So many of you have emailed and asked us questions regarding brunch weddings. Timelines, logistics, menu, layout, micro-events...pros, cons, lessons learned. We’re sharing it all with you in this episode, including some incredibly detailed insight from a recent ‘brunch bride’ listener. Her post-wedding-day notes are a great retrospective about all things brunch. Let’s get ourselves a bloody mary and dive in!
Let’s talk about the easy part first: Food and Drinks. Early lunch, or full brunch. Everyone loves a boozy brunch! Carving station, omelettes, frittatas, quiche, breakfast foods, fresh fruits and veg and cheese, sweet treats like pastries and donuts, smoked salmon, small bites, chicken and waffles, limited bar - people still drink beer and wine. Spiked hot drinks, bloodies, mimosas - all sorts! Champagne and coffee are a must. An espresso bar? Yes Please.
Timeline example: (Be ready for an early morning!)
o 6am-8am, makeup and hair (makeup for 4 people, hair for 1)
o 8am-9am, get dressed + getting ready photos with photographer
o 9am-10am, First Look, Wedding Party, and ½ of family photos
o 11am-11:30am, Ceremony
o 11:30am-12:30pm, Cocktail Reception (ceremony room flipped)
o 12:30pm-4:00pm, Reception
Challenges of a brunch wedding:
Skewing things early, and making sure everyone’s expectations are in line with the earlier day you have planned - your wedding party, VIPs and guests.
Keeping things flowing during the reception - do people dance? Will people stay until the end or cut out early?
Apparel - brides have told us that they have had trouble picking a wedding dress for their brunch nuptials. Too formal? Too ‘garden party’? Is strapless ok? Tea length or floor length for the bridesmaids? Our advice is to pick the venue and the date before even beginning to start the outfit-hunt. Just like an evening wedding, your clothes will (ideally) ‘fit’ the scene. At the end of the day, remember what we always say - do you! If you love it and you’re comfortable, it’s fine.
Hair and Makeup could be VERY early if you have a lot of ladies lined up for services. Might want to think about having your rehearsal dinner on the early side so everybody is ready for an early wedding day!
Light! It’s going to be light out, you won’t get a sunset, or have to race against darkness. We strongly suggest you visit the venue during the time that your wedding will be so you can get a good idea of the light - inside and out. You probably won’t need to spend a lot of money on an AV company lighting vendor because the room will be bright enough. Maybe you need to think about draping if the light is too bright in the windows. Don’t fight the light - know what you are going to get and harness it! Use what you have to your advantage. Outdoor garden wedding at 10am - perfect!
Small wedding parties and live musicians are perfect for brunch. We see those two things in almost every brunch wedding we’ve planned or been to as a guest or ‘friendor.’
Our Brunch Bride’s hindsight:
· We saved money on food and the venue. Because it was daytime, I felt like we got away with having a simpler menu (i.e., one entrée). Our families enjoy their beverages, so we went more typical alcohol estimates, but we could have saved more by returning what wasn’t opened (mostly rose and cava for the mimosas). Finally, our venue base cost was $3k. It was double for a Saturday evening, but it seemed like rates of at least $10k-$15k were the average at other places. Spending less money on the venue meant I didn’t have to skimp in other areas.
· It’s well suited for a Sunday. If an evening wedding was a priority for us, I would have chosen a Friday or Saturday. But Sunday meant that people in NorCal did not have to take off work, which they appreciated.
· Creativity! I enjoy evening weddings where there’s a fancy dinner, starry skies, and a lot of dancing. But brunch forced us to reimagine many aspects of our wedding, especially décor and music. The vibe I wanted was hip, relaxed, light, and airy. A “garden party” was the closest thing I could think because of the daytime and floral nature. I like what we came up with overall. The flowers and greenery really made it work, even though I know a lot of couples steer away from that. The DJ also did a great job with music; he understood our eclectic but rather chill taste and picked songs appropriate for the setting. And the florist killed it, absolutely loved her work.
· A perk of a Sunday wedding: we got our first picks for vendors. We had a 10-month timeframe and although people were already booked on the Saturday, 10/6, they were free on Sunday, 10/7 to help us.
Links we referenced
“I’ve learned that I cannot actually handle an unlimited mimosa brunch. Boozy brunch...not for me.” - Christy, on being an adult
“You think of brunch, you think of being sober. You’re not putting on a little black dress. You’re more proper. It’s not going to last as long as an evening wedding would.” Michelle, on the elements of brunch
“Something needs to happen every thirty minutes...that’s just a rule of thumb. And that is definitely true for a brunch wedding.” - Christy
“Brunch food smells so good. I think it’s because the syrup is on heaters a lot of the time. Delicious.” - Christy loves pancakes
“You can have anything at brunch. It’s an in-between time, anything goes!” - Michelle - freedom!
“Good energy. We were way less exhausted than we thought we’d be; with an evening wedding, we would have been dragging by 9pm.” - Our brunch bride Gen, you have to be a morning person!
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