Wedding seasons is in full swing, which means our calendars are quickly filling with celebratory events for the happy couples. Before the hustle of the big day arrives, a bridesmaids’ brunch is an opportunity to celebrate the bride-to-be with an intimate affair. And if you are tasked with hosting the bridesmaids’ brunch, you’re likely looking for pointers on how to execute a stylish, seamless soiree that is as beautiful as your friend.
Our go-to party experts at Hester & Cook, who are known for their out-of-the-box options for beautiful tablescapes and place settings, and event planner extraordinaire Amos Gott collaborated to create a simple formula to throw an impressive gathering. Together they created the environment for a summer bridesmaids’ brunch that is bursting with delicious details and a fruity feel. Their approach feels fresh, and their clever ideas and helpful pointers can guide you in hosting your own bridesmaids’ brunch.
In approaching a party, Amos recommends that first and foremost, you think about what you enjoy at a party because, chances are, those elements are essential for everyone. “Good food and atmosphere are usually what people remember,” he says. “The overall priority is that guests (and the host) have a fantastic time — that starts with good planning. The flow of the space, the placement of guests around the table, and the ambiance you create all contribute to a great party.”
Green Door Gourmet’s Grand Barn was the setting for this citrus-centric celebration, which welcomed eight friends for a light brunch followed by a few sweet treats. Hester & Cook’s lemon placemats were at the center of the design comprised of whimsical elements and punches of yellow and lavender. Amos typically starts designing an event with a color or theme in mind, but in the case of this brunch, he let the placemats inspire him. “I went into [Hester & Cook] with no real plan, but when I saw the lemons and lavender plaid, I knew that was the direction to go,” he explains. “From there, I selected the place settings and floral colors.”
The playful papers were used as placemats and table runners, but also in other applications to tie the entire design together. Lemon gift tags were used in place of place cards, and papers were incorporated into the bar and dessert signage and menu cards. “One of the easiest things to do with the table runners or placemats is to line trays that can be used for everything from passing hors d’oeuvres or drinks to desserts on the bar,” Amos says, revealing another easy decorating tip.
The papers were also used creatively on the bar, with the plaid runner on the top and lemon placemats double-sided tapped in the front panels. “Suddenly, the bar had a new personality that fit the theme,” Amos continues. “Using these creative themed papers allowed me to create a big look for a low price.”
“There are only a few basic rules when setting the table — where the fork, knife, spoon and plate go. Outside of that, experiment and have fun,” says Hester & Cook owner Angie Cook. “Using our paper, you can incorporate a lot of color and create a fun, elevated tablescape without spending a ton of money.”
2 Bridesmaids’ Brunch Recipes
When you’re ready to map out your menu, here are two recipes we tried and loved. Enjoy!
Sylvia Ganier’s Cocktail Recipe
- 1 large lemon (deseeded and juiced)
- 2 tablespoons Woodford reserve mint simple syrup*
- 1 oz vodka
- 3 oz water
- Crushed ice
- Fresh mint, blueberries, lemon wedges
- Fill large coupe glass with crushed ice. Shake ingredients together in a cocktail shaker, pour over ice. Garnish with a skewer of blueberries and lemon wedges, add a sprig of mint.
- *Lavender simple syrup can be substituted for the mint simple syrup for a more floral forward drink.
SweetAbility’s Pucker Up Lemon Bars
- 1 cup unsalted super soft butter
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups of sugar
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 eggs
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Spread crust into a 9X13 pan lined with parchment paper .
- Bake at 325 degrees for 20-22 minutes or until crust is slightly browned.
- Whisk together and pour onto hot shortbread crust to bake at 325 degrees for 22-30 minutes.
- Bake until the very center will barely jiggle when the pan is moved. It will set up as it cools.
- Cool for at least an hour then cover and put in the fridge for a minimum of two hours or overnight.
- Remove from the pan by lifting up by the parchment paper then cut into squares with a sharp knife.
- Dust with powdered sugar and serve.
Cheers, again, to the many folks who made this possible:
Paper products: Hester & Cook
Styling: Amos Gott of AmosEvents
Locations: Green Door Gourmet
Rentals: Music City Tents and Events
Linens and cushions: La Tavola
Donuts: Five Daughters Bakery
Menu and name card calligraphy: Dear Christina Grace
Photography: Leila Grossman
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To learn more about Hester & Cook and to peruse their complete offerings, visit them online at hesterandcook.com.
This article is sponsored by Hester & Cook.