With our destination wedding now behind us, we are putting together plans for our AHR this spring. I want to start a thread where we can swap ideas (for favors, decor, etc.) which might be somewhat unique to a brunch reception. I would also LOVE to hear from other couples who decided to have a brunch or breakfast reception in lieu of a typical evening dinner and dance.
Why a brunch reception...where are we going with this???
1) We love breakfast foods...LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them! What I'm picturing is an amazing late Sunday morning buffet (for 120 people) with bacon, sausage, carved ham, eggs, skillet hash browns, eggs benedict, stuffed french toast, fresh fruit, all kinds of muffins, croissants, cinnamon buns, scones, mini yogurt parfaits, great coffee. Maybe even another Mexican-inspired spicy savory egg entree...anyway, you get the picture. ONLY BREAKFAST FOODS! We have reserved a banquet room at the hotel my husband works at and the chef will create whatever we want. We will get a 25% off discount on the food plus a complementary room for us for three nights and a complementary room for a kids' activity space (with childcare) if we decide to go that route.
2) We love mimosas...but here is where we've hit our first snag. Our plan was to have a "cocktail" hour from 10 - 11 am where we would serve select fruit-juice based cocktails during which time we can mingle, take pictures and greet guests as they arrive. However, legally, our venue is not permitted to serve alcohol before noon on Sundays. So, we were thinking maybe we'd have a champagne toast after brunch (during the program). Any other ideas out there? I don't think we could just say "brunch at 11"...because we need everyone in, seated and ready to start eating at 11. Here are inspiration photos I shared with our catering consultant for a beautiful juice bar which we will have either way:
3) My parents are paying for this reception and my side of the family is more conservative (aren't drinkers, not dancers). To keep costs down, we decided on a daytime reception rather than an evening reception.
4) Our DW was in February of 2012 and our AHR will be in May. This is to ensure we have our pro photos back (she's doing a DVD for us that we will play during the program)...that we have good weather (hopefully!) for those travelling from out of town and that it will be warm enough out to have a "Return to the Tropics" BBQ at my parents the night before the reception. We also didn't want to leave it so long though that it interfered with summer holiday schedules.
5) We love puzzles/scrabble/crosswords, and when I saw this, I knew I wanted to create a special crossword to put at each place setting. We'll create a custom crossword, the answers to which are key words from/interesting or little-known facts about our relationship/wedding. Anyone out there done this before and recommend a particular website or program?
6) I wanted a less formal/more relaxed feel to this reception. I'm still not sure if I will wear my wedding dress...it might depend on whether or not I find another pretty dress to wear. If it were up to my new husband, he would NOT be wearing a suit. I think we'll aim for semi-formal attire...or perhaps "Sunday best" or something like that (i.e., no jeans or shorts). Any ideas on clever dress code lingo here?
7) Spring will have officially sprung...and everyone will just be gearing up to plant their gardens and flowerpots. I really want to have succulent centerpieces...centerpieces that people could take home and they would last for months or years, even. We have a local greenhouse that specializes in succulents, and they will do something like this for us (with a table number pick in each one):
8) One thing I was not prepared to compromise on was a sweet table. We will have our beautiful banquet room with a view overlooking the river from 10 am until 4 pm-ish (when everyone is invited over to my MIL's for a catered supper). This will give us lots of time to have a "(non) cocktail" hour, serve brunch, have a program...after which we will cut the cake and the sweet table will be officially open. We can sit and visit with those from out of town, take pictures, have coffee/tea and sweets galore. We will also have a table set up with our photobooks, keepsakes from our DW, and a guest photo book with instant camera. Here are a few inspiration photos (I love how they incorporated succulents into the sweet table):
9) Finally, we will present all of our guests who attended our DW with special photo albums during the program...these will be customized with pics of them (and us) on the wedding day, out on various excursions, at the resort, etc. We planned to use these natural woven straw albums in the oot bags, but decided they were too nice for that purpose and just went with a Vistaprint brochure instead.
So...would love any advice, feedback, etc. at this point!!!