Is having brunch the day after the wedding a THING now? And who gets invited?

July 2 |
Brunch!
Photo by Gabrielle Touchette
When did post-wedding brunches become a thing?

My parents are insistent that we have a brunch the morning after. Future husband and I are pretty ambivalent, but since they have offered to pay, we are inclined to do it.

How do I keep such an event low-cost and low-key?

And who should be invited to this thing? Everyone? Just family?

Any and all advice would be much appreciated!

-Anonymous

We're never convinced that ANYTHING needs to be "a thing," but post-wedding brunches do have a purpose: they provide you some sweet, quieter time to spend with out-of-town guests, separate from the hectic blur of your wedding day. Here are a few quick tips:

  • You can invite anyone you'd like to attend — family might expect an invite, but your attendants may not.
  • Keep things easy by doing a buffet and saying "brunch will be available between X and Y o'clock." If it's a come-and-go event, it'll feel casual and fun.
  • As long as it isn't the sort of "everyone sit around the table" type thing, that keeps it pretty low key.
  • Buffets are nice like that, and with breakfast food can be relatively inexpensive.

Certainly brunch the morning after doesn't need to be "a thing" [insert ominous music], but if it's something that fits into your schedule and budget, it can be a really sweet wind-down to a wedding weekend.

Are you doing a brunch after your wedding? Who's invited? And, most important question: WHAT ARE YOU SERVING?! We're hungry.

  1. After-wedding brunch is a pretty common tradition down here in the south. Of course, it's usually at the parents of the bride's house, and it's close family and friends only. It's a nice way to have more time with out of town family.

    4 agree
  2. We did a brunch after our wedding for just the guests staying at the hotel with us (mostly my family and the bridesmaids). It was really nice and I'm glad we did it.

    6 agree
  3. My family ALWAYS has a brunch-type thing the morning after. We even have it without the bride or groom if they have other things to do :) It is usually at the parent of the bride or groom's house and leftovers are served along with whatever else people want to bring or a cold cut try. It is mostly so people can catch up and visit without the stress of a wedding day.

    For my wedding we had a camping event and my husband and his groomsmen cooked breakfast for all of the guest who stayed the night. It was not expensive and it was super low-key with people in their PJs and hung over.

    9 agree
  4. We did a brunch the next day for out of town guests (we had a lot of them!) and close family and friends. Turned out that 130 people were at the wedding and 80 were at the brunch. The brunch was awesome! Very low key, relaxed. I think everyone enjoyed it. We had a buffet and also served all our left over fruit (which were used as our centerpieces the night before) and all our leftover cupcakes and candy bar. We opened our gifts in front of everyone, made some speeches. I do not regret the brunch at all. It was a really nice way to cap off the night before and say thank you to everyone and spend some more time with people.

    5 agree
    • I forgot to mention, we did our brunch at the same place where we had the wedding so they gave us a deal. They put out a full spread with bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs, toast, pancakes, mimosas, coffee and tea, juice, cereal……all the usual breakfast stuff. For 80 people, the brunch bill was about $500….well worth the price.

      2 agree
  5. It's a great idea! We had brunch the morning after our wedding, but it was really informal and low-key, which was perfect after all the craziness (and fun) of the day before. We stayed at the same hotel as our guests and a very small group of out-of-town friends joined us at our favorite restaurant in Columbia, MD (Victoria Gastro Pub!!) We would have loved it if my husband's family could have joined us so we could spend more time with them, but they had a very long drive ahead of them that day.

    1 agrees
  6. We loved our brunch! We did it at my parents house and had a crepe buffet. It was easy and relaxed and super delicious, and our guests seemed to love it! We invited everyone, but out 120 people, less than 40 or so came. I've been to one where they did bagels and pastries, which was very nice, but my husband is kind of opposed to carb-y food like that, so we came up with crepes as a way to have hot, fresh, "real" food quickly, without too much effort.

    1 agrees
  7. I don't know when they became a 'thing', but we had one with my immediate family and loved it (our wedding was also over Father's Day weekend, so it was sort of expected that we see the family again). Even the most relaxed weddings are hectic at times, so having a chance at quality conversation and reflection so soon after the festivities was really nice. Brunches can also be a great way to get rid of leftover food if the event was personally hosted, though we brunched at our reception location and enjoyed yet another round of delicious food: lobster BLTs and bloody marys.

