You’ve tied the knot and are finally married, but still have some celebrating to do. What’s left: brunch! Brunch is one of the oldest traditions in celebrated eating. Before diving into the lox and bagels, I thought it would be nice to share a bit of culinary history; so that, when planning your brunch theme, the option to show its roots exists. Many believe that brunching came from an old English tradition beginning in the late 1800’s before the hunt, while others believe it was born in the United States in the early 1900’s. The truth is that brunching only came into vogue around 1934 after becoming a Hollywood tradition, when stars were travelling across the United States by train, stopping in Chicago for a late morning/early afternoon meal before continuing on their journey.
Regardless of which historical background you believe is accurate, brunching really did reach a peak in the United States after 1940, when restaurants began offering this special meal as a compliment to their regular menus. Shortly after, people created brunches in their homes and voila! This is how the brunch truly evolved. Brunch is quite a bit more than lox and bagels; it comes in all shapes and sizes. Chocolate brunches, where every item either contains chocolate or chocolate-related ingredients, have become quite popular on the East Coast; while granola brunches with a myriad of granola-friendly toppings and flavors are cascading across the country from West to East.
Depending on whether you prefer the traditional or the more creative, a fine brunch after a wedding celebration is like the cherry on the top of a sundae; the final way to top off the celebration, and have one more time together before the guests depart for their homes and the bride and groom depart for their new lives. Brunch, from its historical roots to now, is like a well-thought transition. If it isn’t breakfast and it isn’t lunch, it’s brunch!
Planning a perfect brunch is easy and the good news is that it is a lot less expensive than a wedding dinner. While many hotels offer brunches for their guests, most brides and grooms like to personalize their brunch to their day. This can be done very easily, from the menu to the seating arrangements and the decorations on the table. Many couples that prefer to use a hotel brunch typically do a menu of their own. This can be done as simply as taking the hotel menu and printing your own personalized one, or as complicated as creating a brunch menu of your own and having a hotel serve it up.
One recent bride opted to use a hotel brunch and print her own menus. She then asked the hotel to add several extra desserts to the menu for her wedding brunch and a custom drink. Those were put on the menu and the desserts were designed with icing in the colors of the wedding, and with the bride and groom’s initials on them. This personalized the brunch but also kept it simpler from a planning perspective.
Another bride elected to have the brunch in her new home, preferring to have everyone over to help usher in her new married life. Because time was essential and it was right after the wedding, she hired a caterer to put together a brunch she selected. Then she had her florist bring some of the florals from the wedding the night before to decorate her home, thus bringing the theme inside her house.
Regardless of where you decide to do a brunch, here are a few handy tips to remember while planning it. First, it is not your wedding night and party, so keep it simpler. The cost of a brunch should be very reasonable, and it can be as simple as literally bagels, fruit, and danish or as lavish as a full hot buffet. The point of the brunch is to be together, not to worry about perfection. Brunch, just by definition, is imperfect.
Second, it is ok to invite selectively for your brunch. Brunch is typically for those out of town guests that are just getting ready to go back home, and for some family members. It is not for the entire wedding guest party. Brunch is more intimate; this goes for everything from the guests to the food. Finally, brunch does not have to cost an arm and a leg. Brunch is probably the easiest meal to save money on. When deciding how to do your brunch, talk to your wedding planner. She will have many excellent suggestions how to make it work on a smaller budget. It doesn’t matter if your brunch guest list is a very small group or a larger one, it will be intimate. Let your guests wow you about how wonderful your wedding was. It is a chance for them to gush about their experiences on your special day.
Whether you opt to have a formal sit down brunch or a buffet line, brunch can be personalized to your specific needs in taste, appeal, and budget. As a wedding planner and event planner, the best advice I can give is to let your brunch be your send-off into married life, as well as your guest’s send-off home. From Hollywood stars travelling to regular people driving, brunch has a seat for everyone at its table!