How To Throw A Post-Wedding Brunch?

From cocktails to coffee, we asked the experts what to provide when planning the brunch event of your dreams.

Thinking about hosting an after-wedding brunch? It's a great way for couples to extend the celebration and spend extra time with guests before they head home. Luckily, the etiquette for a post-wedding brunch (aka. a farewell brunch) is more relaxed. You have the creative freedom to play with everything, including the post-wedding brunch invitations, dress code, and menu. While there are no hard-and-fast rules, guidance is always welcome, especially when selecting a venue, sending out RSVPs, and handling the logistics.

We consulted with wedding planners Melissa Williams and Heather Piland to create a straightforward guide for who to invite and how to plan your first brunch as a married couple.

So the big day and all of the other pre-wedding parties are over, and you're officially married. Congrats! Now, what happens? If you're not leaving for your honeymoon right away, a post-wedding brunch is lovely to wind down the weekend's festivities. Newlyweds can enjoy a final opportunity to thank their guests for joining them on their wedding day and spend a little more time with loved ones (especially those from out of town). But planning this wedding event can be more complicated than you think. Not to worry, though—we're here to help. Here's everything you need to know about planning a post-wedding brunch.

Luckily, the etiquette for a post-wedding brunch (aka. a farewell brunch) is more relaxed. As a result, you have the creative freedom to play with everything, including the post-wedding brunch invitations, dress code, and menu.

Typically, the host pays for the post-wedding brunch. But the host could also help others if they'd like to contribute. It's also not uncommon for the couple to pay for the post-wedding brunch if they've decided to host the event. So as you begin wedding planning, make sure you budget for this event.

A post-wedding brunch is a customary event typically hosted the morning after the ceremony and reception. The invite for this post-wedding party is generally extended to all guests, though some couples only invite family members and friends who stayed the night at the venue or a nearby hotel.

Solid brunch foods are waists, bagels, frittatas, omelettes, fresh fruit, doughnuts, and croissants.

The bridesmaids' party or bridal luncheon is traditionally hosted by the bride's attendants and is usually organised by the maid or matron of honour.

FAQs About Wedding Venue

 

What Is A Post-Wedding Brunch?

A post-wedding brunch is an event that typically happens the morning after the wedding at the end of the wedding weekend. It's a time for your guests to gather one final time before leaving. It's also a wonderful time for the newlyweds to spend more quality time with their guests. However, since the reception has a lot going on, it isn't easy to have meaningful conversations with everyone you invited. That's why we love the idea of hosting a post-wedding brunch after the fact. Plus, who doesn't love brunch?

Is A Post-Wedding Brunch Necessary?

Here's the deal: While a post-brunch is a lovely gesture, it's unnecessary. There are many other festivities associated with your wedding (think: engagement party, wedding shower, beach party, rehearsal dinner, ceremony and reception). We completely understand if you don't want to plan or host an additional event. However, it's a lovely way to connect with more of your guests and share your newlywed bliss.

Post Wedding Brunch Etiquette

If you have questions about the post-wedding brunch, we're here to help. Here are answers to some of the most common questions about the event.

Who Plans The Post-Wedding Brunch?

There aren't any rules around who hosts this event, so it's fair game for anyone. However, it's common for the couple or their families to host. Regardless of who takes on planning the post-wedding brunch, we recommend speaking with the couple directly. That way, you know exactly who they want to invite, where they want to have it, what time they'd like to start and what kind of food they'd like.

Who Pays For The Post-Wedding Brunch?

Typically, the host pays for the post-wedding brunch. But the host could also help others if they'd like to contribute. It's also not uncommon for the couple to pay for the post-wedding brunch if they've decided to host the event. So as you begin wedding planning, make sure you budget for this event.

When Should The Post-Wedding Brunch Take Place?

Given the farewell brunch takes place the morning after the wedding, we recommend giving your guests a little more time in the morning to wake up and get ready. (They'll appreciate the extra cushion the next day after all that late-night dancing!) We suggest starting around 9 or 10 a.m. so that your wedding guests can get enough sleep and have enough time to head home.

Where Should The Post-Wedding Brunch Take Place?

