Next time you get together with friends for a wedding shower, baby shower, neighborhood get-to-know-you event, church gathering, or any other celebration, try hosting a brunch party. Most brunch foods are quick and easy to make, so you don’t have to spend all day in the kitchen.
Etiquette for a Brunch
When you plan for a brunch get-together, consider serving the food buffet style. A buffet will keep you from jumping up and waiting on people like you would at a more formal dinner party. You can relax and enjoy having great conversations with your guests.
Although there are no hard-and-fast rules for inviting people to a brunch, it’s always best to give the invitees enough time to add the party to their schedule. If you can, invite them a couple of weeks before the event.
Whether you send a written invitation, email, or text, it’s best to request an RSVP so you know how many people to expect. If you don’t hear back from someone before it’s time to purchase the ingredients for the menu, there is nothing wrong with calling to find out if they’re coming.
Best Day and Time for a Brunch
Your brunch can be any day of the week, as long as people are available to attend. If most of your guests hold nine-to-five jobs in offices, the best day will be a Saturday or Sunday. However, if you’re inviting people who have different schedules, choose the day that most of them can attend.
Brunch is typically served between the normal breakfast time and lunch—generally around 10:00 AM. However, you may choose to start early so guests can chat for a little while before they start eating.
Perfect Brunch Menu
There are no set rules about what should be on the brunch menu. However, some things will make the party more fun for everyone, including you.
Here are some basic tips for a brunch menu everyone will enjoy:
- Have a buffet so your guests can serve themselves. This takes the pressure off of you to make sure everyone has what they want.
- Offer a variety of foods and give your guests plenty of choices. If you know that someone has an allergy or food issue, make sure you have enough options that are free from the allergen.
- Serve egg dishes that don’t require last-minute preparation. Quiches and frittatas are great choices.
- Have a colorful fruit tray to add visual interest to the table.
- A multi-tiered platter provides vertical space for more food, and it adds visual interest to the buffet.
- Instead of making pancakes that turn mushy after sitting out, make oven-baked French toast. After it’s done but before you serve it, you can keep it warm in an oven—even after you turn it off.
- If you serve a large amount of breakfast meat, such as bacon or ham, cook it in the oven to prevent a big mess of splatters on the cooktop or counters.
Offer a variety of drinks. If you choose to serve alcohol, have nonalcoholic options, such as orange juice or tomato juice, available. You’ll also want to serve coffee and tea. Some favorite brunch cocktails include mimosas, screwdrivers, bloody Marys, greyhounds, and Irish coffees. It’s nice to offer virgin versions of these drinks as well.
How to Make Your Brunch Stress-Free
One of the best ways to be a good hostess is to relax. It’s not always easy, but there are some things you can to do eliminate most of the stress.
- Make a list of everything you need to purchase, including ingredients and decorations. If you don’t already have enough chairs, purchase, rent, or borrow them in advance.
- Do as much of the preparation as possible the night before. Set out the plates, mugs, glasses, napkins, and flatware. Place trivets where you’ll want to put the casserole dishes so you don’t have to scramble at the last minute.
- Put fresh hand towels in the bathroom that guests will be using. Make sure there is plenty of soap in the dispenser.
- If you want place cards, jot your guests’ names on pretty cardstock and put them in small frames that they can take home later. They’ll enjoy having a new frame for photos of their children or pets.
- Decorations can be as elaborate or simple as you want. The guests will be happy with a table full of food and a few well-placed floral arrangements. However, if you want more, feel free to add more decorations. Just make sure you leave room on the tables for your guests’ food and drinks.
- Have a few conversation starters to keep people engaged. You may not need them, but it's nice to have something to fall back on if you do.
- If you have room, separate the food from the drink station so your guests won’t bump into each other. This will help prevent uncomfortable and awkward moments.
Regardless of the reason for the brunch, you can choose a fun theme. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Garden Party – Bring the outdoors inside, or have the party outdoors if the weather permits. Have potted plant (herbs or flowers) decorations and send them home with the guests.
- Muffin Tin Brunch – All of the menu items can be cooked in muffin tins or served in muffin cups.
- Pajama Brunch Party – Have everyone wear their cutest pajamas and fuzzy slippers. Serve traditional breakfast food, such as bacon, eggs, and toast or biscuits.
- Coffee and Donut Bar – Serve a variety of coffee and donuts. Make sure you also have some nutritious options, like fruits and vegetables.
- Fondue Brunch – Have a variety of fondue items with pots of melted chocolate, cheese, and oil. Serve fruits and cubes of cake with the chocolate. Offer bread cubes, meats, and veggies with cheese or oil.
- International Brunch Party – Serve eggs with salsa, sushi, quiche, egg rolls, strudel, éclairs, and guacamole with chips.
Have a Good Time
Even though you’re the host of this party, do your best to have a great time. Your guests will be more relaxed if they know you’re enjoying the party as much as they are. If you’re hosting this party for someone who is about to get married or have a baby, they’ll appreciate your positive demeanor and joyful spirit.