There are dozens of reasons to swap the traditional dinner reception for a more lighthearted brunch after a morning wedding ceremony. Because your guests and vendors are both more familiar with evening celebrations, there are a few things to keep in mind when planning a brunch-centered wedding reception.

Don’t Start Too Early

A 9 am ceremony may not work for many reasons. Your caterer and event space can only prep so much of your venue and meal the day before. Give them a few extra hours in the morning to ensure your brunch goes smoothly. The same goes for other vendors, including your ceremony location and officiant. Remember that your unique event schedule is likely outside their normal scope of work, so be flexible.

You and your wedding party, as well as your parents and grandparents, all need time to get ready in the morning. Hair and makeup will take at least a couple of hours. Unlike an evening ceremony, you’ll need a stylist for every member of the bridal party to make the most of your time. If you’re planning on taking photos before the ceremony, plan time for this as well.

Lastly, your guests may not be inclined to start their drive to your venue before dawn. Consider who is staying nearby and who might be traveling on the day of your wedding when choosing a start time. Provide coffee and tea before your ceremony for any guest who needs an extra pick-me-up before brunch.

Create a Varied Menu

Some of your friends and family may not be as smitten with brunch foods as you are. Take this into consideration with a mix of breakfast and lunch foods. Use the menus at some of your and your fiancée’s favorite brunch spots as inspiration.

Add customization options in multiple forms to appeal to all your guests. Consider adding an assortment of omelets; waffle or crepe bar; yogurt parfaits with fresh fruit and nuts to add; and topping options for fluffy homemade biscuits. Brunch also lends itself to choices for picky eaters. Serve cereal or bagels as well.

Upgrade Your Drink Selection

Guests will likely not drink as much at a daytime reception as they would after dinner, so you can splurge on high end coffee, tea, alcohol and fresh juices.

Source freshly roasted and ground coffee from local roasters and consider hiring a barista to cater to your guests. Fancy teas and hot chocolate are appreciated by guests who don’t drink coffee.

Ask your caterer to source fresh-squeezed or -pressed juice. Creative blends can give your brunch a tropical flare. For southern charm, infuse iced tea with fresh fruits.

When it comes to alcohol, stick to traditional brunch cocktails: Bloody Marys, mimosas, Bellinis and screwdrivers. Because you will only need vodka and champagne, choose wisely. You can also add in a small selection of carefully-chosen beer and wine.

 

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