49 responses

  1. Claire
    December 7, 2012

    You are actually going to “recruit” friends and family to help you clean up afterward? Why don’t you just hire a cleaning crew – isn’t that the norm for weddings? I can’t imagine guests being asked that and this is probably an area you shouldn’t go the DIY route. This is just my 2 cents – I may be completely off! 🙂

    • MissPinkKate
      December 7, 2012

      You can always hire someone- I got someone on Craigslist to come to our cake & punch reception and run around so all my guests could relax. The party is for them, after all!

      • Meghann
        December 7, 2012

        Our catering staff will be cleaning up the food and trash as the party goes on. We’ll just be there the next day for decorations and such.

      • Emily
        December 7, 2012

        We asked mostly family and a few friends to help with clean up. I guess in my community, it’s pretty common for guests (since they are family & close friends) to ask how they can help. I sent out an email with various times we’d need help, so people volunteered to help clean up if they wanted to do so. We also asked 2 of our aunts & uncles to be reception hosts and help with clean up afterwards. Pretty much everything was done in 30 minutes or so, and those who were helping seemed happy about it. I think it very much depends on the type of wedding you’re having and the community you’re inviting if asking guests to help out is appropriate or not.
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      • MealsAndMiles
        December 7, 2012

        Thank you, Emily.

    • Meghann
      December 7, 2012

      Hey Claire, I will refer you to this post: http://mealsandmiles.com/2012/07/02/wedding-a-family-of-helpers/ I have a family of helpers. After my sister’s wedding, there were 15 of us showed up at the venue the next day to help deconstruct. It was fun – we ate leftover wedding cake and it was a chance for all of us (including the bride and groom who weren’t supposed to be there but showed up since they had so much fun hanging out with us at breakfast) to hang out one last time before saying good-bye. Afterwards my dad bought everyone lunch as a thank you. My family is amazing and will be there Friday to help set-up as well. My aunt and uncles already requested the day off of work because they’re so excited to help! We’ve done the same clean-up crew set-up for every family I can remember and no one has ever complained. I would guess it’s paying it forward for other weddings that come before it (all of my older cousins are married). And no one has to help if they don’t want to. We’re not a formal traditional family, and I’m thankful every day for that.

    • Robin B
      December 7, 2012

      I agree, I think it’s kind of weird to “recruit” friends and family to help you clean up. I would sorta feel used. Although, there is one person I would most certainly help, my sister but I don’t think I would feed a group breakfast the morning after my wedding with the hopes that they would help me in return.

      • Meghann
        December 7, 2012

        We’re not counting on everyone to help. I was half- joking about recruiting everyone to help (hence the wink, wink, nudge, nudge statement). I know there will be a select group of friends and family in attendance who will help us (the same group that helped after Kelly’s). My family is the kind of family that will step up and volunteer before anyone even asks.

      • McKenzie
        December 7, 2012

        After my friends wedding, the bride and groom called me and my boyfriend the next day and asked us to go pick up all the decorations. It was so weird because we thought family or staff would do that and also because we showed up and no one else was there so we had to do it all by ourself. It was seriously bizarre!

      • Meghann
        December 7, 2012

        That is definitely bizarre, but I can promise you that will not be happening after our wedding. We have no plans of calling anyone out of the blue to help. We’re counting on volunteers, just as there were after my sister’s wedding or we plan to go and do it ourselves.

      • Julie
        December 7, 2012

        But by mentioning it, even jokingly, you are requesting help with cleaning. And people with manners probably wouldn’t complain..out loud.

    • Sara
      December 7, 2012

      I agree, Claire. It’s incredibly rude to recruit your guests to help clean up. Be an adult and do it yourself or hire someone else to do it.

  2. Natalie @ will jog for food
    December 7, 2012

    I think that’s a great idea! Our wedding was at an all inclusive in Mexico and many of our guests had to leave early in the morning to catch their flights home. So we told everyone at our wedding (all 30 of them) that if they wanted to meet us for Brunch, to meet us at the buffet at 9:00. Nobody showed up! haha!
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  3. Katie @ Talk Less, Say More
    December 7, 2012

    I’ve attended a few weddings where they have done a morning after brunch and I LOVE it! It’s a great time to see the happy couple off or just enjoy the post-wedding happiness. 🙂
    Katie @ Talk Less, Say More recently posted..Fitness Friday!

  4. Jackie
    December 7, 2012

    Meghann – I love your brother’s t-shirt. My life motto too! Do you know where he got it?

    • Meghann
      December 7, 2012

      His mother-in-law got it for him for Christmas last year. All I know is she ordered it online. Sorry!