    1 agrees
  8. I'm holding the line on the morning-after brunch. I'm not the world's most sociable person, and while I'm sure the wedding will be so much fun, it'll take a lot out of me. I love my family and friends, but I don't feel totally relaxed around them. I'm expecting to need Sunday to recover. My mother has given me an open invitation to brunch. We can go if I feel up to it, but nobody is expecting us to play host.

    We have a lot of family coming in from out of town, and each of our families is hosting a casual dinner for their side on Friday night. We'll split up so we can attend both of those. Then our immediate families will be together on Saturday afternoon to set up the wedding site. So I think we'll have plenty of time to see everybody.

    9 agree
    • I'm the same way. The day after is for relaxing & recouping, not socializing. Don't people feel hung over (whether they drink or not) after their wedding? There's no way I'd have the energy or will to hang out with my family a second day lol the perks of being an introvert

      1 agrees
  9. I guess we kinda had an impromptu brunch with some of our wedding guests the morning after the wedding.
    I was hungover but the hotel we stayed at included breakfast so we joined any of our guests that stayed at the hotel (mainly my family) for breakfast/brunch the next morning in the hotel restaurant

    1 agrees
  10. Why couldn't you just reserve a room at a restaurant, and then pay the entire bill? That seems like it might be a lot cheaper/easier than hiring a caterer, and you won't be paying for a lot of food that might not get eaten if people don't wake up early enough to make it.

    9 agree
  11. It's definitely a thing in my family if you get married on Saturday. Seeing as we are getting married on Sunday morning/midday, not a thing at our wedding. We're having an out of towners pizza party the night before and we will arrange to make sure that there is some sort of breakfast in a space our out of town family can have breakfast together on Sunday, but we will be getting ready.

    1 agrees
  12. Where I am and among my Mum's circle, the brunch following the wedding is traditionally hosted by the groom's family and I think it's generally close friends and family, sort of an additional bonding thing and sort of the equivalent of the rehearsal dinner.

    In our case, my parents hosted (dude's family was not invited or involved). We had some out-of-town guests so it was an extra chance to see them and spend a bit of time with them. I also invited close friends. It meant the dude and I didn't have to make breakfast before we hit the road either. We also opened wedding gifts then although if I had it to do over, I probably would have done that privately at another time.

    Being as it's brunch, making it low key and low cost is not too hard. Look up some recipes online that can be made in large quantities, made ahead and then just thrown in an oven in the morning. Or overnight crockpot recipes. Easy enough to have one or two warm dishes. Then some fruit, toast/bread, some spreads. We had an egg and salmon bake, fruit, breads, jams and such, and liver pate (which my poor husband thought was oddly coloured nutella until he ate some). Everything was come-and-go so people knew the window of time for them to show up and then we left when we were ready to hit the road. Everyone else could stay or go. It was at my mum's house and people were welcome to go to the back yard but there were so few of us that we were pretty much in the living room and dining room.

    Everyone knows you're tired and not putting on a big production, so it's much more relaxed. I've also been to one that was a bbq and ended up being lunch more than brunch. But again, quite relaxed, no need to entertain, just provide some food, some chairs, and some space.

    1 agrees
  13. We did brunch at a restaurant after our wedding–just our closest friends and wedding party, no relatives, and it was AMAZING.

    It was so, so nice to just have more time with people we don't get to see on a regular basis. If it's low-key, casual, and someone else does the washing up? Completely worth considering.

    0 agree
  14. I've noticed that this IS a thing 1.) in high-end weddings where 2.) most of the guests are from out-of-town and 3.) the couple is leaving for their honeymoon in the afternoon or later on. I think it's pretty customary for a wedding where there are a lot of out-of-town guests for there to be a casual get-together meal, just as a "Hey, thanks for flying across the country to watch me kiss this person and dance a little."

    7 agree
  15. My husband and I didn't have one, even though my mother wanted one! Thing was, we didn't have as many out-of-the-country guests as we originally thought.

    We ended up camping out in a coffee-shop the next day, and people dropped in to see us if they could. We went on honeymoon that evening. It all worked out pretty well.

