It has been said many times that your wedding day is going to fly by and you will arrive at the end of the evening both exhausted and wondering where the day has gone. This is, in most cases, completely true and many a wedding couple have rued not being able to spend more time with their guests, many of whom will have travelled huge distances to be there.
One way to overcome this is to have a wedding brunch the day after your wedding (this obviously only works if you aren't leaving for your honeymoon straight away). Having a brunch will give you a chance to relax with some of your guests and have a proper catch-up, without the pressure of your wedding day bearing over you. It can also be a good time to open wedding presents, and maybe even look at the video of the wedding that Uncle Bob videoed.
The fantastic thing about a wedding brunch is that it can be as relaxed or as formal as you want. Most people prefer to go the relaxed route - they have already done the formal stuff the day before and prefer just to chill out with their friends and family.
To keep it relaxed, most couples opt to have the brunch at one of their parent's houses or at a family friend's house (this can be a great "gift" from the family friend to the couple). There is no strict rule as to who should host it and these days, people tend to be more relaxed and it is often at the person's house which is best suited to hosting that number of guests.
Remember, the guests are going to be keen for it to be relaxed, so the venue doesn't have to be "perfect" - your guests won't be judging the quality of the venue or the food!
This is completely up to you and will most likely depend on the number of people that you had at the ceremony and reception as well as the size of the venue where you are having the brunch. If a lot of your guests have come from out of town or overseas, it is a great way to have a proper catch up with them before they head back home. If you have had a relatively small wedding, there is no harm in inviting everyone. If you had a larger wedding, you may just wish to invite immediate family and close friends.
HOW DO WE INVITE THEM?
How you invite people will depend on who you are inviting to the brunch. For example, if you are inviting everyone that attended the ceremony and reception, you can let people know about it in the initial invitations. If you are going to be a bit more selective, you can either slip an additional card into certain people's invitations (which gives the details of the brunch) or even send them something as casual as an e-mail inviting them.
The formality of the invitation should reflect the formality of the brunch itself - if you are planning on having a relaxed brunch (as most people do), the invite can be equally as relaxed.
To help with the catering duties, it is a great idea to get people to RSVP for the brunch. Some of your guests will have to head home soon after the wedding or have something else on so won't be able to make it. This leads us onto the next topic.
Whether you are having 20 or 70 people to your brunch, this is likely to be more than you (or your parents) have had to cater for before. Don't fret, however, as it's not as difficult as you may think.
One of the brilliant things about having brunch is that you can be extremely flexible with the type of food that you offer. To keep it nice and simple, many people will have a BBQ. This is an easy way to cater for a large group of people - just grab some sausages, steak, bacon and chicken thighs and slap them on the BBQ - nothing could be more simple (and tasty)! You can supplement this with bread and some salads. This also has the advantage of soaking up some of the excess alcohol consumed the night before!
Other foods that are easy to make for a large number of people include garlic prawns, corn fritters, pancakes, fresh fruit/fruit salad, waffles, muffins, scones, fruit yoghurt, banana bread and French toast.
On the drinks side, a great way to make the brunch seem a bit more special is to provide some interesting drinks, such as fruit punches. These will not only be extremely refreshing, but will help with any hangovers being experienced. Coffee, tea, fruit juices and sparkling water are also good "basic" drinks to offer your guests.
If you have any alcohol left over from the night before, you can always offer it at the brunch (nothing quite like a hair-of-the-dog to get you going!).
If you are having more of a lunch than a brunch and you think that guest may way to have a drink or two, let them know that it is BYO so that they can bring what they want.
Depending on the number of guests, you may need to hire some cutlery, glasses and perhaps plates. These however are pretty cheap to hire and mean that you don't have to worry about your parent's special wine glasses being broken.