Did you have a welcome dinner/farewell brunch?

posted 3 years ago in Destination Weddings
Post # 2
Member
58 posts
Worker bee

I dont think its expected or required at all, but its a really sweet touch that Im sure your guests will appreciate! If it were me though, I would make sure to spread the word, maybe include it on your wedding website, to make sure your guests dont leave early on sunday or get there too late on friday (if you have a saturday wedding) since most of your guests are traveling.

Post # 3
Member
3960 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

khaleesi:  I don’t think it is expected, and some guests may delight in having free time to themselves to enjoy the location, especially in Florida!!

Post # 4
Member
1769 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

Because we’ll have around 100-120 ppl, we’re going to do a welcome party instead of a dinner to keep costs low.  So we’ll do it outside of meal hours (probably for 2 hrs sometime 3-6) and we’ll provide drinks and either desserts or passed appetizers.  We won’t do any decor or fuss over anythign like that.  It’s also a good time to make sure all the guests received their welcome bags & itineraries (so any leftovers will be there for ppl to pick up).

I prefer the welcome party to the day-after brunch because I’d rather not have any obligations the next day and want guests to feel free to party and stay up til the wee hours at our reception.  Welcome party also gives guests more of a chance to mingle & meet each other so the reception is more fun.  We aren’t doing a brunch.  I don’t think either is required, but it’s happened at every destination wedding (including domestic) that we’ve been to, so it’s a nice touch if you can do something w/i your budget.

Post # 6
Member
8917 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

Certainly not required.  As a frequent out-of-town guest at weddings, I’ve always very much appreciated a welcome dinner and/or farewell brunch.

The majority of our guest list flew or drove to the absolute middle of nowhere for our wedding, so we had both.  You can keep them quite cheap if you don’t mind doing a casual affair.  We had a DIY welcome BBQ for 120 (burgers, brats, a couple side dishes, kegs, wine) and a DIY bagel brunch for 100 (bagels, spreads, veggies, coffee, mimosa supplies).  The BBQ was at our wedding venue and the brunch was at the local park.  I loved being able to spend that extra time with everyone!

Post # 5
Member
1670 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I don’t think it is expected at all! We’re doing both, mostly because my FI’s family and friends are coming from Ireland to the US for our wedding, so I felt like we needed to try to throw a lot of party. 

Post # 7
Member
1566 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

khaleesi:  We’re having a welcome BBQ at my parents’ home, the rehearsal dinner, and then an informal stop-in-before-you-leave brunch the day after.

Post # 8
Member
134 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I don’t think it is ever expected. More like a lovely surprise.

We are having a farewell brunch in our home and everyone is invited. While only a portion of our guests are from out of town, some are coming from such a distance and make it here so infrequently, that it gives another chance for visiting & catching up, be it family or friends. It seems like the least we could do. I expect we will have about 50 people attend and do not expect we will spend more than $500, including alcohol (mimosa & caesar bar.)

Post # 9
Member
285 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

We aren’t doing a welcome dinner but will provide suggestions on places for people to go.

Our reception is in our backyard and we plan to spend the night at a hotel down the road while my fiance’s parents stay at our house. We are going to come home the next day and bring Panera pastries and coffee. Anyone who wants to come is welcome – open door policy. It’s also Easter Sunday so I think his mom is planning to make a small ham and we will eat wedding leftovers (which is hopefully lots of cake! 🙂 )

Post # 10
Member
8426 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

We did a welcome dinner and a thank you brunch.  I’m glad we did both.

Post # 13
Member
59 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

I don’t think it is required or expected, but that it can be a lot of fun! Most of our guest are out of town also, and we’re having a welcome dinner/bbq the night before, we might even just order pizzas!  I don’t get to see a lot of our families often, so it will be a nice way for us to get to spend more quality time with everyone. And, besides, those family members will probably want to hang out together anyways, we might as well all hang out together. 

Post # 11
Member
1157 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

khaleesi:  We are doing the same exact thing except our guest list is around 40 (so much easier!).

Our parents are co-hosting a welcome dinner instead of a rehearsal dinner since everyone is staying on-site (the beach house is our venue and accommodations).  It would be really weird for us to not include everyone because of that.  But we’re just having a cookout at the beach house!

Post # 12
Member
1048 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

khaleesi:  I didn’t do a welcome dinner, but all out of town guests were invited to the rehearsal dinner.  I had about 50 people at the rehearsal dinner (180 people wedding).  Then I had out of family invited to brunch at my house, but it was in conjunction with a house warming.

Post # 15
Hostess
8680 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

We are doing a welcome dinner, and a “going away brunch” but the brunch will NOT be catered and we are putting something like, “We invite everyone to join us for a going away brunch. Please know that this event will not be catered and everyone will be responsible for their own meal”.

Post # 14
Member
2302 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

we’re doing both – we’re having a pizzeria bring their mobile wood fired oven come to my parents home and do wood fired pizza for 50 – bridal party and out of town guests. then we’re going a day after brunch for whoever wants to stop by – will likely be the out of town guests again. it won’t be crazy fancy – we’ll get lots of croissants, bagels, a side of smoked salmon, juices, huge fruit salad, a few quiches made ahead of time and have some cookies and squares as well. 

we are like you – about 65% of the guests are travelling from out of town and i would hate if they came all that way (it’s far!) and saw us for 2 mins at the wedding.

the rehearsal dinner will likely be around 2 or 3 thousand, and the brunch should be under 1k. can be done nicely for not too much 🙂

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