    0 agree
  16. We did a brunch, too, at our budget self-catered wedding weekend (actually, we did a brunch and an evening picnic, as we got married on a Friday and asked our guests, almost all of them from out of town, to hang out for the whole weekend if they could). It was so nice to have relaxed extra time with our guests. It can be super inexpensive and easy. We did egg casseroles/strata, which are cheap, pretty minimal in effort and still tasty.

    Most of the weddings I've attended, from the budget to the high end, have had some kind of brunch. In our family it is traditional to open gifts, but we didn't. I've also been at brunches held in the hotel where we were staying – at one, there were bagels, fruit and yoghurt ordered from the hotel catering service, at another, folks could just grab their breakfast from the nearby restaurant or coffee shop and then we all hung out in a space in the lobby. I think potluck picnics would be super fun, too.

    I've also been to a few weddings that had many out of town guests and no brunch, and I've often heard the couples who got married say that their biggest regret was not having planned more time with the guests by having a brunch, a rehearsal dinner, or something similar.

    0 agree
  17. Concerning many of the out of town weddings I had attended brunch as more of a stumble into affair than anything else. Typically in the hotel, when people are checking out are just naturally congregating with one another in the lobby and decide to sit down for a bite. Or the family of the bride sees you as you're strolling through the omelet buffet and wave you over to their table.

    0 agree
  18. We're likely going to have a farewell brunch. Staying at a hotel for the wedding makes this easy, since sometimes you can get a free breakfast for your stay. For people who didn't stay, picking up their tab isn't all too difficult.

    We'll have our parents, out of town guests and wedding party members at ours. And we'll open the gifts at that time.

    0 agree
  19. Just curious about people's opinions on this. We are having a really nice rehearsal dinner for all out of town guests and reception with open bar etc. Is it absolutely necessary we pay for the Sunday Brunch? We were probably going to do something more informal. There are serveral really great restaurants within a block of our hotel and we were thinking about just letting people know that we'll (B&G and immediate family)be brunching at a particular place and if they want they are welcome to join us. This has been the case with several of my fiance's friends weddings… All of the friends get together to catch up before leaving town. I just don't want to increase the cost of the wedding any more at this point…So, what's yall's opinion? Is it inappropriate to not pay for the brunch if its expressed that it's just a casual affair?

    0 agree
    • To me, at least, the time with people is more important than how much money they have spent on them, and just like a lot of our guests are kinda strapped, we're not exactly rollin' in the ducats either. If my folks handle the rehearsal dinner (pizza or BBQ at our local favorites), and we do the day of meal (soup and bread buffet) with his folks helping via sweets, I don't think it unfair to make "optional brunchfest" a pay-if-you-go scenario. That's the way a lot of my father's family does funeral/bereavement meals simply because there are so damn many of them! It's rare that all of us can even fit in the same restaurant, let alone all agree on a place. :)

      1 agrees
    • I hear you. We're already paying for the rehearsal dinner and all the reception food ourselves – brunch is just too much to handle financially. Our house is not big enough to handle our 85 guests, so we can't do it ourselves. (And honestly, I feel NO inclination to cook for that many people the morning after my wedding – I'm getting married this weekend and I've been cooking and prepping and running around as is. I don't have enough friends and family in my city to ask them to help.) There are few brunch places in my city that can accommodate that many people, so that is not an option either.
      What we ended up doing is saying, "We'll be at the hotel at 10AM Sunday morning for brunch. You can join us if you'd like." Everyone pays for their own.
      It seems like most of the people on this thread feel like paying for brunch is necessary, but while I have been to many weddings with brunches the day afterward, I have never been to one where the bride and groom picked up the tab for it.

      0 agree
  20. Let's see, at my sister's wedding, many family came from out of town, and my parents lived local to the wedding. There was no planned brunch, but all the out of town guests stopped by before they left and we fed them leftover wedding cake.

    At my partner's brother's wedding, a few of us simply decided to meet up to brunch together the next day. It was family just spending more time together. Everyone paid their own way.

    0 agree
  21. W had family events all week before our wedding, some did not want to have anything to do the day after. However, my husbands nana planned a brunch for people the next day, and she was really hurt when we said we weren't going to attend. Keep in mind, we weren't consulted about this, or about the time, and we are not morning people. We told everyone that we would make an appearance if we could, but weren't promising anything, or if it would happen. If it had been in the evening, we would have been more likely open to the idea, but weddings are tiring (!) and we wanted some time, just the two of us, where we didn't feel like we needed to face plant in to the nearest bed.

