A post-wedding brunch is a delightful way to get family and good friends together, and to provide a warm send-off for the bride and groom, who may be honeymoon-bound later in the day. Brunch is usually held the morning after the wedding, and it tends to be an intimate affair, often including only family members, the wedding party, and out-of-town guests who are especially close to the bride and groom. Guests can mingle in a more relaxed atmosphere than the wedding day provides, renewing old friendships and touching base with people they don’t often see.
Photo by Lisa Lefkowitz
Here are a few ideas and tips for hosting the perfect post-wedding brunch:
One of the first things to do is to decide who will assume the cost for the brunch. There are no formal rules about this, but usually the bride or groom’s family pays. Or, the brunch can be hosted by a good friend or family member.
Tip: If you find that your wedding budget just won’t stretch for another get-together, you can invite guests to a “no-host” brunch in a restaurant where you’ve reserved space for everyone to eat together.
Choosing a Location
If your out-of-town guests are all booked at the same hotel, consider using it as the location for the brunch. Not only will it be convenient for all involved, but the facility may offer special wedding packages that will save you money. You might also get a price break if you have the brunch where you held your reception the night before. A local café or restaurant is a good location for a brunch, or if you are expecting a relatively small group of people, a friend or relative may wish to host the brunch at home.
Tip: If you use the hotel where guests are staying, be sure to consider the hotel’s check-out time and make sure it fits with the brunch schedule.
Picking a Time
What you serve at the brunch will be largely determined by the time it is held. A brunch held earlier in the day (say around 10 a.m.) will feature mostly breakfast foods, whereas one held closer to the noon hour can include lunch items such as salads, sandwiches, meats, fish, and cheeses.
Tip: While you may want to allow guests to sleep in and not have brunch too early, also keep in mind that many of them will have to be at the airport a few hours ahead of their scheduled flight, so plan accordingly.
Selecting a Menu
For a morning brunch, plan to have plenty of coffee, tea, and juice on hand. Food can include eggs (an omelet bar is always a hit), muffins, bagels, scones, pastries, crepes, fresh fruit, quiche, and a breakfast meat such as ham, bacon, or sausage. Additional menu items to consider are breakfast potatoes, French toast, or waffles with a variety of syrups. Expand the menu to include lunch items as suggested above if your brunch is scheduled later in the day.
Tip: Although alcohol is not requisite at a brunch, you can kick the meal off with bloody Marys, mimosas, or a champagne toast if you want to.
Inviting your Guests
A verbal invitation is certainly appropriate, but including a brunch invitation with your wedding invitation – and asking for an RSVP – will ensure that you have an accurate count of guests who will attend. If the brunch is going to be informal, include a notation in the invitation so guests will know what to wear.
Tip: It has been said that you can’t always count on guests who partied hard the night before showing up for a meal in the morning, so you may wish to take this into consideration!
Don’t be Extravagant
If possible, keep it simple and reuse the flowers or centerpieces from the wedding. Have soft music playing in the background. Feel free to use good-quality plastic plates and cups instead of china. If your brunch is in a restaurant or is catered, you won’t have much to do for set-up or clean-up, which will be very convenient when everyone heads out in a different direction afterwards.
Tip: Have someone take photos at the wedding and put them on a CD, or make a CD of photos that chronicle your relationship. Play it (without sound) for the guests to watch at the brunch.
The post-wedding brunch is the time to mingle with family and friends who you may not have had time to talk to the day before. Be sure that you and your spouse speak to everyone who attends, giving special attention to people who may have come from out of town.
Tip: Don’t forget your camera. Your wedding photographer may not have taken photos of you with all of your dear friends, so the brunch is a perfect time to be sure you have captured those memories.