she can guess whom it is from correctly or face the consequence … shots!
Party favors are typically expected and should be available for all the departing guests. These can include miniature take-home boxes of items such as sweets, various bath products, or any other items that would appeal to the bride’s friends.
So if you have a Brazilian friend or client about to get hitched, now you know a little more about this fun lingerie tea party tradition … and what to bring!
Brandon Lindley, CMP, CSEP, CPCE, is recently married and currently resides in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He is completing his masters of hospitality administration at the University of Nevada Las Vegas through distance education. He has 11 years of hospitality and event planning experience from both Marriott Hotels and The Venetian, Las Vegas. He enjoys the beach, cycling, exploring new and favorite restaurants, reading, visiting museums and exhibitions, and on weekends, holding an ice-cold caipirinha in his hand.