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Let There Be Brunch

Bring the celebration into the lovely light of day


Brunch is basically a good mood on a plate. It’s the happy place of both early birds and night owls, where sweet and savory sing in harmony. What better way to celebrate than when dessert makes perfect sense as a main course? A timelessly classic experience, consider forgoing an evening affair for daytime fare to remember.

Chef Amy Mehrtens of Bonfire Events + Catering sees this trend as increasingly popular with modern couples. “A daytime brunch reception is superior to an evening affair because it is so much more versatile,” said Mehrtens, noting the opportunity for fun action stations like omelets, bananas foster and crêpes Suzette flambé. “There’s an air of fun and lightness that you don’t see with other meal periods.”

In terms of wowing your guests with your visual choices, Sarah Hall, president of Joel Catering & Special Events, notes that brunch events are often more photo-friendly. “Starting earlier and having that brunch vibe is going to give you the pictures that you want all day long,” said Hall. “If you host your wedding outdoors, you can’t see flowers and decor at night in the same detail that you can in the daytime and all of that fabulous detail isn’t as noticed.”

For those hoping to trim costs, Christian Pendleton, general manager of Brennan’s, says brunch can lend itself to a more budget-friendly reception.

“Guests are usually less likely to eat and drink as much during the day so it tends to be less expensive,” said Pendleton. “Additionally, because the brunch ends earlier in the day, you can continue the celebration for a full day with family and friends following the meal.”

Pendleton presents this as a worthwhile option for destination weddings or groups with a lot of visiting guests. “It allows time for more events to follow that can highlight the uniqueness of a city,” said Pendleton. “So many wedding guests find themselves attending multiple evening weddings so the day events present an opportunity to share something new and different to impress friends and family.”

As an additional way to tighten up the budget, Emmeline Johnston, concept director with Bonfire Events + Catering, notes that expectations for entertainment are different during the daytime. “At a brunch wedding, guests do not expect a band or DJ with dancing,” said Johnston. “This allows the host to bring focus elsewhere like the ceremony with a beautiful jazz trio, or more intimate conversations with friends and family.”

Further, she sees brunch as an excellent way to get your top choices of location and food. “Right now, the most appealing reason for a brunch wedding could be a couple’s preference for a specific venue or caterer,” said Johnston, who recommends interactive ideas like frittata stations, crêpe bars, donut walls and mimosa bars. “Wedding professionals are booked due to rescheduled weddings from COVID and looking at a brunch time wedding means that you could get the venue or caterer you want and … for a more affordable price!”

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