Brunch is a delightful way to gather with friends and family, but why not take it up a notch and host a boozy brunch that your guests will think about for months to come? Whether it's a special occasion or just a Sunday well-spent, hosting a boozy brunch with a creative theme can elevate the experience for everyone involved. In this blog post, we will walk you through various suggestions to help you plan and host a fun-filled brunch that’s just a little over the top.
Step #1: Pick a Unique Theme
The first step to hosting a successful boozy brunch is to pick a unique theme. Themes add a fun and cohesive element to the gathering, making it more memorable for your guests. It also gets everyone excited about planning their outfits ahead of time. Consider themes like "Tropical Paradise," "Gatsby Glamour," "Around the World," or "Retro Brunch Bash." Be creative and let your theme inspire each element of the event, such as the decor, drinks, food, and music.
Step #2: Set Strategic and Enjoyable Place Cards
To add a personalized touch to your boozy brunch, set strategic place cards for your guests. Use these settings not only to assign seats but also to spark conversation and ensure everyone enjoys each other's company. Take the time to consider seating arrangements, grouping friends or acquaintances who may not know each other well to foster new connections and lively discussions, but also know who likes to stick with the people they know. My method? Set everyone near at least one person they know, but surround that duo with a duo they may not know so well. This is the best way to foster friendships!
Step #3: Prepare Food Strategically
Hosting a boozy brunch doesn't mean you have to spend all your time in the kitchen during the event. After weeks of planning, nobody wants to feel like they missed out on their own event! Plan your menu with make-ahead dishes that only require warming in the oven, or that can be left out ahead of time. Dishes like quiches, frittatas, and overnight French toast casseroles, can easily be made ahead of time and left in a 200 degree oven to stay warm before serving. Just as foods like baked goods, smoked salmon, fruit salad, and a grazing board can be left out for a few hours. Alternatively, you can choose to contact a caterer or local restaurant to help you with the food. If this is the route you choose, just make sure they know you don’t want to deal with anything too labor intensive the morning of!
Step #4: Provide Dress Code Guidelines
There’s nothing worse than showing up to an event in the wrong attire. To ensure everyone is on the same page and enhances the theme, provide your guests with dress code guidelines. It can be as simple as "Beach Chic" for a tropical-themed brunch or "Retro Glam" for a throwback celebration. Setting a dress code (or at least shooting out a text!) will add an element of excitement, and your guests will appreciate the clarity. Also, know your crowd -- they may want to have fun with it!
Step #5: Set Up a Photo Backdrop
Create a picture-perfect setting for your boozy brunch with a stunning photo backdrop. This can be achieved with floor pillows, fresh flowers, balloons, or a pretty corner with carefully curated decorations. Encourage your guests to snap photos and share their experience, making your event even more memorable. Maybe even set out disposable cameras? In any case, send them the photos afterwards so they can post their favs!
Step #6: Beverage Dispensers with Labels
Organize the drink station with style by using glass dispensers that you can write on to label the beverages. My ideal dispensers are the ones that come with chalk, but there are many varieties. This not only looks aesthetically pleasing but also helps guests quickly identify their drink of choice. Label alcoholic options, like sangria or punch, and non-alcoholic options, like flavored water or lemonade, to cater to all preferences.
Step #7: Offer Mocktails for Non-Drinkers
Not everyone may want to indulge in alcoholic beverages, so be sure to offer mocktails for those who choose not to drink. Get creative with refreshing and flavorful options that mimic popular cocktails. A "Virgin Mary" (non-alcoholic Bloody Mary) or a "Nojito" (non-alcoholic Mojito) are excellent choices to satisfy non-drinkers. This is especially important for brunch events as others may have obligations later in the day.
Step #8: Store Extra Booze for Round Two
To ensure that the party keeps going without interruption, store extra booze and prepared cocktails in the back for round two. This way, you can replenish the drink station discreetly, and your guests won't run out of their favorite libations. Just when they think you are out with their favorite cocktail… voila! You’ll be there to refill their glasses and keep the merriment going.
Step #9: Create a Build-Your-Own Cocktail Station
Add a touch of interactive fun to your boozy brunch by creating a build-your-own cocktail station. Set up a designated area with various fruits, veggies, garnishes, and other toppings, allowing your guests to craft their perfect mimosas, Bloody Marys, or specialty cocktails. This DIY approach encourages creativity and fosters a lively atmosphere. Maybe even create a sign that creatively gives instructions.
Step #10: Plan Post-Brunch Activities
After indulging in a delicious boozy brunch, keep the energy flowing with a post-meal activity. Choose something that aligns with your theme and adds to the overall experience. Options could include funny card games, a flower-arranging session, karaoke, or a group game that encourages laughter and interaction.
Step #11: Encourage Guests to Bring Theme-Appropriate Food or Drinks
Don't hesitate to involve your guests in the culinary experience. If they offer, encourage them to bring theme-appropriate food to share with others. If you’re worried about them following the theme or whipping up something you love, just tell them to bring their favorite champagne or alcohol. On the contrary, if you aren’t too worried about manipulating the menu, maybe make this brunch into more of a potluck!
Step #12: Set Out a Separate Dessert Table
With all the delicious food and cocktails, make sure to leave room for dessert. Set out a separate dessert table with an array of sweet treats that align with the theme. This is another area in which you could incorporate your guests’ bringings. Consider offering a mix of decadent desserts and lighter options to cater to different tastes. Chocolate, fruity, and creamy are the three categories I like to hit.
Step #13: Cater to Dietary Needs
As a considerate host, it's essential to cater to dietary needs. Before the event, reach out to your guests and inquire about any dietary restrictions or preferences they may have. Ensure there are options available for vegetarians, vegans, and those with food allergies. Additionally, if there are very sensitive allergies I recommend labeling your dishes to alert guests.
Step #14: Send Guests Home with NextDay Hangover Drinks
As the boozy brunch comes to an end, show your guests some extra love by sending them home with some NextDay. With the superhero of hangover recovery, DHM, along with B6, a blend of B vitamins, vitamin C, D, E, zinc and magnesium, a small dose of natural caffeine (about a Diet Coke's worth) and only 35 calories, NextDay will keep your guests afloat for the rest of the day. Plus, they are a super easy send-home!
Hosting a boozy brunch with these suggestions can turn an ordinary gathering into an extraordinary experience. From choosing a unique theme to providing delightful activities and catering to everyone's needs, your guests will appreciate the effort you put into creating a memorable event. Remember, the key to a successful boozy brunch is to have fun, be creative, and savor every moment shared with loved ones. Cheers to a fabulous and unforgettable brunch!