Achieving Post-Ceremonial Bliss
New and different day-after activities for wedding guests.
For many brides and grooms, it’s hard to fathom that, after months of planning, their wedding day is finally here. Then, in a matter of hours, the whole thing is over.
So it’s hardly a surprise that many families looking to extend their wedding hospitality to family and friends end up planning a post-wedding Sunday brunch. Not only does it keep the party vibe going for another day, but it can prove useful when two families are still in the “getting to know you” phase. “A wedding is often the first time relatives from both families are meeting,” says Christina Gargano-Lupo of Events by CGL Design in Philadelphia. “What better occasion to spend more time together than a brunch the day after the wedding.”
So maybe you like the idea of a post-wedding brunch, but you’re looking to do something a little different. “There’s always a creative option for a not-so-typical brunch,” says Gargano-Lupo.
What comprises an atypical post-wedding brunch? Here are some ideas to consider:
Le Dejeuner Sur L’Herb
OK, so you probably won’t be flying your guests off to Paris to see Manet’s “Le Dejeuner Sur L’Herb,” but that doesn’t mean you can’t have your own “luncheon in the grass”—or a picnic at one of the area’s great outdoor spaces and take in some art to boot. When Gargano-Lupo organizes a tour of the Art Museum for a group of wedding guests, she might also arrange for a picnic there, too.
Molly Tobin Espey, executive director of Philadelphia Hospitality, a non-profit that provides unique and distinctive cultural programs for special groups, would be happy to arrange for a private coach to take your guests to the Barnes Foundation in Merion or book a trolley to take your family and friends on a tour of Philadelphia’s classic architecture or outdoor art.
“Did you know that Philadelphia has more outdoor art than any other city in the world, except for Paris,” says Espey. “Our pièce de résistance: We will take your guests into a private home for a fabulous meal.”
Take Them Out To The Ballgame
The Philadelphia area is pretty serious about its sports—whether college or professional—and if your guests are rabid sports fans, then perhaps the best way to celebrate after the wedding is a sporting event.
Tim Sweeney, wedding sales manager at the Villanova Conference Center in Radnor, can secure discount group tickets to Phillies games for weddings guests, including discounts on hot dogs, peanuts and Cracker Jack (nothing like slumming for food after a lavish wedding reception the night before).
During hockey, basketball or football season, you could arrange a Sunday get-together around a Flyers, 76ers or Eagles game—if you want to go pro—or one of the area’s top-ranked college teams, like the Villanova Wildcats.
Come Sail Away
Jennifer Brisman, a New York City-based event expert, has planned weddings for Main Line brides. “Many of my clients are requesting private, chartered boats for their next-day brunch, which is a great way to wow your guests,” she says. Brisman prefers to work with Spirit Cruises on the Delaware River, which owns the Spirit of Philadelphia ship.
Another company to consider is Liberty Belle Cruises, which will have folks doing a double-take when they board a 600-passenger Mississippi paddle-wheel riverboat that’s moored in the Navy Yard. If you’d like, you can even embellish your post-wedding party with a banjo player and sing-alongs.
Bowl Me Over
You can’t strike out with a post-wedding party that treats guests to bowling at one of the trendy lanes in Philadelphia. And Lucky Strike Lanes in Center City, North Bowl Lounge n’ Lanes in Northern Liberties and Strikes Bowling Lounge in University City have cool places to mingle after all of those strikes and spares.
Lend a Helping Hand
You may not have worked on a community project or with a group on a charity event since college—and a wedding is a perfect time to rekindle that philanthropic spark. The day after is an ideal opportunity to commune with family and friends and give back at the same time.
“There are certainly lots and lots of different ways brides and grooms can make a difference as a couple or with their wedding party,” says Jason Willett of Volunteermatch.org. A recent website search uncovered more than 800 volunteer opportunities in the Delaware Valley. They encompassed 27 different categories—from animals to seniors—and ranged from tree planting to painting a historic home. Willett suggests narrowing your search to include the “great for groups” option. “These are most appropriate for small, medium or large wedding parties,” he says.
Cook Up Something Delicious
Instead of going somewhere to eat and having someone else cook for you, what about inviting your guests to tie one on—an apron that is—and enjoy a cooking demo, followed by the meal they’ve just created? This is exactly the kind of post-wedding activity Italian cuisine expert Maria Liberati has whipped up for weddings on the Main Line.
At the home of one Gladwyne bride, Liberati conceived and executed a Tuscan-style family picnic for a happy couple flying off to Tuscany the next morning for their honeymoon. She provided a hands-on cooking class for the guests, then arranged to have everyone sit down and eat.
After a Bala Cynwyd wedding, Liberati assembled a seven-course Italian-style family meal. Not only did she provide cooking tips, but she added color to the event by sharing stories of her own Italian childhood.
Philadelphia Hospitality can treat your guests to some of the area’s better-known havens for horticulture enthusiasts, including Longwood Gardens and Morris Arboretum. Or, if the timing is right, arrange for a visit to the Philadelphia Flower Show. Better yet, for the serious green thumbs in your group, the company can provide a tour of some best-kept secrets, including the private gardens of local residents. No matter what you choose, you’ll enjoy a meal in a private home.
Events by CGL Design (215) 232-3030, cgl-design.com
Eventricity (215) 886-0202, email@example.com
Maria Liberati (800) 580-9121, marialiberati.com
Liberty Belle Cruises (215) 757-0800, libertybelle.com
Lucky Strike Lanes 1336 Chestnut St., Philadelphia; (215) 545-2471, bowlluckystrike.com
North Bowl Lounge n’ Lanes 909 N. 2nd St., Philadelphia; (215) 238-BOWL, northbowlphilly.com
Philadelphia Hospitality (215) 790-9901, philahospitality.org
Spirit Cruises (215) 923-1419, spiritcitycruises.com
Strikes Bowling Lounge 4040 Locust St., Philadelphia; (215) 387-BOWL, strikesbowlinglounge.com
Villanova Conference Center (610) 523-1776
VolunteerMatch (415) 241-6870, volunteermatch.org
A number of local online resources are available to help plan your own twist on the post-wedding Sunday brunch.
Some must-visit URLs include:
GoPhila.com The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation’s baby. It’s designed to help market Philadelphia as a destination. But even if you’re not from out of town, it offers terrific planning tools for a Sunday brunch itinerary. Best of all, you can narrow your search by county. So if you don’t want to schlep your guests into Philadelphia for something to do, you can focus your search on Montgomery, Chester or Delaware counties.
PhilaHospitality.com To get a better sense of just how extensive Philadelphia Hospitality’s resources are, you should spend some time perusing its detailed website, which breaks out program options by category. The “art and architecture” category includes visits to museums, galleries and art shows, along with architectural tours. The “history and science” category features museums, historical sites and homes, gardens, libraries, and performing arts.
PhillyFunGuide.com The brainchild of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, a group devoted to increasing awareness of the arts in the region.