Do You Have to Host a Brunch the Day After the Wedding?

Here are the pros and cons to keeping the party going.

Assorted donuts (with sprinkles and icing and cinnamon-sugar) stacked at a brunch wedding

Luke and Isabel Photography

Weddings are no longer a single event on a Saturday afternoon. These days, they’re a weekend’s worth of celebrations, from a Friday night welcome party to the Sunday morning-after brunch. Those brunches may be popular ways to ease a hangover and say goodbye before guests head out of town, but are they absolutely necessary? After all, you’ve spent so long planning and have played host for a you really need to do it again tomorrow? We’ve broken down the factors to help you figure out if a post-wedding brunch is right for you.

After hosting one of the biggest nights of your life and finally tumbling into bed (as a married couple), the question is: Do you want to set your alarm, get dressed up, and do it all again in the morning? The good news is, you don’t have to. It’s up to you and your partner whether you decide to gather everyone for breakfast or head off to your honeymoon. Still on the fence? These pros and cons will help.

Pro: It keeps the celebration going. With so much to celebrate, it can be hard to see your wedding night come to an end. Throwing a brunch the next morning gives you one more opportunity for festivities—and one more chance to wear white.

Con: You’ll have to set your alarm in the morning. Weddings are emotional and exhausting, especially if you and your partner are the last ones to leave the after-party in the wee hours of the morning. If you have a brunch, you’ll need to find the strength to roll out of bed and make yourselves presentable, instead of sleeping all day with your new spouse by your side (but hey, you can always sleep in on your honeymoon).

Pro: Everyone is already in the same place. If you ask your married friends what they loved most about their wedding, a majority will mention having all the people they love in one room. There are few times in life when that gets to happen, so arranging a brunch the next day gives you a few more hours surrounded by those closest to you, with no extra travel required.

Con: Some guests won’t be able to make it. A Saturday evening wedding means guests will be using Sunday to travel home and get ready for their week. Brunch is a great idea, but with early flights and long travel days ahead of them, a lot of your guests might already be on the road before it starts.

Pro: Breakfast is delicious. Pancakes, waffles, bacon, eggs, coffee, Bloody Marys...what’s not to love? If you’re a fan of breakfast food (but weren’t brave enough to swap that steak dinner at your reception with breakfast sausage), now’s your chance to treat your guests to your favorite morning goodies.

Con: It’s one more thing to add to your budget. While the rehearsal dinner is usually paid for by the groom’s parents, the morning-after brunch falls squarely on a bride’s parent’s budget—meaning you’ll have to take funds away from your wedding in order to feed everyone the next morning.

If the pros outweigh the cons, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Keep It Casual

Instead of a sit-down meal, morning-after brunches are the perfect chance for a rolling gathering. Give guests a range of times to stop by (9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., for example) so they can pop in once they’re up and packed, and grab a little something to eat before they head to the airport.

Opt for a Buffet

In line with that casual vibe, let guests fill their plates (or pick up a to-go coffee and a croissant) and find a seat on their own. Even if you give guests a full menu, the time it takes to order and wait for food to arrive could mean they’re racing to catch their flight. A spread of pre-made food means they can eat quickly or settle in for a leisurely breakfast; whatever works best.

Don’t Forget the Coffee

Mimosas and Bloody Marys are much appreciated, but you don’t need to spring for booze if you don’t want to. Coffee and juice, however, are essential.

Be Prepared to Stay Awhile

When choosing the timing for your brunch, make sure you and your new spouse are available to stay for the whole thing. This way anyone who chooses to attend can give you a hug, whether they’re early birds or stragglers.

Ask for RSVPs

Even with a low-key rolling brunch, you still need an idea of who will be attending. Add a line to your RSVP card or go easy with an e-vite that allows guests to RSVP online. The count may not be exact, but the difference between breakfast for 75 and 150 is huge. A rough estimate of how many guests can be there will allow you to order food and arrange for seating accordingly.

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