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Our Guide to Hosting the Perfect Brunch

Our Guide to Hosting the Perfect Brunch

Hi friends! 

Whether you're looking for an excuse to wear that new dress, indulge in savory pastries, need a social commitment on the calendar, or just want to celebrate a special event for someone you love; hosting a brunch might be just the thing you need to do! As a prevalent pastime from our grandparents' generation, brunch has served as a great way to fellowship with friends over an amazing spread of delicious homemade foods. While the “brunch” has evolved but since remained a staple for gathering with good food and good company, our fast paced and casual lifestyles of today may have some believing this is no longer worth the time and effort. Although some may view this entire process as a headache, others will argue that the reward of the gathering is far greater than the cost. But despite these rewards, hosting a brunch can be a stressful venture if you don’t know how to take the necessary steps in planning your details, such as thoughtful shopping and how to execute.  

We want to help you not only host a memorable brunch, but help you enjoy getting the most out of your experience! In today’s blog, we have carefully laid out our steps for planning and preparing a perfect brunch for you and your guests. 

The Guest list…

This simple but important step is a great place to start and will determine many of the details for your gathering. Oftentimes the guest list is what helps create the theme for the occasion, whether it be a neighborhood brunch, a gathering of your coworkers or a bridal tea honoring a family member. To some this may seem like an obvious first step, but the importance of a well thought out guest list can be often overlooked. You certainly do not want to leave anyone out that should have been included. Having a well thought out guest list will not only help create the optimal environment, but also is imperative in gathering the correct amount of food and accessories to ensure that time and money aren’t wasted.  

Invite your guests! 

There are many ways to send an invitation, depending on your guest list and reason for the gathering. The occasion of the brunch will oftentimes determine the formality of your invitation. For instance, a seated brunch might lend to an elegantly printed and mailed invitation, while a last minute gathering of coworkers could be announced with a simple evite or text. Printed invitations are a fun way to display your upcoming event, and also make a wonderful keepsake for your guests, but in today's generation, an evite is appropriate and sometimes the more efficient way to reach your guests. No matter what form of invitation, it is encouraged to add a Répondez s'il vous plaît (RSVP) to your invitation. A proper head count is extremely helpful in many of your planning details, such as ordering or preparing food, setting a table, and seating arrangements if necessary. Adding an RSVP will allow you to keep track of who will be attending your brunch, eliminating any guesswork. 

Create the perfect space. 

Creating a space for your guests to feel welcomed, relaxed and comfortable is also an important factor to consider when preparing for a brunch. The theme of the brunch usually determines the setting, whether it will be formal or informal, inside or outside, hors d'oeuvres or a full meal. After this is decided, select and analyze the space to be used. It's important to note any rearrangement of furniture needed to accommodate all of your guests and to allow for an easy flow of traffic. For example, bringing in additional furniture to your space might provide ample seating for all to gather at once. Our Cece dining chair is the perfect chair for situations that call for extra seating as its petite silhouette and sculpted back make it the ultimate in comfort. 

Now, accessorize!

It’s time to accessorize your already accessorized space. Why? Because why not! Adding items like floral bouquets, a fragrant candle or simple brightly colored fruit in a bowl, will elevate your space and give it an added feel of celebration. You can even display your invitation in a frame! There are many easy and often inexpensive ways to impress your guests while showing them you have given a little extra attention to detail! 

Last but not least…the food. 

Now to the center of the occasion, the food! Basically, there are two ways to go about this…by cooking your own meal, ordering food to be picked up, or catering your food. If you are someone that feels at home in the kitchen, then preparing your meal is the way to go! There are countless recipes online free to download or print, such as Barefoot Contessa, Southern Living, and Half Baked Harvest just to name a few. And depending on your level of comfort, you can choose recipes that are difficult or very simple. Don’t be intimidated, even the simplest recipes can be show stopping and delicious! If you are short on time, or don’t trust your cooking skills, it is certainly just as special to have your meal catered from a local restaurant, or even purchased from the produce or freezer section of your grocery store. 

Although these are the most obvious options, you are not limited to one or the other, we say you can even do both! Cook your specialties, but add additional items from your local bakery. And of course, you can never go wrong with the faithful fruit tray from a local grocery store! You can even transfer the fruit to your own tray to elevate the presentation.   

We suggest planning your menu and ordering your food at least a week in advance to allow your local grocery, bakery or caterer plenty of time to prepare. If possible, we encourage you to go to the grocery several days ahead of time for your shopping list and also pick up your food orders the day before the brunch to keep tasks limited on the day of the brunch. If you plan to cook most of your meal, we suggest an itemized task list with a timeframe, and prepping the dishes you plan to cook ahead of time or at least a day before. Some of the dishes you choose may even be made and frozen in advance, which also can be time saving. 

And let’s not forget this detail in your menu…the drinks! A themed cocktail or even a non-alcoholic punch is a great way to add something special to your gathering. And a hilarious cocktail napkin is a great conversation piece! If it’s a cold day, try a warm drink and coffee. Or if it’s a warm summer day, a refreshing drink to cool your guests is a must! Always have an option of water and be sure to keep it replenished throughout. 

Another important part of your food checklist includes finding the perfect way to display your food and drinks. You can pull out the suitable trays and serve dishes of choice, depending on the formality of the brunch. Whichever you choose, we suggest you display your serving dishes at varying heights to add visual interest to your spread. We like to do this days in advance and place them on the table, island or buffet in which you plan to serve them. This will have them ready to be filled when you find yourself having to wait to put out those refrigerated or hot dishes until the last minute. If you plan the serving pieces in advance, but can’t leave them out, take a picture for memory and put notes on the platters to remind you what food goes in each. 

Don’t be afraid to use your grandmother's silver and crystal, or if more of a casual setting, some melamine serving pieces or even paper products will work great! With the addition of table linens, centerpieces, place settings for whatever your theme, you can mix and match your serving pieces to dress up or dress down your event. The opportunities are endless when it comes to options for your guests. If your brunch is a seated event, try using place cards. This is a great way to introduce your guests to one another and alleviate the guesswork of where to sit. If you prefer to serve buffet style, be sure there is enough seating around. Pickup food is the best for this type of casual seating that isn’t centralized around a table. 

The sky's the limit with endless options of menu items and serving choices. Your theme and guest list should dictate what direction you will go, but don’t be afraid to think outside the box and make it unique to you and your occasion! Our best advice is to be sure to be as organized as you can, giving yourself plenty of time to prepare, so that you can enjoy the process!

Now, let’s host a brunch! 

The morning of your brunch can be an exciting but also stressful time. Remember, you can never be too organized! Do as much as you can ahead of time, not only in your preparations for food and decor, but also in choosing your outfit and cleaning up the house. Give yourself plenty of time on the day of to get dressed and finish the items on your list. Go ahead and pull out any food that is safe to sit out for a while and do the day of the brunch items, such as fluffing your pillows and turning on music. Once you have reached the final countdown to the start of your brunch, you can pull out the refrigerated food and food from the oven and light the candles! We suggest doing this 15 minutes ahead. Then, freshen yourself up, take a few deep breaths, or a sip of that cocktail you prepared, and give yourself a pat on the back for your accomplishment! 

Voilà

And there you have it! Our step-by-step guide on hosting a brunch. We hope that after reading this, you will feel comfortable, confident and ready to host! Just always remember to enjoy the process and have fun! 

With love,

The Rome Curate Team

If you host a brunch after reading this blog, tag us in your photos! We would love to hear from you! 

Instagram: @romecurate

Facebook: Rome Curate

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