  5. Dori
    December 7, 2012

    We’re doing a morning-after brunch at a restaurant right near our official hotel. It’s pricey but my fiance’s mom offered to pay for it, I think because the out-of-town guests are mostly on their side. Also, she is just a really sweet person. I think having the brunch at your parents’ house is a really great idea.
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  6. Gwen
    December 7, 2012

    We planned a post-wedding continental breakfast and it was so wonderful to have that extra time with people before everyone scattered again. Enjoy!
    Gwen recently posted..This Week

  7. Lindsay Margaret
    December 7, 2012

    We had a morning after brunch at the house my parents rented in Lake Placid, where we had our wedding. We bought quiches from the local grocery store and heated them up that morning, we had muffins from the baker who made our dessert buffet and ordered a special birthday coffee cake for my mom’s birthday (the next day). We also bought a ton of grapes and had those available. A lot of people stopped by for a quick bite on their way out of town and to say good bye, but I found that most people didn’t eat much, queezy stomachs could have had something to do with that.
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  8. Laura
    December 7, 2012

    wow, i cannot believe how willing your family is to help out! you are so lucky!! i would NEVER ask my wedding guests (even my family) to help clean up afterward… isn’t that what you pay people to do?! I would hate it if I had to, more than likely hungover, have to go help clean up a wedding the following morning! I would never even think to ask!! that’s awesome your family has that kind of relationship!! it seems your entire family all has a role or job for this wedding, which probably makes them feel like a bigger part of it. that’s great, and saves you a TON of work!! I’d be wary of involving family because I then feel I couldn’t voice my opinion if I didn’t like the way something was done. it seems you have a really good handle on it and have been quite explicit about what you expect from everyone! bravo to you!

    • Meghann
      December 7, 2012

      My family is amazing. At first I was wary about accepting their help, but I realized that’s what family is there for – to help. It was after my sister’s wedding that I finally realized this. Everyone was so happy to have a role in the big day, it was their way of showing their love to the bride and groom.

      • Laura
        December 8, 2012

        that’s awesome!! i wish i had family like that 🙂

  9. J
    December 7, 2012

    There are soooo many opinions on wedding etiquette that it’s really hard not to offend someone. If you’re certain that none of your guests will be upset by your actions, then by all means, do what you want. I would just be a little more cautious about pointing out things like asking guests to help clean the venue or using gifts before the wedding on your blog. I know you’re a very open person and you don’t like to censor yourself, but when you’re asking people to spend money on travel, hotel accommodations, gifts, etc., it’s probably best to err on the side of caution and not draw attention to any breach of traditional manners, even if that’s not the way you see it.

    • Meghann
      December 7, 2012

      I know it’s easy to offend people with wedding etiquette. Derek and I have never been a traditional couple, nor are our families very traditional. All of the wedding gifts I’ve used before the wedding were gifts from friends and family who encouraged us to use them before hand (my aunt even made a special note on her gift that said she sent it early so we could put the gift to use before the big day). And I said the thing about recruiting friends and family in a completely joking manner and it got a little out of hand in the comments. We’re not expecting friends and family who traveled so far to help us clean up. There were volunteers after my sister’s wedding and we’re assuming there will be for ours. We’re not expecting anything and if we clean up by ourselves afterwards, we’re totally fine with it. You’re right – I should err on the side of caution, only for fear of offending readers.

  10. Rachel
    December 7, 2012

    close family and friends and the bridal party of all the weddings i’ve been in have helped clean up – i don’t think meghann is asking her 3rd cousin twice removed to clean toilets.

    but you are very lucky you have until the next day to clean! the past 2 weddings i’ve been the party needed to be out by midnight so we were hustling to start taking out centerpieces at 11-ish
    Rachel recently posted..good tidings!

    • Meghann
      December 7, 2012

      I’m also crossing my fingers we’ll have the day before to start setting up. One of the perks of getting married in a small town where the venue owner knows the family! (everyone in Titusville knows everyone)

    • Meghann
      December 7, 2012

      And, thank you, you’re right – I will not be asking a 3rd cousin twice removed to help, only close family and friends of the bridal party who offer to help.

  11. Holly
    December 7, 2012

    Wow, I can’t believe everyone is getting crazy about this. I’ve stayed to help clean up after I don’t know how many weddings. Friends, family, whoever, I don’t even think I’ve been asked, I just asked what I could do to help. I’ve never felt used, just happy to help. And you’re so right, it has always been so much fun!

    • Meghann
      December 7, 2012

      Thank you, Holly. That’s exactly the experience I’ve had too.

