Etiquette for a Post-Wedding Brunch

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Wedding planning is exhausting. By the time you're done planning the bachelor and bachelorette parties, rehearsal dinner, reception, ceremony and everything else that goes into a wedding, additional events after the big day might be the last thing you want to think about. A post-wedding brunch, however, can be a nice occasion to say goodbye to all of your friends and family without all the stress of your wedding day. With some good planning, a casual wedding brunch can be both enjoyable and easy to pull together.

Put Your Plan in Motion

As with all wedding planning, it's best to get off to an early start. If you know you want to have a post-wedding brunch, include information about the event in your wedding invitations. Early notice will help your guests plan to be there if they're coming from out of town. In terms of attire, it's best to keep it casual. Your guests have just donned their finest for your wedding, so it's nice to be able to dress down a bit for the post-wedding brunch. Guests heading from the brunch straight to the airport will be especially appreciative. Plan to have the brunch between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. That should give everyone at least a few hours to rest up after your wedding party and plenty of time to make travel arrangements later in the day.

Who Picks Up the Tab

Bringing two families together is stressful enough without arguing about the catering bill. Traditionally, the bride's family pays for the post-wedding brunch -- think of it as the flip-side of the rehearsal dinner. If the groom's family is especially adamant about having the event, however, they can also pick up the tab. If the two families are getting along great and are both happy to spend another afternoon together, they could even discuss splitting the costs. Alternatively, the newlyweds themselves could pay for the event and use the opportunity to play hosts to friends and family for the first time as a couple. Just make sure you arrive at an arrangement with which both families and the newlyweds are comfortable.

Who Gets Invited

We're not in kindergarten anymore, so you can have a party without inviting everyone -- your senile great aunt twice removed Sally might be too frazzled to come anyway. The post-wedding brunch is a time to say goodbye calmly to your closest friends and family. Of course, you can invite as many people as you'd like -- even everyone -- but it's often best to keep this event intimate and casual. It's an especially nice gesture to invite guests who came from very far away and could probably use one last casual meal before heading back, but, again, it's up to you. Just be sure to print the brunch invitations on a separate notecard and only stick them in select envelopes if you're not inviting everyone.

What's for Brunch?

Casual events require a flexible menu. Between early flights, hangovers and a few of your perennially late friends, many of the guests are likely to pop in and out during brunch hours. To accommodate everyone, consider a buffet-style brunch rather than a sit-down menu. Include light fare such as breads, cheeses, fruit and pastries for those about to hop on a plane and maybe more filling options like waffles for those with enough time to digest. Depending on your personal tastes and the wedding location, you can even include regional specialties like crab cakes or polish sausages. Whatever you do, just make sure to save some Champagne from the wedding to make make mimosas for a final toast over brunch.