A couple of weeks ago, I hosted the “Second Annual Fall Brunch” at our new house. The previous year we were still in our apartment, and while we had a great time, having the extra space, and better layout for entertaining, made this year’s event that much more fun. I’m already looking forward to next year’s Fall Brunch. In this post I’m sharing the steps I took to make sure this was a fun, stress-free event, and the details on how you can re-create this event yourself!
Can’t we all agree that even if we don’t think of ourselves as particularly organized people, we all function better when everything is well-planned & organized?
Well I’ve come to learn, that for me at least, it eliminates a lot of stress to try to live life this way. Especially when it comes to entertaining & hosting events… being well organized will make all the difference! Following these steps will help to ensure your event is a stress-free success.
So, without further a-due here’s what I did to create this year’s Fall Brunch…
8 weeks out:
- Pick a date & time
- Brainstorm general ideas for the menu, decor & guest list
6 weeks out:
- Send out e-vites with Paperless Post
2 weeks out:
- Send out RSVP request/reminder (you can set this up automatically with Paperless Post)
- Plan menu
- Grocery shop for all ingredients, food & decor needed
- Make sure everything purchased for the event is kept in one spot so you won’t have to search for anything
- Prep & cook any dishes that can be made ahead of time & store in the fridge
- Lay out all serving dishes where you would like everything to be served & displayed
- Put the finishing touches on your fall decor
- Finish cooking, warm up dishes that were made the night before, and place everything on the serving dishes
- Light candles about 30 minutes before guests arrive
- Start playing Music (I used the “Fall Favorites” playlist from Amazon Music through our Amazon Echo Speaker in the kitchen)
Invitations & Guest List
About 2 months in advance this year’s Fall Brunch was already on my mind. The first thing I did, was of course, pick a date and a time. Then I created a free E-vite with Paperless Post. They have so many cute designs you can buy, but I decided to keep things simple and pick a free design. I started with this template and changed a few things around including: the colors and the image at the top. Since I knew my home’s fall decor would remain neutral with pops of greenery, I made the invitation’s colors echo that theme. Once I finished tweaking the design I invited everyone via email about 6 weeks in advance.
This was my fourth time using Paperless Post and I love how easy it is to use. They recently added some new features that made keeping track of guests & their RSVP’s so much easier. Guests can then easily add the event to their phone’s calendar, along with the option to set up event reminders. I was able to customize each individual’s invitations with a simple message, as well as schedule “remember to RSVP” emails to be sent out. It was so easy to do it once, schedule any reminder emails, and let the app do the work for me.
Below, I added a photo of the original invitation (on the left), next to the invitation I designed (on the right). I removed our address from my design, but you get the idea…
After sending the invitations I referenced last year’s menu for ideas. I wanted to make sure everything was still autumn-inspired, but I wanted to try all new recipes this time. So I gathered recipes on Pinterest and kept a running list of ingredients and recipes, on the notes of my phone for the grocery store.
I ultimately decided on a savory casserole, an apple cranberry baked oatmeal, a yogurt bar, an appetizer with pumpkin cranberry crisps and goat cheese, and a biscuit bar with pumpkin butter & local apple butter. I also made pumpkin cookies, orange cranberry scones, pumpkin bread, and of course offered both classic & apple cider mimosas, tea and coffee. The brunch started at 11am, so I made sure to time it, so that everything was finished cooking and set up a couple minutes before guests arrived.
As everyone arrived I asked each person to write their name on a little slip of paper and place it in a bowl. After everyone arrived and got something to eat, I drew a name from the bowl as a door prize. It was just a cute little travel mug, but I love having door prizes at events I host to keep things fun & everyone entertained in the down time. Later we played White Pumpkin. It’s similar to white elephant other than we use a white pumpkin to draw names (see this post where I explained the game and how to play). There ended up being 16 of us ladies, and 3 sweet babies. I had such a great time catching up with everyone, and I loved introducing friends to each other.
I hope you all had a wonderful Halloween last night & a great rest of the week!