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brunch elopement shoot Wedding Reception Ideas, Menus Delicious Inspiration

How to Host Brunch Wedding (or Brunch the Day-After): Reception Ideas, Menus, and Delicious Inspiration

For many, brunch is the most important meal of the day (and often my favourite part of a weekend), so I don’t know why more couples don’t have a morning service and a champagne and pancakes-filled brunch wedding to celebrate their big day!

I only wish I’d thought of this sooner, but here’s all you the ideas and inspiration to  know about throwing an incredible brunch wedding!

Catering and menus for a brunch wedding

No matter what time of the day your wedding is, you still need the best wedding planner book to help you get there, pick up a copy of the little white book – you can use ‘brunch’ to save)

If you’re not opting for a brunch wedding, you might still be hosting a day-after brunch or breakfast for your wedding guests, in which case I hope this will still be very useful. Day-after events have become very popular, giving the bride and groom another opportunity to connect with their guests again (the wedding day goes by in such a rush!) and it can be a lovely way to have a less formal soiree. I’ve also heard of bridal shower brunch parties, so whatever you’re planning, grab a Mimosa and dig in.

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Where and when is a brunch wedding?

A brunch wedding reception usually takes place between 11 and 2 (like brunch).  Of course, you could host a breakfast wedding, or have the ceremony earlier, with breakfast beginning half an hour later. Considering all the preparation you and your vendors may have to do in the morning, I’d suggest that 10 is the earliest to begin.

As for where to host a wedding brunch: like any wedding venue question, the earliest step will be to determine your guest list.  If you’re having a small wedding, you may be able to host the brunch reception, or day after the wedding brunch it at your own home, or your parents’ home.  I have hosted brunch for 20 guests before, which was easy enough, and with a few more hands, brunch for 50 wouldn’t be too much of a stretch. For more than 50, a family home may not be large enough, but your favourite brunch restaurant might. A lush, green courtyard, or overlooking the beach at your favourite cafe might be the perfect relaxed wedding you want.

For something more fancy, there’s no reason a wedding venue that usually does evening receptions wouldn’t be open to hosting a morning function. In fact, they may be very keen to, as they could still host an evening reception for another couple. If you’re planning to get married in the height of wedding season, this may even be a great way to secure a wedding venue that’s otherwise fully booked.

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If you’re looking for an Auckland wedding venue, the Law Society rooftop terrace is a beautiful spot, photos from We Are Little Village.

Brunch Wedding on a Budget

Brunch might also be the perfect fit for your wedding budget.  A reception site is likely to be much cheaper during the day, especially if they can re-fill the site in the evening, and brunch food can be much, much less expensive. Depending on your beverage choices, there’s an opportunity to save with less-expensive alcoholic options, i.e. Mimosas and Bloody Marys over Moet and Bollinger!  Keeping your wedding brunch to a tight budget will largely come down to your catering choices.

When it comes to planning and budgeting, staying on track with a wedding organiser and diary, such as the little white book, is a key to success!

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Brunch Wedding Food

As a guest, I would be beyond thrilled to arrive at a brunch wedding to be met with a coffee cart.  We’re such a coffee culture now, and with a pre-(and post-) ceremony caffeine fix, your guests will have no excuse not to “get the party started” despite the early rise.
Bonus points for customised wedding-day coffee sleeves.

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Via Tulle and Twig

As for the brunch wedding food itself, you could begin with canapé style pastries and fruity nibbles served with coffee and juices, before moving onto a sit down meal as lavish or informal as you like.  Brunch is perfectly suited to a buffet, as there’s so many options for different brunch fare, and you could also consider an eggs or pancake/waffle station, if your venue allows.

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Alternatively, the entire brunch could be cocktail style: bacon and egg tarts, pan au chocolat and croissants, or even mini-waffle bites.  For a healthy start, vegetable frittatas are easy and cheap to make, and can be done in advance. Via TasteAsYouGo

If you’re planning a brunch wedding but still want the formality associated with an evening reception, you can still host a three course sit-down plated meal, brunch is so flexible.  A sit-down menu might include dishes such as Shakshuka (baked eggs), Brioche French Toast, and bright Fruit Salad plates, for example.

Brunch Beverages

Beyond coffee and orange juice, you could serve champagne and/or champagne cocktails like Mimosas.  Bloody Marys and Virgin Bloody Marys could also be prepared in advance, and served from drink dispensers or punch bowls.

I know that on my wedding day I was very ready to get into the champagne before midday, and what’s brunch if not an excuse for morning drinking!?

Wedding Cake… or Donut Bar

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You’ve already got the coffee cart, so why have a wedding cake when you could give your guests what they really want… Donuts!

wedding planning inspiration donut bar

Via Budget Savvy Bride

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If you do have a wedding cake, consider serving it with fresh fruit to keep it lighter, as a rich chocolate cake may be too heavy for some of the brunch crowd.  Or, there’s this pancake cake! Jessica Lorren Organic Photography via 100 Layer Cake

Brunch Wedding Stationery

A brunch wedding is the perfect reason to have the stationery inspired by the weekend-paper. You could include this in your stationery designs from a crossword puzzle Save the Date right through to the Newspaper Order of Service. Annie McElwain Photography / Via

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Brunch Attire

A brunch wedding will naturally be a lot less formal than an evening reception, but that’s no reason not to have a little glamour too.  Your brunch invitations could say just that “Brunch Glamour”, or suggest “Garden Party attire” so that your guests have an idea of how to dress.  It’s possibly not the right occasion to host if you want your guests in black-tie.

Brunch Decor

You can also save money by hosting a brunch wedding and having minimal decor.  Of course, you won’t need to pay for lighting or candles, but instead can benefit from natural light, and set the scene with colourful drinks, bunches of fresh flowers and bright sun umbrellas.  Alternatively, hire fine china and turn it into a high-tea style brunch with tea and scones, and sprinkle rose petals around for a romantic feel.

Keep the Party Going

Just because you’re starting early, doesn’t mean a brunch wedding has to finish early too – there’s no reason you can’t plan a very long wedding day beginning with a breakfast ceremony and brunch reception.  If you are starting with a particularly large guest list, this could be the perfect way to celebrate with all of them, but have a reduced list of close friends and family to have an intimate dinner with later.

Final Considerations for a Brunch Wedding

  • Guests may not have eaten before arriving at your brunch wedding, so don’t keep them waiting long for food.
  • As above, make sure there’s plenty of food for guests before serving large amounts of alcohol early in the day.
  • Keep the time of day in mind when organising your music, you might want to keep the raucous party anthems until later in the afternoon (after a few cocktails)
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for a discount from wedding vendors, you’re likely to be filling a time that wouldn’t otherwise be booked.
  • Did I mention waffles?

Head to the wedding planning advice page for an index of our content and if you haven’t already, check out the little white book wedding organiser and diary.

Becca Rillo / Via

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