If you simply couldn’t get enough togetherness through your rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, wedding preps, ceremony, reception, and post-reception bar crawl, you have one more chance to see everybody. Get the band back together for a morning-after brunch.
Don’t worry, this isn’t something that needs to be done. Let’s just get that out of the way. You already have so much planning. This is entirely optional.
That said, it’s a lot of fun to get to see everybody the day after the big day. The pressure is off and you can already begin reminiscing. (“Remember that guy who was so drunk at the reception that he started knocking over all of the decorations!? Oh wait… that was the groom.”)
There isn’t one way to go about this so you can get creative and do pretty much whatever you want. In fact, you don’t even need to be there if you don’t want to be. If you’re leaving early in the morning for your honeymoon, then obviously you can’t attend. Parents or grandparents can get people together for brunch while you’re on your way to some exotic destination.
Here are some suggestions on things to think about:
Who to Invite: It’s up to you. Start with immediate family and wedding parties, then build from there. The next group to invite would be guests from out of town who haven’t left yet. Finally, if you have a manageable number of wedding guests, you could just invite everybody. They won’t all be able to come due to travel plans so the number of people will naturally whittle itself down.
How to Invite: It’s up to you. This is a lot less formal than your wedding so you can invite people in less formal ways. A phone call or email will suffice. If you want to do something a little nicer, you can have a separate small card printed and dropped into invitations. RSVPs are encouraged so you know how many to expect.
Hosting: It’s up to you. A nearby family member could host and cook… but… no. Everybody will be exhausted from the night before and it’s just cruel to ask them to throw a separate get together. Your best bets are to hold it in a restaurant, at the main hotel where your room block is, or a low cost public area like a park. Any way, you’ll want to reserve the area with the local parks department or make a large reservation, possibly for a private party room, at a restaurant/hotel.
Cooking: It’s up to you. It should be catered if it’s at a park. It can be catered or you can have people order off the menu at a restaurant. As with hosting, it’s uncool to ask your grandmother to cook for 50 people the day after your wedding.
Who Pays: It’s up to you. If the event is catered, then you or a much appreciated family member will pay. If people are ordering off a restaurant menu, then you can pay or you can have them can pay for themselves. If they’re paying their own way, make sure that’s known to them in advance.
If you’ll still be in town the morning after your wedding, consider scheduling a brunch. Everybody likes brunch. If your guests don’t like brunch then they’re just weird and you probably don’t need to see them again anyway.