Should You Host a Day-After-Wedding Brunch?

How to Treat Your Out-of-Town Guests Without Driving Yourself Out-of-Your-Mind

brunch wedding buffet table
Brunch Wedding Buffet. (Jonelle Weaver/Getty Images)

Simple words like “Day After Wedding Brunch” can strike fear in the hearts of wish-they-could-be-golfing guests yet ignite uninhibited joy in the hearts of those who imagine a weekend of being catered to at every turn.

As for the bride and groom, what starts out as a nice gesture to thank their wedding party and out-of-towners can become one more huge stress-inducer on a long list of to-dos.

When planning for my wedding, family members frequently liked to remind me of how differently everything was done in “their day.” A simple wedding certainly didn't include a weekend of activities.

But meanwhile, the wedding mags were full of glossy pictures of the fabulous day-after wedding brunches with sweet touches and glamorous details.

Necessity of a Post-Wedding Brunch

You don't need to have a day-after wedding brunch. But, you might consider having one if:

  • You want a chance to recap the joys of your wedding day with your nearest and dearest before they leave town.

  • You want to thank out-of-town guests for traveling so far.

  • You’re worried about having enough time to really visit with all of the people on your guest list.

  • You’re having a destination wedding, and breakfast isn’t included in the cost of the guests’ rooms.

  • You have step-parents or other family members who would like to contribute to your wedding in a meaningful way.

  • Most of the guests are staying in the same hotel where breakfast is included.

Tips for Making the Planning Easier:

  • Delegate. Don't be afraid to delegate some of the planning or even turn over the whole affair! If, for example, the groom’s parents are divorced and remarried, and both couples want to contribute to the wedding, you can ask his mother and step-father to plan and host the rehearsal dinner, and his father and stepmother to plan the day-after wedding brunch. You can liberally use such phrases as, “You have such elegant taste. I know you’ll know just what to do!”
  • Take Advantage of Hotel Space. If most of your guests are staying in the same hotel AND a buffet breakfast is included in the cost of their rooms, ask the hotel if they’d be willing to reserve a portion of the dining room for your party. Then you can invite all of the out-of-town guests to join you for a casual get-together, and simply pay a-la-carte for those who aren’t staying at the hotel. There’s no need to decorate, have a fancy room, or make a big presentation. It’s just a way to eat breakfast together and relive the fun of the wedding.
  • Be Careful About Timing. If you had an evening wedding, don’t schedule the brunch too early. You may be eager to rush off to your honeymoon, but leave time for everyone to be able to sleep in after the night’s festivities.
  • Limit your Guest List. You certainly don’t have to invite your whole guest list. Many keep the brunch to just immediate family and the wedding party. Others invite all out-of-town guests, and include the invitation with the hotel and travel info. Make sure you keep it to a size that you can manage.
  • K.I.S.S. or Keep It Simple, Silly! You're already planning an elaborate affair so don't make this one more complicated than it needs to be. Having it at a restaurant or hotel? Stick to the basic menu, and don't worry too much about decorations. For an at-home brunch, ask a local cafe to drop off some platters of bagels, cream cheese, smoked fish, and fresh fruit, then get a groomsman or bridesmaid to pick up orange juice and coffee makings. Invite guests for "Coffee and Chitchat" and tell them to wear jeans so you won't worry if some guests will need to sit on the floor. Get advice on what to wear to a day-after brunch. 
  • Don’t forget to relax! By this point, you’ll have been “on” for days. Keep yourself from becoming bridezilla by not giving yourself too many hosting duties. Now’s the time to just kick back and chat with those you love.

If you don't want to host a day-after brunch, perhaps you'd rather host a brunch wedding?

Edited and updated by Jessica Bishop  |  June 2016