We highly recommend hosting the brunch somewhere close to the venue. Everyone who attended the wedding is likely staying in a hotel block or rental space nearby, making it easy for them to attend the event. Psst: You can check our nearby places over on The Knot.

Should Your Post-Wedding Brunch Have A Dress Code?

Your post-wedding brunch doesn't have to have a dress code, but it helps your guests pack. Check with your chosen brunch venue first to see if they have a dress code. If they don't, decide on the guidelines for the event and communicate them to those invited ahead of time. Then, your guests have time to plan and pack their post-wedding brunch outfits. (Psst: We suggest posting this information on the wedding website so it's easily accessible.)

Who Gets Invited To The Post-Wedding Brunch?

It is completely up to the host. You can extend the invitation to everyone who attended the wedding, or you can adjust. For example, inviting all out-of-town guests is a nice gesture considering their travel to attend the nuptials. On the other hand, if you want to keep it small, you can invite just the wedding party or family members.

Post Wedding Brunch Food Ideas

See our favourite post-wedding brunch food ideas (that aren't doughnut walls or bagels) below. Don't forget to include a mimosa bar or bloody mary station!

After-Wedding Brunch Etiquette

Post-wedding brunches bring up a lot of etiquette questions. Who hosts it? Who's invited? And what's expected from you, the newlyweds, during it? Get answers to these questions, plus a few more, below.

Who Throws An After-Wedding Brunch?

While you could delegate this task to your wedding planner, the bride's newly married couple or parents could also be in charge. Talk to your parents about what makes the most sense.

When Do You Throw An After-Wedding Brunch?

A post-wedding brunch is typically held the morning after the wedding. "However, if you had a Friday wedding and know guests plan to stay through the weekend or are in a destination location and know most guests plan to depart a few days after, I would hold off on the post-wedding brunch and let them enjoy their additional time away," says Piland.

Most after-wedding brunches begin at 11 a.m. or noon and last about 2.5 hours, allowing guests to stop in at their leisure. If your wedding is a late-night affair, consider holding your brunch from 1 to 3 p.m. so your guests can rest in the morning. Williams recommends setting up your brunch as a drop-in style event. "Since most of your guests will also be heading home the day of your post-wedding brunch, the range in time and location of the event being a drop-in will allow them to not only stop in and bid you farewell but also to prepare accordingly for the day of travel they will have ahead."

Who Gets Invited To An After-Wedding Brunch?

If your budget allows it and you want to invite all your wedding guests, awesome! But it's by no means necessary or expected. However, your immediate family, grandparents, and the wedding party (and their plus-ones) should receive an invite as a rule of thumb.

Beyond that, use your discretion and be consistent. If you're going to invite extended family members (aunts, uncles, and cousins), do so for both of your families. If you want to add some of your friends to the list, it should be all your friends on both sides and your mutual friends. When you're making the guestlist for your wedding, picking and choosing some friends or cousins over others can result in hurt feelings, so consistency is key. Of course, if you start to open up the guest list to make sure everyone is fairly represented, you might as well invite everyone.

What Is The Newlywed's Role At An After-Wedding Brunch?

After all the excitement from the day prior, you should prepare the happily married couple to mingle with guests and say goodbye to those who travelled near and far to celebrate the occasion. "This post-wedding event allows another chance for a couple to make their rounds and ensure that they can spend quality time with everyone before they head back home," says Williams. The wedding day is packed with overwhelming joy and excitement, but it is not uncommon that there are a handful of your guests you would have liked to have spent a little more time with—this event allows you to do just that, all while revelling in the prior night's festivities.

Should There Be A Parting Gift For Attendees?

Guests often get so caught up in the wedding day frenzy that they forget to pick up their wedding favour. We love to bring the wedding favours from the night before to the post-wedding brunch, so any guests who forgot or misplaced their parting gift will have the opportunity to receive one," says Piland. "Most of the guests will already be packed for their departure directly after the brunch, so we don't encourage an additional parting gift for the guests as it may inconvenience them after," she says.

Should Your After-Wedding Brunch Have A Dress Code?

