6 Steps to Host a Stress-Free Brunch

Table set for party style brunch

I don’t think I have ever met someone who doesn’t love brunch! It’s the perfect opportunity to eat more than you should. I mean it’s two meals in one, right? Brunch is also a great mix of savory and sweet bites that really satisfies all those cravings. Add in your favorite morning or mid-day beverage and what else can a girl ask for? Oh I know, a way to feed a crowd without being stuck in the kitchen while everyone else is chowing down. 

Following these 6 tips to host a stress-free brunch will make feeding your brunch or breakfast crowd easy so you can relax and enjoy the meal just much as your guests! I've also created a free resource of my favorite reliable make-ahead recipes you'll want to have handy. I have even included a super easy no-cooking brunch menu that ticks all the boxes of what a brunch menu should include! 

Choose a Theme

Nothing helps me focus on a cohesive party plan like landing on a fun theme to keep all the details tied together.  Themes aren’t necessary but they can be fun. That said, if themes aren’t your thing or you are aiming for a simple brunch with family or friends, then move on down the list. Choose your theme based on the season, a guest of honor, the occasion, or something the guests all have a common appreciation for like a favorite movie/TV show, sport, book, or even board game. You can even just take inspiration from a favorite color, shape, letter or number. Pinterest is a great source for brainstorming ideas. Once you choose a theme, work through key elements of entertaining like colors, flavors, any occasion-specific decor, and scents for a special hand-soap or candle you might want to place in the bathroom. You can even come up with clever theme-related names for the main dishes you plan to serve. 

Plan Your Menu

While there are no set rules for what foods to serve at your brunch, having a good variety of options will keep the masses happy. In my humble opinion, brunch should include foods from the following categories:

  • Both savory and sweet options
  • Proteins (eggs, bacon, sausage, ham, chicken, etc.)
  • Something fresh (like fruit, veggies, or salad)  
  • Baked goods such as sweet rolls, biscuits, or pastries
  • Breakfast staple such as pancakes, French toast, or waffles
  • Finishing touches include a choice of spreads or toppings
  • A few beverage options

As you think about what you want to serve, consider foods that require little to no cooking and recipes that you can prep in advance. (More on this in my last tip below). Choosing the right menu goes a long way toward a brunch party that is stress free. After all, you want to be at the party too, right? 

Opt for a Buffet Style Brunch

You’ll be a more relaxed host if you don’t have to plate each person’s food or ensure each guest has what they want on their plate. Instead, simply arrange the food on the counter and let guests serve themselves. I do suggest having any butter, jams, syrups, or other spreads available on the dining table for easy access during the meal. 

Offer a Self-serve Drink Station

Bar buffet with juice, champagne and fruit for mimosas

If you are serving to adults who will indulge in mixed drinks, I suggest setting up what I call a Bar Board or bar buffet. You can keep this as fancy or simple as you like. To keep it really simple, arrange some champagne flutes on a table, set out a pitcher of juice, some chilled Prosecco or other sparkling wine, and a bowl of fresh berries for a do it yourself mimosa bar. Take it from simple to special by taking the time to rim your glasses in some sugar the night or morning before guests arrive. 

Keep the Decor Simple 

Even when you are working with a theme, if decorating isn’t your thing, don’t let the decor bog you down. You can keep it as simple as some cute napkins, a couple of well placed vases of flowers from the grocery store and maybe a pillar candle or two on the table. I’ve even been known to run out and clip some flowers or small leafy stems from the magnolia tree in my yard to arrange right on the table for a centerpiece. Your guests will care much more about the delicious food and the company than whether you made a special wreath for the door. Of course, if you have that special talent then more power to you!

Avoid Day-of Stress:

Avoid day-of stress by using these tips:

  • Get Help: Ask one or two guests to be responsible for one element of the day. Someone on your guest list will feel honored to lend a hand to prepare a dish or arrange the flowers. Let them lend a hand. 
  • Plan the Prep Write out your home and food prep list and assign a day/time for accomplishing each major task.
  • Work in Advance: Prepare as many brunch dishes ahead of time as possible. The best way to avoid stress on the day of any party is to get the time consuming tasks completed early.
  • Download this Guide: To help you save time, I have created a FREE resource for you that will get you connected with reliable, make-ahead brunch recipes.  I've done the research for you and put it all in one place. I have even included my favorite quick and easy brunch menu ideas that require no cooking! Just drop your first name and your email address in the following this link and I will send it straight to your inbox!