Monday, July 16, 2012
For many couples, the wedding is not over once the reception is. Depending on the location of the wedding and the couple's relationship with their families, often there are other activities that follow the main event.
One of the most obvious is a breakfast the day following the wedding. This is a time for everyone to touch base with each other, check in on how everyone did and perhaps share memories of the night before. This breakfast activity can be as simple or elaborate as you like. Some people like to have this breakfast at a relative's house because that is friendly and familiar and more conducive to everyone hanging out and enjoying themselves. It can be potluck style or catered. You can also meet up at a restaurant.
Many families like to have the bride and groom open presents the day after the wedding. There are many who believe the bride and groom are required to open presents in the presence of family for good luck. In that case, building in the opening of presents is essential. This can be a simple gathering of friends and family or you can turn the present opening into an all-out activity, where each item is opened, demonstrated or displayed and discussed in great detail.
Opening gifts doesn't have to a dry activity. You can add some silly fun. How about starting with the smallest and moving to the largest gifts? Or working in the reverse order? You might even create a game. Everyone has to guess what's in each gift prior to its being opened. (Of course, people can't guess on their on gifts.) Someone can be in charge of keeping a tally and whoever gets the most right, wins a small prize.
The women in the bride's family might want to help her pack up her gown (or send it to the dry cleaners) and preserve her wedding bouquet. This can easily be done at home and the women (particularly those who are crafty) might want to get started on preserving the flowers as well.
In the crafty light, some brides might want to plan a scrapbook party for after the wedding. You won't have photos back from the photographer, but you can scrapbook many other wedding events, such as pre-events like manicures, various parties and the candid photos take by wedding guests the night before. More than being focused on the photos, this activity gives the women a chance to reflect on the events of the wedding, laugh at all the fun ties and journal and preserve memories before some are lost. It will also help the bride feel as if she's partly in control of all those photos before she leaves on her honeymoon and takes yet more photos.
If gifts were opened on this "day after the wedding", crafty groups might want to make thank you cards. Choose a design long before the wedding, perhaps even making a prototype as well. Then have all the supplies on hand and give everyone good ideas about how the cards should be made. Even the men can get on this act, helping to fold the cards, perhaps handling any computer work and even getting their fingers on glue and scissors. Send the bride and groom off with these homemade cards so when they get back from their honeymoon, all they have to do is jot off a quick note.
Some brides and grooms plan activities the day after the wedding that are designed to help everyone calm down, relax and unwind after what has likely been a busy weekend. In this light, you can plan a picnic at the park and bring along games to play. You might pack a football, a volleyball net or items to play baseball. You might bring along water guns or a dartboard. Whatever it is, the idea here is to have some fun and blow off steam. Make your own rules when playing the games. It really doesn't matter. Today is about relaxing, unwinding and spending some quality time with friends and family before the special weekend is over.