  12. Natalie @ Free Range Human
    December 7, 2012

    That’s a great idea. We did something similar the morning after our wedding, and it was so nice to just hang out and visit in a relaxed atmosphere.
    Natalie @ Free Range Human recently posted..Today Is Your Day!

  13. Morgan
    December 7, 2012

    Meghann, we know your family is amazing. Mine is, too. But I would never ask them to help work, since they are guests by definition. Would they help and act delighted? Sure. But asking is something I wouldn’t do to guests, just as I wouldn’t ask someone over for a dinner party to make their own cocktail. It is about being a proper host. And it isn’t about being “traditional” it is about being polite.

    I am starting to see why you hated the Knot forums, they would have torn this apart from an etiquette perspective.

    • MealsAndMiles
      December 7, 2012

      I hated the Knot forums because they were overwhelming. I never posted in them and never had the desire to. We are not asking anyone to help, only accepting volunteers. That line was written in a joking tone.

    • Anne
      December 10, 2012

      As a former regular on the Knot Etiquette board, yup, this would not have received a warm welcome.
      As a hard and fast rule, forcing your guests to be anything but guests is considered rude. But I do understand that everyone knows their own family and what will and won’t put them out.
      Don’t worry about what everyone else says (which it sounds like you don’t anyway). 😀
      Can’t believe you’re less than a month out now!?!
      Anne recently posted..Wreathing

  14. Casey
    December 7, 2012

    Meghann, I don’t know why you get attacked so much in your comments, but you always respond so nicely. 🙂 Kudos to you! I say it’s your wedding, your family—you know both things better than anyone on here. When I was a bride in October I was clueless about everything—I didn’t know “etiquette” very well and didn’t even have a brunch the next morning b/c I just didn’t even know how to begin planning it! So I think you’ve done a good job planning everything. I think it’s nice you want to hang out with everyone the morning after, which I didn’t really get to do. In my opinion, close friends and family members won’t care about helping—and those who do, don’t have to help!

  15. CASSY
    December 7, 2012

    i helped clean up my stepbrother’s recent wedding.. just like what you are asking and I saw no problem in it.
    It was nice to reconnect. I don’t think the bride and groom were even there??
    Plus I scored some new decorations.

  16. Kara
    December 7, 2012

    You know how showers sometimes have guests address the envelopes for the thank you notes? You should see if you can get those drunk fools to write their own thank you note while at the wedding.
    Kara recently posted..Let’s make this more fun

  17. Courtney G.
    December 7, 2012

    We picked that specific hotel for our guests because they offered a free breakfast. We also hosted a catered brunch at my parents house. There were 2 parties going on that morning. It was the perfect way to end our wedding weekend.

  18. Sarah
    December 7, 2012

    We asked some immediate, local family members to transport the gifts and the centerpieces after the reception was over. I would’ve done it myself but we were taking an old fashioned limo home and um… they don’t have trunks.

    The morning after our wedding, those same family members showed up at our house to take us to the airport for our honeymoon which was very kind of them. Except I was surprised to see them at our door with all the gifts AND the leftover food! None of the food was wrapped for the freezer, I was worried about taking time to store it properly and being late to the airport. I was also worried that our pile o’ gifts on the living room floor would entice thieves to break in while we were gone. UGH! Stressful!

    As long as they’re willing to help, find a family member to store those things for you and schedule a pickup time in advance. That’s my tip!

  19. kirsten
    December 8, 2012

    We went to a diner with a bunch of our friends from college after my wedding, it was a lot of fun! I wish my wedding had been closer to my parents house so we could have had a brunch like you are the next day, that sounds awesome!! Also, I have helped clean up at weddings before and I was always more than happy to help. I think your friends and family will feel the same 🙂

  20. Emily @ Relishments
    December 8, 2012

    The morning after our wedding, my husband and I went out to breakfast, just the two of us. Late in the morning we headed back to my parent’s house to make an appearance at the brunch they were hosting for out of town guests, open presents and pack up my belongings before heading out of state to our new home. It was a really nice mix of spending time with my new spouse and seeing all the family that had come to watch me get married.
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  21. Kathy
    December 8, 2012

    My friend just got married in Miami and had a small wedding of 60 people. She never asked but a group of us offered to help decorate her wedding and helped clean up afterwards. It was no big deal and I never felt wierd about it.

  22. Brit
    December 8, 2012

    I was just in a wedding where the bride had a spreadsheet of duties for the bridesmaids and groomsmen. I’m not trying to beat a dead horse – but just wanted to let you know that the clean-up was VERY off-putting. Everyone put on a happy face and did it but no on was really happy about it. After spending so much time waiting on the bride and groom hand-and-foot (maybe this was just the theme of this wedding now that I’m thinking about it….) the last thing I wanted to do was pick-up ALL the decorations AND presents AND be responsible for them all. The amount of “duties” we were given left those of us in the wedding party with very little time to enjoy any of the wedding weekend and has been a hot topic since the wedding and has changed a lot of our friendships drastically. We were friends that wanted to be apart of their special day – not hired help or someone you should have been expecting to do the labor of something where you probably should have paid someone.

