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Your Ultimate Post-Wedding Party Checklist

The "I dos" may be over, but the party doesn't have to be.

Contributing Writer
Photography by: Millie Holloman

After the excitement of the wedding day, it's an awesome idea to unwind at a casual get-together the next morning or afternoon with a select group of family and friends. You can chat more intimately with guests who—especially if it was a big wedding—you barely acknowledged and thanked amid the hubbub of the reception. A day-after bash also gives you more time to talk to loved ones you rarely get to see, as well as your partner's relatives (your new family!). Here's what you need for a good time after the main event.


After-Party Ideas for Your Wedding

Decide on what kind of get-together to have.

A typical day-after celebration is a brunch, since it takes place early in the day, which is convenient for guests who have to travel long distances to get home. Besides a brunch, a barbecue is another popular choice. 


Make up a guest list.

If you want an intimate affair, just invite close family members, the bridal party, and out-of-owners. There's no need for a formal invitation, but do print up a separate card to include with their wedding invite.


Pick a place.

Restaurants, cafés, hotels, private homes, and backyards are popular venues for this type of celebration. If many of the guests are staying at a particular hotel, it's considerate to host the meal there.


Figure out who will pay.

The bride's parents traditionally foot the bill, but if you can swing it, you and the groom should offer to pay. Sometimes close friends or family members like an aunt or grandparent offer to host, as a way of contributing to your wedding in a special way.


Who Pays for What for the Wedding?

Set a time.

Since many out-of-towners may have to travel a considerable distance to get home, plan to have your event start by noon at the latest.


Think about the menu.

If your event is at a restaurant, the menu will be set, which will simplify things for you. If you're holding it at a private home, have the meal catered. Don't expect your mom to do the work—she had a big day, too, and will appreciate someone else doing the cooking! If you want classic brunch food, serve waffles, pancakes, and eggs. But you don't need hot entrees—bagels, muffins, and pastries are fine, too.


Hire a cleanup crew.

At a home party, do the host a favor and get someone else to clean the dirty dishes and collect the trash.


Keep it simple.

You don't need assigned seating, decorations, or a dress code. Let guests come and go as they please—some may be nursing hangovers and want to sleep in. Just be sure to give guests a time range, as in "Meet us for brunch any time between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. in the hotel restaurant." 


Plan your outfit.

You could keep rocking the bridal theme and wear all white or go cute and comfy in a "Just Married" tee and jeans. 


Get Our Detailed Post-Wedding Party Checklist

About the Author

Nancy Mattia

Though Nancy has been writing about weddings for years, she admits that watching a bride walk down the aisle—even on TV—still makes her tear up. The New York-area writer's other favorite wedding moments are when the groom sees the bride for the first time, hearing the toasts, and when she sees a waiter with a tray full of hors d'oeuvres walking towards her. 


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