Couples are opting for one more chance to spend time with family and friends during a post-wedding brunch
Rare is the bride who wishes she didn't have more time to visit with close family and friends during her wedding reception. More often than not, brides relish any extra time they can share with people at a Sunday brunch that caps off the wedding weekend.
When Claire and Alex Horn-who met in college at Denison University-got married at Bryn Du Mansion in Granville in September 2014, they hosted a Sunday brunch at the Hilton DoubleTree in Newark, the hotel where most of their wedding guests were staying. While the Horns' brunch was larger than most-with about 100 guests-it still provided a chance for the couple to visit more with friends and family before everyone went their separate ways.
"It was just nice to see everyone the day after and recap some things from the night before," says Claire Horn, who lives in Bexley with her husband. "We got to say goodbye to our parents and grandparents. It was just very casual. So many people were from out of town. It just gave people a chance to complete the weekend before heading home."
Planning the brunch at the hotel was very easy, Horn says, because most of the guests were there, and they just used the brunch the hotel normally provides. The couple did have the hotel set aside a room for the couple's brunch guests, which included those staying at the DoubleTree as well as the wedding party, which stayed at the nearby Buxton Inn.
If a wedding party is staying at a hotel, it's often easy to add one more event to the weekend's festivities, says Nicole Duncan, catering and sales manager at Embassy Suites in Dublin. At Duncan's hotel, all guests receive the Embassy Suites breakfast buffet as part of their stay. Some couples choose to keep things very casual and just have friends and family gather together in a common area. Others choose to have the hotel set up a private buffet in a separate room.
"It can be as simple as setting aside one of our smaller buffet rooms and having their guests go through our regular buffet line," Duncan says. "And I've done ones where brides will open up their gifts with the families there."
While most go ahead and reserve the space, as the Horns did, the brunch details can be planned out with a little less notice, Duncan says.
"Typically, they are booked about three weeks prior," Duncan says. "We look at their numbers, and the bride gauges how much space she'll need."
If couples know they'll want a private room, she says, "you definitely want to get the space reserved." Couples planning to host a brunch in a private home and have it catered need to plan ahead whether the caterer is serving the food or dropping it off.
When Katie and Aaron Buck married in May 2014, they ended their wedding festivities with a pancake breakfast at the groom's parents' house in Hilliard.
"His mom came up with the whole idea," Buck says, adding that the family had a company called Katie's Pancakes come and set up shop in the backyard. The caterer brought all of the ingredients, the toppings, coffee and juice, and prepared everything on site.
"They flip the pancakes right onto your plate," Buck says, recalling the post-wedding, morning celebration where some of the bridal party and the couple's immediate family gathered. "It was perfect weather. It was totally relaxing. I didn't have to do anything, and I could mingle with everyone."
Heidi Hubmann and Joe Rettof chose to end their wedding weekend where it began: at Due Amici restaurant downtown, where the couple hosted their rehearsal dinner. But while the rest of the weekend was hosted by the couple, the breakfast was not. The couple just invited people to join them for brunch.
"It's a great restaurant that we love, and it was nearby," says Hubmann. "All our out-of-town guests stayed at the Renaissance Columbus." The hotel, where the couple's ceremony and reception took place, is just down the street from the restaurant. When guests checked in at the hotel, they received welcome bags that included information about the weekend, including the late-morning brunch. The couple provided the time of the breakfast and let guests know what the restaurant's menu prices ranges are, so everyone knew they would have to pay for their brunch on Sunday.
"It was a lot of fun to see everyone the next morning," Hubmann says her post-wedding brunch, where about 30 people showed up. "It was nice to hang out and chat informally in a comfortable way with mimosas."
And for the Bucks, who left for their honeymoon the next day and then moved to Chicago immediately after returning from their honeymoon, the Sunday gathering provided the couple with a few hours to breathe and not stress about anything.
"As a bride, you have so much going on on the actual wedding day," Buck says. "I think having a Sunday brunch is a great idea. It gives you one more chance to see people and visit. It's no-stress. You can just sit there and drink your coffee."
Concluding the wedding festivities with a Sunday brunch has become especially popular in the last few years.
"Everybody's just laughing about what happened the night before, sharing stories about what Grandpa did or about what someone said," Duncan says. "Many of the people are travelling and they don't see each other that often. So this gives them time to visit and enjoy more time together."