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Once upon a time, these brunches were given in the bride's parents' home and all the wedding gifts would have been displayed nicely for the guests to admire. Fortunately, that part of the tradition is gone with the wind for most people. But the farewell brunch continues to be popular.
But there are both pros and cons to having yet another event after the wedding — here's what to consider before you start making plans:
Pro: It's fun to see everybody one more time and have them call you "Mr. and Mrs."
Pro: It's a nice way to finish off a busy weekend and make sure you get to visit with everybody who attended if you were busy on the dance floor on your wedding night.
Pro: Everybody likes to be fed. And they really like it if you serve Bloody Marys and mimosas in addition to coffee, tea, and juice.
Con: Doing a nice brunch can be expensive. And you have to let everybody know about it from the beginning so that anyone who is traveling can plan to stay to attend or they may feel shortchanged.
Con: If the majority of your guests need to travel a great distance, they may want to depart for home in the morning to be back for work the next day. They could feel obligated to attend your brunch and inconvenience themselves in the process.
Con: Guests who were up drinking and partying 'til the wee hours sometimes have trouble actually getting themselves up to attend events the morning after a wedding. For some, it feels a bit like punishment.
You can avoid the early morning torture by doing a luncheon, or even an afternoon event. Farewell sunset cocktails have been popular in waterfront destinations. But again, this extends the number of days of your wedding weekend and may be something that a few guests will have to miss.
Try to make the decision early so you can budget properly and warn your guests that there will be more to follow after the actual wedding date. It's a lovely gesture and those who attend will enjoy themselves immensely, but if it's not in your budget or doesn't really suit your schedule, a farewell event is something you can absolutely skip.
Owner of Weddings in Vieques, a destination-wedding planning company off the coast of Puerto Rico, Sandy Malone has helped countless couples plan their big day since 2007.