    0 agree
  22. Ehh, I'm very on the fence. I appreciate the sentiment, but we want to do an after-party, and I can see myself being completely burnt out the next day. Plus, the restaurants in my area tend to be PACKED for Sunday brunch, so a wander-in-wander-out affair wouldn't work so well.

    0 agree
    • That would be my concern as well. We got home after 2 am after our wedding and were completely KNACKERED the next day. We were just completely useless. I can't imagine having to get up at a reasonable hour and be social the day after the wedding.

      2 agree
      • Yup, I was miserable at mine!

        We were up until 2 a.m. that Sunday morning and then had to get checked out of the hotel and be ready to socialize with people AGAIN by 10 a.m. Seriously – so miserable!! At one point I totally called a time out by bursting into tears and retreating to another room at the home where our brunch was being hosted. I would never have wanted a brunch, but my husband was the last in his family to get married and all of his siblings had one thrown by the same group of friends of the family and they insisted on one for us. I knew it was a terrible idea just looking at our weekend schedule, but there are some battles to pick and that wasn't one. My new brother-in-law making crude jokes about why we didn't sleep much was equally awesome.

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  23. My friend did this for all of the guests who had traveled to come to the wedding. It was really nice because I'd come all that way and hadn't seen her in so long, so it was nice to hang out again in a more relaxed setting before I had to go back home. It was just a low key buffet type deal at her father's place.

    0 agree
  24. We did an informal brunch, after all. I was thinking I would like to have breakfast with people the morning after, but we never set anything up. The night of the wedding, my immediate family and close family agreed to meet the next day before we took all off. We just met at a restaurant and paid our own way. (I'm not sure this is an old enough 'tradition' for anyone to complain about who pays!)
    Because of the weather and some other circumstances, not every one was able to make it, but we had about a dozen people all together. It was very relaxed, and just an awesome way to end the weekend.

    0 agree
  25. We are doing an informal brunch the morning after with only parents, siblings, their spouses and my maid of honour who counts as a sibling (I have two full sets of parents/siblings) which makes up 15 people. Future Mister's parents have offered to host because we will not be having a rehearsal dinner. We've rented a room used for community organizing at a little coffee shop/brunch place and it will be really low key.

    I couldn't get my head around having it for all of the out of town guests since that makes up 85% of our wedding guests and we are already having/paying for a party for them to come to. Various sides of the family will be hosted by their respective parent-relations at different points in the week – so they will get some visiting/being appreciated time.

    0 agree
  26. Yes! We are. But it's partially because we're having a day-after hike (because the hike between the ceremony and reception won't be very long), and I felt the need to include people who can't hike (read: my grandma, I'm having brunch so my grandma doesn't feel left out). I think we're going to keep it low-key and just have some Costco muffins and goodies from Trader Joe's.

    Not sure who's invited yet. It's generally on our website, but I have a feeling that only out of town guests and really close friends will show up, which is fine with me.

    0 agree
  27. We're not having brunch. Rather, we're having a day after pool party barbecue! My family is pretty famous for holding great pool parties at our home. This way, we don't have to pay for the venue, and all the food is cheap and what everyone likes- hamburgers and hotdogs.

    1 agrees
  28. We're having a brunch because our wedding is going to be held in the country at an accommodation place, so everyone will be staying on site. Our wedding is only small (between 30-40 people), so we're doing a bbq brunch the next morning before everyone heads off. As other people have said, I can imagine the wedding itself will be a bit chaotic and blurry so it will just be a nice time to chill out with people in my sweatpants and t-shirt rather than worrying about spilling food on my beautiful dress!

    0 agree
  29. I'm extremely tempted to have a bagels & juice "open house" type brunch the next morning for whoever wants to come. Possibly even bloody mary's depending on how wild it gets the night before :) A majority of our guests will be coming from way out of town and staying in hotels with continental breakfasts so between that and most likely heading for home that day I'd say most won't make it over but a few might for a last goodbye and we can have some extra, laid back time with those who do come by. I'm much more excited about doing this than a "rehearsal" dinner the night before, no matter how laid back it might be. All the pressure is off and everyone can talk about how much fun they had (or didn't have).