Typically, the dress code for your wedding will set the tone for the after-wedding brunch that follows the next day. When in doubt, address the desired brunch attire on your invitations. While a drop-in or buffet-style brunch will likely err on the casual side, a garden party–inspired brunch may require guests' Sunday best.

What are some after-wedding brunch menu options?

"Local favourite brunch items are always a must," Piland says. "For instance, in Charleston, we are known for our shrimp and grits, chicken and waffles, and biscuits. Guests love to get to know the area, and this is a great way to show off some of the special parts of your wedding location."

Another way to diversify your brunch spread is by setting up stations that offer an elevated take on brunch favourites. Williams recommends a biscuit or bagel bar, an interactive omelette or crepe station, or a waffle bar. While coffee and juice are considered essential, she suggests including "a few fun 'adult' options like a build-your-own mimosa bar or Bloody Mary bar."

What are some tips for planning a post-wedding brunch on a budget?

Extending the post-wedding brunch invitation to everyone is a good way to play it safe, but another meal for 100 or more can be expensive, so be selective with offerings to keep the cost low. If your aim is a quick hug before everyone heads to the airport, limit the choices to coffee and tea, juice, pastries, and fresh fruit that your loved ones can easily grab (and even take with them in the car).

5 Steps To Planning An After-Wedding Brunch 

Once you've decided a post-wedding brunch will be part of your wedding weekend, here's how to start planning it.

Put Someone In Charge Of Planning The Brunch.

While the newlyweds are expected to play hostess at their post-wedding brunch, it's up to them if they want to bring in outside help. For example, they may decide to divvy up responsibilities with parents or hire a wedding planner. "While hosting multiple events over the weekend is fun, it can be very taxing if you cannot depend on someone to assist you," Williams says. "It is so nice to wake up the morning after your wedding and walk right into a turnkey brunch event." A wedding planner will be ready to assist with communication with the venue and caterer to the final guest count and morning-of setup.

If you're unable to hire a wedding planner, consider hosting your brunch at a venue with an in-house event manager who has access to necessary rental items like tables, chairs, linens, china, glassware, and flatware.

Decide On A Location.

As for the setting, you can rent a restaurant, hold it at your wedding hotel or, of course, in a house. Pick a site that allows you to collaborate with an event planner who can help you personalise the menu and decor.

Be sure to select a location that's convenient for family and guests. "Since most of your guests will be stopping into the brunch on their way out of town, make sure the location you choose is either walkable from the hotels you have blocks set up with or even in the hotel that a majority of your guests are staying," Williams says. She suggests "choosing a location that can accommodate at least 75 per cent of your overall guest list, not 75 per cent of your expected guest list."

Select A Time For Your Brunch

Generally speaking, your brunch will occur either in the early afternoon (if your wedding reception runs late into the night) or in the morning (perfect for guests who need to hit the road). "Keeping in mind that many of your guests will need to pack or check out before coming to your brunch is courteous, so we suggest a drop-in time of 10 a.m to 12 p.m. to make sure you are appealing to a majority of those who will be travelling," Williams says.

Create The Guest List

If you're keeping the guest list small, either include an insert in the invitations destined for only the guests in question or send out an invite to more easily track RSVPs. Not inviting everyone? Then don't put the brunch on your wedding website. The rest of your guests might assume they're also invited or will be hurt to find out there's more to the party and they're not included. If you've got a room block at a hotel with a restaurant, don't host your brunch in the main dining room. Instead, opt for a private room or have your brunch off-site to avoid awkward moments when those you didn't invite show up for breakfast and dine at the next table.

Plan The Menu

Whether you opt for a rolling buffet-style brunch, made-to-order entrees, or carb-filled pastries (think a doughnut wall, homemade Pop-Tarts, and flaky croissants), you should have something to satisfy every palate. "We think this is a great time for couples to showcase their personalities and breakfast/lunch favourites, or even focus on some of the famous regional dishes that may be popular where they are getting married," Williams says.

Conclusion

So, you've just finished celebrating your wedding, and now it's time for the post-wedding brunch. But what do you serve? What kind of décor should you go with? How do you make sure everything goes smoothly? We're here to help! In this post, we'll give you all the tips you need to throw a fabulous post-wedding brunch that will have your guests raving about how much fun they had. 

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