    Just wanted to throw that out there for a “in my personal experience” type thing . 🙂

    • Kelly
      December 13, 2012

      Ick! That doesn’t sound like an fun wedding at all. I think you also bring up (possibly unintentionally) a good point in that I think it also matters how many duties people are being given in general. If decoration clean up was one of the few things I’d be asked to do as a part of the wedding party it would be a little offputting but not a huge deal, but if there was a lot of other work I was expected to do I’d probably feel like you did. So if I were a bride I’d probably pick and choose what I really need help with so as not to be overbearing.

      Also, I think tone makes a huge difference. If I’m not forced to do something and someone politely asks, it’s one thing. If I’m being told I have to or guilted into it, that’s something else entirely. I know when a similar discussion came up on a previous post people said “You can always say no.” But as a bridesmaid it isn’t always that easy. I was in a wedding that had some unreasonable demands and anytime anyone expressed a concern there was mention of “firing” and this was AFTER dresses, flights, etc. have been paid for.

      Not saying you’re doing any of these things Meghann (clearly I’m not there for the conversation) but just saying at least from my perspective it’s not so cut and dry and depends on what else is going on.

      To me it’s less about “etiquette” as it is about being a considerate bride and making sure that what you’re asking your bridal party is being reasonable. Obviously every bride should be this way, but it isn’t always the case. In the wedding I mentioned above, the bride seriously damaged her relationship with another friend and me based on the way she treated us so sometimes I feel inclined to speak up for bridesmaids. Especially since when I went looking for advice on how to best handle the situation in the wedding I was in, every article seemed to suggest as a bridesmaid you have to grin and bear it.
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  23. Julia H. @ Live Young & Prosper
    December 9, 2012

    I’m not anywhere close to being married, but I’ve always like the idea of having a brunch the morning after the wedding for the guests who have stayed around. My aunt had a destination wedding, so most of the guests had to fly/travel there anyway and stay overnight in the hotel, so most of them were already there still the next morning. Having a brunch just made sense, and it was a blast!
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  24. BroccoliHut
    December 9, 2012

    My mom planned a brunch at our house for out of town guests for each of our weddings. It’s a nice way to talk to people you might not have gotten the chance to talk to at the wedding itself. This time, since Seth’s family is ALL from out of town (unlike my sisters’ spouses), it was a BIG brunch. We had 60 people! It was like wedding Part II.

  25. Rachel Wilkerson
    December 10, 2012

    I’m planning a brunch for the morning after our wedding…I am SO excited about this because I kind of wanted a brunch wedding but Eric wasn’t feeling it. Since this will be one of the few times in my life that I have all the people I love in one place, I want to hang out with them as much as possible during that weekend! The brunch is totally “my” thing to plan. The menu options are insane (omelet bar or waffle bar?! BOTH?!)…I might be more excited for this than the actual wedding.
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  26. Anne
    December 10, 2012

    We hosted a brunch at the hotel the next morning. It wasn’t cheap, but, like you, I wanted to see everyone again in a more relaxed setting. If my mom had still lived in my hometown, I’m sure it would have been hosted at her house instead.
    Find a funny t-shirt to wear! For my wedding present to my husband, I bought him a “Purdue Husband” t-shirt and made myself a “Clemson Wife” t-shirt. I can’t believe I didn’t think to wear them to the brunch! I might have been too tired / hungover / frazzled.
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    • Meghann
      December 10, 2012

      Awesome idea on the t-shirts! 🙂

  27. Kelly
    December 13, 2012

    Never a bride, but as a guest I ‘ve been a huge fan of the morning after brunch, especially for the weddings I’ve travelled to. It’s nice because obviously the wedding day can be hectic for the bride and groom so it usually meant I got more time to socialize with them. Not to mention traveling to weddings can be expensive so I always appreciated the gesture and hospitality.

    The only thing I will say is you might want to let people know in advance so they can plan their travel accordingly. I feel like I generally got an invite with my formal invitation and then planned my travel around the brunch so I could attend. Had I not known, I might have planned my travel back earlier the next morning. Just a thought. The invite doesn’t have to be hugely formal either.
    Kelly recently posted..Blogger Cookie Swap: Chewy Banana Cookies with Dark Chocolate Drizzle and Toasted Pecans

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