The Post-Wedding Brunch: Tips to Hosting a Sweet Southern Send-Off

By: TAWP

My desk has recently become a catch-all for mimosa bar designs and the perfect accompaniments to go with shrimp-and-grits. We're planning a post-wedding brunch over here : the perfect way to wrap a wedding weekend, bid farewell to your nearest and dearest and recall favorite big-day moments over one last bloody mary. Some tips to make planning a breeze: Keep it casual. Whether it's hosted at a parent's home, the pretty waterfront deck at the hotel where your guests are staying or your favorite local brunch spot, it's nice to keep a drop-by-and-say-hi format rather than a scheduled seated meal. Since everyone will likely be heading out in different directions, this will allow guests to pop in, enjoy brunch and bid farewell at a time that works with their travel schedule. Hosting duties and cost. :belong to whoever extends the offer to host! This is usually the bride's or groom's parents, but can certainly be split between them (since everyone will be family post-wedding!). Or, it may also be hosted by another family member or friend altogether. Give your flowers an encore. Designate someone to carefully pack up those pretty arrangements after the reception (hint: a wedding coordinator comes in quite handy here!) and let them shine in round two the next morning. Planning the menu. I always suggest hosting earlier in the day so guests can pop in to say their goodbyes before heading home, and because brunch food seems to please everyone. A waffle bar, omelets and plenty of the tried-and-true southern brunch hits : biscuits, gravy, local jams, jellies and honey and shrimp & grits should do the trick! Bubbles? While alcohol isn't a necessity here, you may choose to offer mimosas or bloody marys for those who believe a southern brunch isn't complete without one or the other. Chances are if you offered an open bar the night before, there won't be many takers, anyway. Spreading the word. Include an enclosure note mentioning brunch in the wedding invitation so guests can make appropriate travel arrangements early. If you make welcome bags for guests, remind them with a note there, too! Be gracious. While busy brides and grooms may not get the chance to chat with everyone at the wedding, the day-after brunch is a relaxed, informal spot to turn on that gracious southern charm and deliver as many sweet thank yous as there are guests. :and remember, have fun with it! This is a casual, relaxed setting to say your goodbyes and hear everyone's favorite parts of wedding day before you head off to honeymoon with that brand new hubby of yours! Soak in every last second and enjoy every last sip of that mimosa. (;