Q: Do guests expect a next-day brunch, or can we skip it?

A: Most guests are just happy being invited to the main shin-dig. They certainly won't pass judgment if you decide not to throw a party-after-the-party, and you're under no obligation to do so. So if a brunch would push you over budget, simply forgo it. But here's another scenario: A close relative offers to throw you a brunch and foot the bill. Why not go for it? Remember, you may be so busy at the reception that you only have time to say a quick hello to old friends. A follow-up party will give you and your new hubby a second chance to visit with loved ones.

If you're worried about the extra hassle brought on by a next-day gig, relax: It's easy to keep this kind of party low-key. For example, spruce up your backyard and set out some card tables and lawn chairs. Arrange some cold cuts and you're in business. Or, if most of your wedding party is staying at the same hotel, you may want to reserve a small room and hold a buffet-style open house right there for your guests. It's a wonderful way to extend the warmth and happiness of your special time.

See all questions about engagement party, bridal shower, and bachelor(ette) parties etiquette

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