Do We Have to Host a Pre-Wedding Welcome Event AND a Morning-After Brunch?

Here's how to make sure your out of town guests know you’re happy to have them — without busting your wedding budget

Updated 04/01/17

Photo by Jeff Lewis 619 Photography

There’s a good chance you’ll have at least a few out-of-town guests on the wedding guest list, from childhood friends who have moved away to cousins from another state. In some cases (especially for a destination wedding!) you might find that the majority of your guests will be traveling to celebrate with you — and you’ll want to welcome them accordingly. If you have a lot of out-of-town guests, do you have to host a welcome party and a morning-after brunch to round out the weekend? Our experts have some advice.

The pre- and post-wedding events for out-of-town guests are not required, but they’re a nice touch that will make sure everyone who is attending feels welcome and taken care of. Of course, they can also add to your wedding budget! Here are a few ways to make sure your guests know you’re happy to have them, without breaking the bank.

Instead of having a full welcome dinner (or inviting everyone to the rehearsal dinner), turn it into a more casual get-together. You might serve wine, beer, and desserts, or you could even just invite guests to stop by at the hotel bar, where they can pick up their own tab. A cash bar is taboo for a wedding, but for something this casual (especially if it’s hosted in a bar), it’s nothing to be worried about.

It’s harder to invite guests to brunch without hosting them, but if you’ll be staying at the same hotel, let them know what time you’ll be there and invite them to come say goodbye before they head home. Grab a table for two, settle in with a mimosa (and coffee!) and enjoy having more time and less pressure to see the people you love.

If you decide not to host a welcome party or a brunch, it’s still a nice gesture to welcome your guests with a note upon arrival. Include recommendations for local places they can get dinner and a drink, as well as somewhere they can fuel up before leaving town the morning after your wedding. You may not be hosting them, but they’ll feel taken care of armed with your suggestions.

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