Showers & Parties

How to Plan a Day-After-Your-Wedding Brunch

Throw a stylish farewell fete with these expert tips and ideas

The last toast has been made and the final slice of cake has been served, and you'd love to gather your family and friends one last time to thank them for helping you celebrate your special day. There's no better way to send them off than with a positively delicious day-after brunch.

Plan the Party

A next-day brunch can include as many people as you'd like. If you and your fiancé want to host a quiet, intimate meal, then consider inviting only your families and the wedding party. If your goal is to reunite everyone for one last fete to close out your celebration, then feel free to extend the invitation to your entire guest list. In that case, it is a good idea to include a card inside your wedding invitations (or save-the-dates) with the details of the event: time, location and attire. Most brunches begin at 11:00 a.m. or noon, and last about two and a half hours, to allow guests to stop in at their leisure. If your wedding is a late-night affair, consider holding your brunch from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. so your guests can rest in the morning. As for the setting, a private room in a home, restaurant or hotel convenient to your guests' accommodations works best. Pick a site that allows you to collaborate with an event planner who can help you personalize the menu and decor.

Set the Scene

"The aim of a brunch is to delight the eye and refresh the body," says Serena Bass, founder of Serena Bass Inc., a New York City–based catering and events company. For Bass (author of Serena, Food & Stories), the basis of a beautiful brunch is the decor. At a springtime party, for example, moss-covered boxes containing fresh, flowering bulbs are the perfect centerpieces, each table boasting a different flower and color, such as purple hyacinths on one, and pink primroses on another. Using votive candles with subtle scents, such as green apple, will give the space a glow and leave the room smelling fresh.

Offer a Custom Menu

Bass believes that you can offer a buffet without sacrificing elegance. "Introduce an element of luxury with items like salmon from Scotland and mascarpone from Italy," she says. For the refreshments, Bass suggests incorporating fresh fruit and festive beverages. Try greeting each table with a tray of raspberry Bellinis: Champagne with a splash of fresh berry purée. Display glass bowls that each contain one type of sliced fruit, such as mango, watermelon, papaya and grapes; the bright bursts of color will pop. Made-to-order omelettes are also a must-have, says Bass. An omelette station offering a variety of cheeses and vegetables will satisfy many palates. Bass also likes to leave a few special treats on each table: "Little shots of pink grapefruit juice, or white-chocolate brioche rolls are perfect."

By hosting a brunch that combines stylish decor, fresh food and unique touches, you've found the perfect way to bid your guests their final farewell.

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