Brunch Weddings

Source: Pancake display

So, usually I am the person working in weddings who doesn’t get to GO to a lot of weddings. Side effect of living in London, innit. But this year has been different. This year, if I had a pound for every wedding I’ve attended… well, I’d have five pounds. Still, five weddings between March and May is quite something. Four have been in South Africa, which has given me the best excuse to hang out here for almost three months. (And a chance to see so many precious friends, I’m a lucky girl!) The last of Wed-a-palooza was the wedding of my friends Sven & Louise (which you’ll get to see soon), and apart from being insanely beautiful, what made it unique was that it was a brunch wedding. A trend beloved of bloggers, but rarely seen in the wild, this was the real deal. And it totally convinced me. Brunch weddings are AWESOME. Here’s why:

  • They can be more budget friendly – depending how you do it, of course, but you’ll make savings on booze, venue hire, and often food as well.
  • It’s a great opportunity to go for an unusual venue, or one that doesn’t normally cater to weddings (for example, if the kitchen is too small to manage a full evening meal for 100 people). Pick a favourite restaurant with beautiful decor, and half your work will have been done for you.
  • With an early start, there’s less time to stress. Plus, you’ll get to relax and spend time with your guests without feeling like the night is whizzing past you, and spend plenty of quality time with the hubbster.
  • You won’t need to leave your guests hanging while you have your photo shoot – just do it after the festivities wind down.
  • It’s unusual, and something your guests won’t forget in a hurry!
  • If you’d like to spend more time with your friends after and have a big party, you could do as my friends did and host an evening braai later on. It was a super relaxed way to end off a fantastic day.
  • Who doesn’t LOVE breakfast? But brunch could just as easily mean light lunch food if breakfast bits don’t take your fancy.

I’ve been trawling the web for inspiration, and here’s what I came up with.

For a brunch, you’ll want to keep the decor light and pretty. Food is a big highlight of proceedings, so make a design feature of it. This is a good chance to add whimsical touches like paper flowers, since it’s less formal than an evening event. I also love the idea of tea cups and milk jugs filled with flowers! (For more tea-themed decor, see here .)

Sources: paper flowers, framed menu, tea cup decor

As mentioned above, food at a brunch wedding can be a real feature. I love the idea of adapting the dessert table or food station concepts to show this buffet style off. For example, why not turn your cakes, croissants and muffins into a Parisian Patiesserie? Or how about a pancake bar? Mix savoury and sweet foods and style with an adorable backdrop?

Sources: Patisserie, sweet and savoury brunch table

Speaking of savoury and sweet, if you do go down the breakfast route, there are so many lovely  and fun food ideas to consider. I especially like the idea of mini-anything, and canape-size breakfast food sounds like heaven to me! If you want to go the more traditional route, have an omelette station where guests can choose what they would like to have in theirs. For more amazing brunch wedding food ideas, check out this post on The Broke-Ass Bride.

Sources: heart donuts, waffles, muffins, mini donuts, pancakes, omelette station, french toast, bacon canapes

And let’s not forget the drinks! The brunch wedding I attended had bottles of homemade lemonade, and a special coffee stand which always had a queue of happy guests behind it. They also served alcoholic drinks past about 11.30. Just because you’re starting early doesn’t mean you can’t have a signature cocktail – take a page out of America’s book and serve mimosas, bellinis, or (my FAVOURITE IDEA) build a Bloody Mary bar! If you’d like to keep it tame, you could create a tea station with all sorts of blends in pretty jars (this could double up as an adorable favour) and milk (or OJ) in bottles with pretty straws.

Sources: mimosas, loose leaf tea bar, milk, bloody mary bar

What about favours? There are lots of lovely ideas, but again, I would go food related. My favourite are the homemade granola or pancake mix in jars, but you could also create tea and coffee sachets, or spread the love with honey, jam, marmalade, etc. – even homemade nutella! An alternative which I think would be adorable is the ‘morning papers’ – Newsfavor is a South African company making personalised newspapers that would be perfect for this.

Sources: Pancake mix, granola; honey, tea sachets, coffee bags

Although you can of course attend your brunch wedding in the whole works – formal wedding gown, morning suits for the boys – another alternative is to pick one of the super sweet short dresses that you’ll find on the market. Another place for budget brides to save some cash!

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