    0 agree
  30. we are having an after wedding brunch- there will be several people from out of town still around Sunday morning, and what a better time to have brunch?!! we are getting quiches from Whole Foods and fruit salads, and possibly Krispy Kreme donuts if we can convince someone to go get them ;)

    1 agrees
  31. Where I come from, the bridegroom's family is expected to throw a welcome dinner/party for the bride when she comes to stay.

    But it's never a 'thing'- but just something that people did back in the day when things were laid-back – relax & hang around after the hectic activity of the day before.

    0 agree
  32. We have relatives of mine who are going to do this for us, except that I've had to give RSVP numbers and tell people that it is strictly two hours only – it's not very relaxed and considering how much we are desperate for a sleep in, this means we have to get up really, really early. Turns out it's a big production and the very last thing we want to do on our only honeymoon day.

    Wish we didn't have to hold it. But when someone else is hosting, it's really hard to tell people 'please don't'.

    0 agree
  33. We did a brunch after our wedding last month, and I'm so glad we did. It was specifically for out-of-towners — since people had traveled so far to be with us, we wanted to be able to spend at least a little time with them. (Doing the math: 4 hour reception = 240 minutes. 240 minutes/160 adult guests = 1.5 minutes/guest).
    The brunch was really nice and relaxing. We did it at a Mexican restaurant just a couple blocks from the hotel where a lot of the guests were staying. It wasn't super expensive – the total bill for more than 30 guests was about $400, which my husband I split equally. We just let people order off the menu (they had a big breakfast menu), and we negotiated free apps and inexpensive mimosa pitchers with the restaurant. We also got a quote from the hotel, and it was $30 per head base, so with the auto gratuity and tax and stuff it would have easily gone past $1,000.
    It really was a good time, much slower paced and more relaxed than the reception itself. Plus, the cousins who took the trouble to come to our wedding from out of town were generally our favorite relatives! It was really nice getting a chance to hang out with my husband's favorite cousin, and get the lowdown on how my favorite cousin wound up kissing one of my bridesmaids, and just generally rehash the wedding with a bunch of people who were there.
    So yeah, I'm really glad we were able to do a brunch, and it was definitely worth the $400.

    0 agree
  34. V and I are having a brunch wedding, so the next-day get together is going to be a lunch in the park. The wedding is a more formal, indoor affair, so the lunch is going to be low-key–Mexican food made by my family, beer brewed by a close friend, and a dessert food truck! Basically, all the homegrown, quirky things we couldn't fit into the wedding itself. I'm as excited for the lunch as I am for the wedding!

    0 agree
  35. We did one. We were planning on a weekend wedding anyway, so a meal on Sunday was kind of expected. The spread was out for an hour, people could come in and eat at their leisure. We opened our gifts, and his best man tried to read his speech that he couldn't get through the night before. It was a nice way to wrap up the events of the weekend. If we hadn't been at camp, we probably would have had it at my mom's house with the same informal feel. I always assumed this was a thing, as I remember my uncle having one when he got married when I was in middle school.

    0 agree
  36. Friends of mine are getting married in November, and there is going to be a brunch at the hotel we're all staying at the following morning, except we have to pay for ourselves. The bill for attending this wedding is really growing.

    0 agree
  37. We're getting married in the country where my fiance is from, with just our immediate family. The morning after the wedding we're having brunch with the 10 people who stayed at the same lodge as us, and those staying at other hotels are joining us – that bit I think is normal, and it's a B&B so no one is paying extra!

    For our reception in England, we're staying at a 2 room B&B next to the village hall, where then-husband and I will have breakfast, then walk over to the hall and take down the decorations. My parents have offered to have close friends and family over for lunch later that day though, so we'll do the same as our engagement party where 5 of us made a big dish each and it'll be very informal!

    And then..wow we'll need to sleep I think. Some alone time!

    0 agree
  38. We're kind of but not really doing a brunch… anyone who stays overnight at the venue (it's a bed and breakfast) gets free hot breakfast in the morning, and those who choose not to stay can come back and pay $10 for their breakfast.

