Five Questions to Ask Before you Plan your Next Brunch
It's Brunchtime! Time to gather friends before it's too hot, pour a Bloody Mary or sip a Mimosa and just breathe and relax. It's also the time for celebrations - graduations, bridesmaids' luncheons, Father's Day, I-Just-Want-to-Celebrate-Life Day.
If you're not traveling over Memorial Day (those in the US), maybe plan a brunch for next weekend. If you can do it last minute I have created a simple pdf invite (the image is at the end of this post) that you can use. Just download it here.
But before you plan your details - the menu, your table settings, your music, you should ask yourself five questions ...
I'm not trying to make things more complicated than they need to be, I promise. But I think if you ask yourself a few additional questions, you will create a brunch that will not only wow your guests, but will feel even more special to both them and to you.
Here are the questions I ask Myself when planning any event:
Why are you having a brunch?
Is someone having a baby? Do you need to entertain and it's simply easier than a dinner? Are you celebrating one of the guests? Is there a new person who has just moved into town and you want to introduce her? What is the purpose? (It can be just to have fun and drink Mimosas!)
It doesn't matter what the why is -- just know your WHY.
Where will it be?
If it is your home, do you want everyone around a table? Do you want to be outside? Do you want folks spread out and relaxed? (Can you handle people sitting on your all-white furniture with their plates on their laps?) Would you rather just choose a restaurant and let the staff do the work?
Note: I lived in NYC for years and I know it's hard to entertain in your tiny apartment. But, the five questions here will also apply to a brunch in a restaurant. (Remember, no matter how small your home is, people LOVE coming seeing where you live - so just consider it.)
Who will you invite?
Once you answer the Why, you will probably already know this, but at least thing through it.
Will they know each other?
Do they like each other? Ha!
Do they see each other often or is this a treat to get together?
go to The Proper Blog for a DIY on those placecards to the left
Okay - you've got The Why. The Where. and The Who. That was 75% logistics.
The next question is the most important. . .
How do you want them to feel?
Come up with three or four words that describe how you want your guests to feel while they are in your home.
- Pampered? Fortunate to have such good friends? Relaxed?
- Does your group need a break from kids and the house and thus just want to turn off their phones and be pampered for a few hours?
- Do you want them to be inspired?
- Is it a group of girlfriends that you want to thank for being in your life and you want them to understand how much they mean to you?
- Is it a group of couples, one of whom is moving and you want them to feel loved and know that they will be missed, while the rest of the group remembers how important friendships are?
What do you want them to be saying . . .
. . . that night when they are home at dinner or the next morning over coffee? Is it, "Wow! That Martha is an amazing cook!" or, "Yesterday at brunch I was more relaxed than I have been since the beach two years ago!." Or, "that was the most creative menu I have seen!"
These answers will guide your next decisions.
I love to throw a party where my guests feel like all of the dots are connected - from the invite to the tablescape to the menu. Maybe they don't consciously notice all of the details, but they can feel it.
TAKE THE TIME TO CONNECT THE DOTS FOR YOUR GUESTS
It will change the way they feel.
When they receive the invitation - when they get ready for your party - when they sit around your table - when they return home.
Based on your answers from the above, you now figure out the date, the invitation, the table setting, the menu, the music, your timeline.
All of these things are so important and bring your earlier answers to life. I'll do a post on these things, but try asking yourself these five questions before any event and see if it shifts the way you create your party.
The Invitation - sorry! One more thing!
I have to just say something quickly on this. I think the invite is so important! I love a real invitation, but for a casual party, sometimes it is not worth the expense and the time. HOWEVER, every invitation is created with words and has the potential to give your event a personality before the first person walks through the door.
Make those words count. and set the stage as soon as your guests click on the envelope or open your email. Maybe write a poem. Too silly for you? WAIT -- go back to the question: how do you want your guests to feel? This is where it starts.
Remember, you can download my pdf of an invitation for this weekend and the .jpg is below. If you decide to go for it and need help editing the invitation, just comment below or email me firstname.lastname@example.org
In the meantime, some beautiful spring brunch tablescapes to inspire you
Musings on Momentum has a beautiful post on tablescapes, aptly named, April Showers Bring May Flowers. As it continues to rain in Atlanta today, I am going to say that May Spring Showers Bring June Bridal Flowers! She does a gorgeous job of helping her readers find the most beautiful things in life through fashion, beauty, home decor - isn't that what we all need to do?
Plan a brunch while it's still spring and before it's time to pack a picnic basket.
Remember, the five questions to ask yourself:
- Why are you having the brunch?
- Where will it be?
- Who will be there?
- How do you want them to feel??
- What do you want them to say when it's over?
As mentioned above, here is a quick and easy invitation you could use this weekend if you're doing a casual brunch. Here's a pdf and obviously the image below can be saved. Be sure to edit if you don't want kids and dogs!