Post # 1
Hello bees. I’m getting married on Sunday of Labor Day weekend. The wedding will take place under a large tent in my dad’s neighbor’s backyard, which is about 250 yards from my Dad’s house.
We are having a large wedding (about 225 invited) because I really love all these people and love big crazy family affairs. But I know that it will make it hard to have quality time with my guests, the majoity of which are out-of-town.
We’re aready doing a welcome dinner the night before the wedding that is going to be my dad’s BBQ and a bluegrass band. We’re having the welcome dinner at the hotel where we have a block which is about a 10-15 minute walk from where we will have the wedding. The hotel is letting us use the room where they do beakfast and another larger attached banquet room.
We now want to do something like a brunch the next day so we have more time to spend with our guests. And I think it would be a nice gesture for all our out of town guests (probably 80% are an hour away or more). While the main hotel provides a (likely fairly bla) breakfast with the rooms, we want something that will be a time to visit with guests tha we didn’t get to see enough the night before.
So now I finally get to my question. What would be the best way to do this? I see several options
- My initial thought was to host something casual at the site of the wedding. We could be super basic with coffee, juice, milk, individual cereals, fruit, bages, and muffins. Or we could do it at the tent and possibly pull offf some hot food like sausage, biscuits and gravy, and scrambled eggs. I like this because it is laid back and close to Dad’s house. We wouldn’t have to worry about being out by a certain time or clleaning up by a certain time. And we coudl easily move between the house and tent. We could also start the tear down process while people are still visiting. This could be a bit pricey, but we could probably swing it.
- Another option would be to just tell everyone that we’re having breakfast at Cracker Barrel at a certain time if they want to join. We wouldn’t host (aka pay) this. I’m not sure if this would actualy be a good way to see people?
- We could do something similar at the hotel (since the breakfast will already be covered for any guests staying at that hotel) and just say when we’re going to be at the breakfast area. The things I’m concerned about this option are that the food probably won’t be very good and I’m not sure how to handle the guests who are not staying at the hotel (there are a bunch in the area).
- The last option I can think of is to try to work out something with the hotel to have our own breakfast in the adjacent room. This would improve the food and we could have everyone (even those not at the hotel). But would require us to cart all the food from dad’s house, which could be a pain.
Post # 3
We are doing the same thing. We have a large community room in our apartment complex that we reserved for the brunch and are just having a drop-in period between certain hours.
I don’t think it’s right to “invite” guests to a restaurant for a brunch and then not pay for them. As a guest, I would think it was a hosted event, and get confused when it was time to pay. If you go the hotel route, you may alienate some people not staying at the hotel (thus not being able to eat) or the hotel may actually keep track of who is a guest and who isn’t and not let everyone in the breakfast area (they’ve done this before at hotels I’ve been at, and hand you a bill if they catch non-guests eating).
Finally, just using the room at the hotel might not be an option, because a lot of hotels will force you to use their food/chef, and that usually runs at a minium, $15 per person. They’re trying to make money off of this too, so they probably won’t just give you the space to bring in outside food.
I think your best bet is to either pay for the hotel to do it in the room they’re letting you use, or back at the site where the reception is, as long as it’s not inconvenient for everyone to get back there the next morning.
Post # 4
@abbie017: That’s a good point about the hotel. I know that they’re letting us bring in our own food for dinner but they don’t offer dinner so they might not have the same policy for breakfast.
And yes, if we just did the hotel’s breakfast anyone not staying at that hotel would have to pay for their breakfast. I don’t know if we could or would want to pay for that, but that might be a possibility.
Post # 5
I like option #3. No muss, no fuss.
We did a morning-after brunch in a private room at the restaurant across the street from our hotel. It was great to see everyone one last time before they left and the brunch is one of the things we get the most compliments on from the wedding, but while I wouldn’t change anything, it was honestly kind of a hassle to coordinate. It would have been a lot easier if the hotel hosted a free breakfast where we could just meet people at a set time.
Post # 6
I think if you want to host a brunch then you should really host it, which leaves 2 options. 1. Have it at your dad’s house with a lot of yummy breakfast food or 2. Have a private room at the hotel where the hotel sets up a nice breakfast that you pay for.
Post # 7
I like the tent idea.
You can arrange ahead of time to have certain thing catered or you can just put together the food yourself.
I’d include breads, bagels, muffins, butter, cream cheese, coffee, juice, tea, milk, cream, assorted mini cereal boxes, hard boiled eggs, and some fresh fruit.
Add an egg casserole and some sausage or bacon. I might even outsource these to local family members.
Any one that lingers gets to help with cleanup!
I’d ask for an RSVP to breakfast though as a lot of people might just want to get on the road early and leave after the wedding.
Post # 8
I think you should have it at your dad’s. Tents are a fortune, I remember from our engagement party. Get the most bang for your buck! I can totally imagine a beautiful brunch in a tent!
Just a bit of advice, obviously you can take it or leave it, I would look into hiring a waitress (or waiter) for the brunch. Nobody is going to want to be cleaning the day after the wedding! You can hire one for a few hours, and she (he) will leave everything spotless!
Post # 9
Thank you all for your comments. It really helps me to think about different aspects and points.
@sportsgal31: Yeah, this is definately the easiest options which is appealing, given that I’m sure we’ll be running on pure adrenaline at that point…
@star_dust: Our real goal is to spend time with people. I don’t really care how it happens, so I don’t really need to “host” anything, but I can understand your sentiment that if you are organizing something to any degree and hoping to see people then it may be expected that you should “host”. I;ve been to weddings where at the end of the night a big group decides to go to brunch at a particular time/place and nobody has minded that they paid for their own breakfast, but it may be different if we’re thinking about things ahead of time.
@BeachBride2014: As long we keep the menu simple, I think we can pull it off! And if we do it at the tent I definately agree that we need to have people RSVP – which is why we need to decide now so we can include a little blurb on the save-the-dates.
@LMD84: Yeah, and it’s Lab Day so the tent people won’t be out to diassemble until the next day or later. And to clarify, I’m definately not expecting random guests to do clean up. It’s more like I know a bunch of people (myself, close family, some of the bridal party) will be doing stuff like taking down lights, taking down decorations, packing up furniture, etc. and if we do it at the tent people (me) can wander between working and visiting. But I may consider hiring someone to help with the brunch. Make sure food is stocked, basic clean up, etc. We’re already planning to hire a couple people for the wedding day so maybe one of htem would be interested in coming back?
Post # 10
- Wedding: April 2013 - Rhode Island
Option #1. Seems the easiest considering all your guests aren’t staying at one hotel and there’s no limits on time.
Post # 11
@JenGirl: Exactly. Someone to make sure the food and coffee stay stocked, and things don’t get messy. At a home party, I feel like a waitress is always a good investment. They let you spend more time with your guests.
Post # 12
@LMD84: An excellent point since more time with the guests is the whole point anyways!!