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  39. So my uncle (really my dad's cousin) has offered to host a day after luncheon. Any left over booze from the wedding and family will make loose meats (sloppy joes).
    I have decided that family and bridal shower are invited. I think that will be about 60 people if EVERYONE comes but I also doubt everyone will come. A lot of people want Sunday to pack or sight see and leave for work on Monday so I'm not too stressed

    0 agree
  40. I never heard of it as a Thing or tradition, just common sense. But isn't that how The Rehearsal Dinner started too?
    All these people flew or drove to see you and each other and some have met and partied together. You all need to eat the next morning and not too early – so brunch is perfect.

    We ended up having a brunch pool party at his uncle's place, which was baout 20 minutes from our hotels. Leftovers were set out and some deli trays and fruit trays and – magically from somewhere – a bar.

    Friends who came from overseas got to spend more time with us and their new friends. We got to talk to family, not just the make the rounds. And recover.
    No RSVP, nothing formal. We kinda guessed how many would make it based on their travel plans. Most of my family was heading back out the day after the wedding but several came for a bit and a bite before going to the airport.

    Our wedding was a little more formal – dress and catered – so having a totally casual, hang out, unstructured time to see our friends and family was amazing. Some of the best memories came from the "brunch".

    0 agree
  41. When my mother started asking about a brunch I let her know I wasn't able to plan anything else, but she could if she wanted to. It ended there:) Our parents were able to make private breakfast plans with a few very long distance friends (everyone had to travel). Meanwhile, I got to wake up slowly, revel in not having anymore events, and sit outside sipping coffee with friends as they stumbled out of their cabins. It allowed more one on one time with specific people than a brunch would have.

    0 agree
  42. We asked the hotel where we booked a block of rooms if they had a space for a casual brunch and they gave us a space for free for the day after. We aren't telling everyone about it until closer to the date, so there is less pressure and we'll get more of a roving group, than anything formal. We are just bringing in bagels and coffee and hoping to get a little extra time with out of town guests.
    We started off stressing about it, but it turned out really easy to set up! I'm looking forward to the chance to relax after the big day.

    0 agree
  43. We had the most low key post-wedding brunch possible and it was well worth the small amount of time it took. While we tried to spend at least a few minutes with everyone at the wedding, it was so important for us to have a bit of time to hang out post wedding with whoever could stop by. Because we kind of eschewed a wedding shower (we used it as a fun work party to do the centerpieces), we used the post wedding brunch to open presents. As we opened presents, someone kept a list of the presents and the giver so that we could remember who to send thank-you cards to. We did it open house style where people were told to stop by anytime between 11:00 am and 1:30 pm. It was hosted by our dear friend Sarah. She provided all of the servingware, OJ, water and tea, and a nice clean house with decorations from the wedding. We pre-ordered two platters of pastries from a bakery and two platters of bagels with all the fixings from a local bagel place along with a few things of coffee from Starbucks. We had other friends pick up the food so Sarah wouldn't have to spend the morning setting up AND picking up food. It was also nice that we had a hard end time because he were flying off to our honeymoon. Everyone loved it and it was completely low cost and low maintenance. I think we spent about $80 altogether.

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  44. Nearly all of our family was in from out of town, and our parents met for the first time the weekend of our wedding. We all went out for breakfast the next day (IHOP — this was a Monday morning, so it wasn't crowded) so that everyone had more time to hangout.

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  45. We did a variation of the day-after brunch and invited everyone to the beach. It ended up being one of my favorite memories from my wedding. We filled one cooler with left-over food from the wedding and another with left-over beverages. It was very informal. I was worried that I would be too exhausted since the wedding after-party went until 5:30 am, but the beach was the perfect place to relax with a lot of people that I cared about. Since there was no cost involved, I invited everyone that was invited to the wedding. About 130 people attended the wedding and about 55 were at the beach the next day. This provided me with an opportunity to spend time with people that I did not get to talk to much at the wedding as well.

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  46. I knew from the get-go I wanted a post-wedding brunch. I was surprised that it wasn't that common in certain places, it seemed so logical! It brings me comfort that it's common down South, that should make things a lot easier!

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  47. Day-after brunch has always been a tradition in my family. Typically with just immediate family and out of town family, at the parents-of-the-bride's home, and that's when the present opening happens (with a designated person to write down who gifted what, once the big party is over). I love this tradition. It's a calm place to land and get your bearings after all the excitement, and a nice send-off to keep the wedding feeling going just a little longer.

    0 agree

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