Every item on this page was chosen by The Pioneer Woman team. The site may earn a commission on some products.

How to Host a Brunch Party That's Just as Fun as It Is Delicious

There's so much more to it than mimosas.

Here's the fun thing about brunch: There are no rules. Whether you're looking to eat at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., or even 4 p.m., "brunch" is a perfectly acceptable label to slap onto the meal!

The menu options are limitless. Serve up breakfast classics (like Ree Drummond's Cinnamon Baked French Toast!), go for a full-on lunch feel (wraps, sandwiches, and spinach salad recipes for the win), or opt for a mashup of the two (Flank Steak with Cheesy Waffle Hash Browns, please).

Basically, it's chaos. But it's good chaos—the delicious kind that comes with orange juice and champagne.

how to host a brunch party french toast
Ree says her Cinnamon Baked French Toast recipe is "so easy to prepare, it should be illegal."
Ralph Smith

"That's the thing about brunch," says Vallery Lomas, blogger behind Foodie in New York and winner of the third season of The Great American Baking Show. "You really can't mess it up. Dinner parties can be so serious, but brunch is a chance to take risks, be creative, and keep things interesting."

Here, with the help of Vallery and lifestyle blogger Eden Passante of Sugar and Charm, we're doing our best to make sense of the lawless land known as brunch. Find both bloggers' top tips for how to host a brunch party below, and don't forget to check out our favorite breakfast recipes and comfort food recipes to get inspired.

How should you pick a theme for your brunch party?

Unlike more potentially elaborate events (like birthday parties and dinner parties), there's actually no need to stick to a theme when you're planning out a brunch. Feel free to keep things casual and undefined.

But if you are searching for a way to bring all the elements of your party together, you might want to use the food itself as a theme. Craving waffles? Follow Eden's lead and set up a DIY waffle bar, then let your guests choose from a dozen different toppings. Or maybe you're more into the spirited side of things, in which case we'd suggest using a cocktail as a jumping-off point. Take another cue from Eden and try your hand at a DIY spritzer bar or mimosa station.

Themes can also play to the current season, an upcoming holiday, one specific ingredient or type of cuisine, and color palettes. (How fun would an all-pink food and drink brunch be?) Have fun with it!

What food do you serve at a brunch party?

Truly, anything goes when it comes to brunch. Both Vallery and Eden agree that optimizing for ease is paramount—and that make-ahead dishes reign supreme. In other words, skip the pancakes and scrambled eggs if you want to stay in the moment.

"I want to be able to spend the most amount of time with my guests when I'm hosting any sort of gathering," Vallery says. "I don't want to be hidden away in the kitchen. So, anything that can be served at room temperature, or dishes that can be quickly reheated...both would be ideal for that exact reason."

Try peppering your menu with baked goods (a loaf of pumpkin banana bread, perhaps?), or make something that can be thrown back in the oven on the morning-of—say, a frittata, quiche, or breakfast casserole. The food, after all, won't mean much to your guests if their host isn't there to sit down and enjoy it with them.

"You can make a wonderful meal, but if the atmosphere is off, it will be a forgettable brunch," adds Eden.

What drinks should you serve at brunch?

Great question. After all, mimosas are certainly the classic brunch beverage, but they're not your only choice here. Bellinis, Bloody Marys, greyhounds, and sangria are also great choices. You can also serve a selection of juices to pair with some bubbly: Pineapple juice, mango juice, and grapefruit juice are all great choices.

"In the past, I've done things like make a homemade rhubarb syrup, then set it out and let my guests add sparkling wine if they want," Vallery says. "Those who didn't want to partake in alcohol could just add soda water instead."

Good news: We have a ton of cocktail recipes (including a few mocktails and some fabulously refreshing watermelon drinks) to help you get started.

What's the best way to set a budget for your brunch party?

One reason we love brunch so much is that it's really easy to stay within—or even under—any sort of budget you've set for yourself. In fact, that's the beauty of any gathering with laid-back vibes. There's no need, for instance, to splurge on pricey croissants from that French bakery down the street; a batch of homemade waffles will do just fine.

If you're particularly nervous about spending too much, you can always turn the event into a potluck and ask each of your guests to contribute a dish.

How do you set up a brunch table?

The options here are endless, too. You could go all-in on a more formal, sit-down affair, or simply set up a few stations for guests to help themselves.

"I say, don't hold back on setting the table with your special china and fresh flowers," Eden suggests. "As we’re all navigating this difficult year, I can’t think of a better time to indulge in all the nice things that you’ve been saving for a special occasion."

Want a more casual brunch buffet? "I love the idea of letting people get up, grab something, and bring it back to their seat," Vallery says. "One year, I made homemade bagels and created a DIY situation with cream cheese, smoked salmon, lettuce, and capers."

how to host a brunch party waffles
Zan Passante/Sugar and Charm

But even a more understated vibe can get a boost from the addition of beautiful tabletop goods. Think pretty cake stands, pie pans, and cast-iron skillets. And don't forget: The food itself can often act as décor.

"I don’t necessarily decorate with a whole bunch of fancy extras, but I do decorate with the dishes on the table," Vallery says. "For instance, I often think about including different heights and textures. You could use a cake stand for a batch of muffins to raise them up higher, and throw a quiche into a nice tart pan to give it some character."

how to host a brunch party flowers
Zan Passante/Sugar and Charm

How can we still enjoy brunch safely at this time?

There's no need break from social distancing guidelines just to host a fun brunch party. Who says you can't make a special meal just for the people under your roof?

"I think we’re all in a bit of a cooking rut as it is," Vallery says. "Switching things up with a gorgeous brunch might be the best move for your family right now. "

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
More From Breakfast