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Do You Have to Offer an Open Bar at the Morning-After Brunch?

After a night of partying, guests won't be doing tequila shots.

Contributing Writer
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Photography by: J Wiley Photography

You're planning an awesome wedding reception—dancing for hours, feasting on incredible food, drinking Champagne and cocktails. To thank everyone for coming—and to squeeze one last get-together out of your wedding weekend—you've invited one and all to brunch the next day. You're keeping the event low-key and the menu light (eggs, muffins, yogurt, fruit salad, and some sweets), but you're not sure if you should spend the money on an open bar or serve a limited drinks menu. Unless boozy brunches are the norm for your crowd, having a full bar with vodka, gin, tequila and other popular liquors isn't necessary. Here are five reasons not to go all out with an open bar. 

 

What to Serve at Your First Newlywed Brunch

 

Guests won't want to drink bourbon at noon.

Most people aren't interested in a serious drink that early in the day and certainly not expecting a full array of hard liquor and mixers. They'll choose fruity cocktails, wine, and juice over Scotch and other spirits.

 

Some guests will be nursing a hangover.

After doing shots and downing lots of mixed drinks the night before, your friends may be feeling it at brunch and looking for drinks to rehydrate that don't involve liquor. Offer plenty of nonalcoholic sips like juices, iced tea, lemonade, soda, and water—and don't forget the aspirin!

 

It'll be another expense in your budget.

If your new in-laws, grandparents, or family friends will be hosting (and paying) for the brunch, the financial burden's off your credit card—but what if they're not? Your money is better spent on something wedding-related that guests will appreciate more such as custom props for the photo booth or takeout food at the after-party.

 

A signature cocktail is more special.

What will sound more inviting in the early afternoon: a vodka martini or a Marry Me Mimosa? You won't have to work to convince guests to try the drink with the fun name. Make sure the cocktail complements the menu; if you're offering light foods, the signature sip should have the same light feeling too.

 

Your loved ones will gravitate to the bar—if it's a coffee bar.

They'll appreciate some good strong joe after late-night partying. Give your crew lots of choices—besides straight-up brewed coffee, offer cappuccinos and lattes all made from freshly ground beans. You can rent everything if you're DIYing the brunch, so don't forget an espresso machine. Also it'd be practical and cute to offer personalized coffee sleeves with your names, wedding date, and a custom message ("We're the perfect blend!") Also have on hand a variety of teas for non-coffee drinkers, chai, and hot chocolate. There's no need to decorate the bar but you'll give it an instant touch of cute when you set up a small chalkboard that lists your favorite coffee flavor and his!

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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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