This past weekend, I hosted my friend Diana the night before her wedding.
Hosting a wedding day brunch shouldn't be taken on lightly. It's a very special day for the bride and her family, so you want things to run as smoothly as possible. At the same time you need to make sure that you have good lighting, great food, and that the area stays clean throughout for pictures.
I actually hosted this event at my parent's place, which was down the street from the venue. This was not only incredibly generous of them (to vacate for the weekend) but proved wonderful because it just POURED rain all day. Luckily their place has big picture windows that allowed us to get some great shots without having to step outside.
Here's what you need to host a great Wedding Day Brunch!
1) A clean house - and I mean CLEAN. Big white dress aside, you're going to be taking lots and lots of pictures. The last thing you want is dirty windows, dusty surfaces or mess in the corners. Also good to keep in mind is to keep cleaning though out, no one wants to smell like bacon grease all day, or see dirty coffee mugs everywhere in photos. If you're in the bridal party AND hosting (like I was) don't get dressed until you're about to head out the door
2) Cozy guest rooms - You want to make sure the bride and her bridesmaids have a great nights sleep! make sure each room is set up with towels and fresh sheets.
3) Great breakfast! - This should go without saying, but you're going to need a good breakfast. Wedding days tend to get away from you so you want to eat lots in the morning (and drink plenty of water) because you might be too busy to remember to eat lunch. Myself and the other bridesmaid got up early to make sure breakfast was ready by the time the bride came down. That way we could have things cleaned and put away in time for breakfast and getting ready photos.
And remember, don't skip the champagne for mimosas! Your friend is getting married after all.
Also, keep in mind that if the wedding is later in the day (as this one was) lunch and snacks will also be required! This can get costly so make sure you budget well.
4) Makeup and Hair stations - Some houses aren't equipped with great spaces for your hair and makeup team. Luckily we managed to find some good spaces with the right number of outlets, mirrors, tables and natural light for both teams.
5) A photographer - The bride's photographer wasn't going to arrive until the ceremony, so we didn't have any formal "getting ready" photos. Luckily I had my friend Sam staying with us and she was happy to take pictures all morning. I handed over my DSLR and she got to work! If you have a photographer on hand, it's still nice to bring a camera to take pictures of the day that are more natural. Check out this post here as an example!
this is what a selfie looks like with a DSLR
6) Organization, ability to work under pressure and a good sense of humour - Planning any event is stressful. Even though we only had a few of us at the house, you need to keep everyone fed, watered and happy! It is after all the happiest day of your friend's life to date. Things will inevitably go wrong, complications will arise (rain, groom late for first look, complications getting to the venue) but if you pull together you'll still have a great day. Just have another glass of champagne and regroup!
7) A great team - I'm incredibly organized and a natural event planner, but I could NOT have done this without the help of my two friends. Courtney, the other bridesmaid, was essential for helping with breakfast, costs, keeping Diana's Mom and Sister entertained and helping with logistics. Sam, who was visiting from out of town for the wedding, not only took photos all day but also helped with clean up while we were getting ready, helped Diana with her speech and was an absolute rock all day long.
These two girls are about as type-A and organized as they come, and lovely to boot! We make a pretty great team.
Finally, just remember to have fun. At the end of the day, there's an open bar waiting for you!
Here's some other snaps from the day, including when the groomsmen showed up (after the bride left for her first look of course) for some snacks, beer and photos!
These two moved to Calgary a few months ago. I've known them since high school and miss them like crazy. It was so wonderful to have Sam staying with us during the wedding, and to spend time with Kiernan (who was my assigned groomsmen). Love you guys!
And of course my handsome date. Love this man!