from the Publisher’s Desk
Hey there. It’s time we talk brunch – my personal favorite meal. Just the word “brunch” conjures up visions of carefree mornings surrounded by people I love while sipping mimosas (sorry team Bloody Mary – I’m a champagne girl!) all while noshing on yummy food. It’s just a little slice of heaven.
Brunch has to be an almost universally loved concept, doesn’t it? Seriously, have you ever met someone who doesn’t like brunch? If you are that rare brunch-hating human (we are probably not going to be friends if you are), this article is not for you, because I’m diving into the deliciousness of brunch wedding events and things to think about while planning one for your very own big day. So let’s get talking, shall we?
Traditionally, brunch events have been reserved for showers, bridesmaid gatherings and post-wedding day send offs – the events surrounding the wedding.
“Any excuse for brunch is a good excuse in my book, but in my humble opinion, such a wonderful meal deserves the spotlight as THE wedding celebration.”
I know many of you out there agree – I’ve seen an increasing number of couples planning wedding day brunch receptions in the last few years (myself included) and I just love it.
I sat down recently with Adam Miller, Director of Catering and Events at St. Charles Avenue’s The Columns Hotel, to talk brunch weddings, a trend he’s seeing more and more couples embracing.
“We are designed to host something more New Orleans, like a brunch,” Adam shared with me. “Our first floor space is versatile. We have three private rooms that can be used separately or together to match the couples’ event priorities and budgets.”
The 135 year old hotel’s prime location on the oak lined St. Charles street car line and it’s Victorian ambiance draw in couples looking for an intimate event filled with New Orleans flavor.
Many couples choose a brunch wedding reception because they want a smaller, more relaxed celebration versus a big blow out party with 300 of their “closest” friends.
There might also be budgetary considerations, Adam advises. Since brunch is typically served between 10am and 2pm, many couples find that a brunch can be more affordable than a peak evening hour reception.
“We can manage a smaller food and beverage minimum with these earlier events,” Adam explained to me. And while getting more bang for your wedding budget buck is always a good thing, but it’s not the only reason to consider hosting a brunch.
Some couples take advantage of the intimate nature of a brunch event to curate their guest list so they can upgrade their menu. “Couples can add interactive food stations, like a gourmet crepe or “build your own omelette” station or include craft cocktails at their bar, or both,” Adam shared. “With a smaller guest count, you can add menu upgrades to meet your minimum and have a luxurious, elegant event that is also affordable.”
Two of The Columns’ most popular brunch specialty stations include Creole Shrimp and Grits and Bananas Foster Crepes. (I tried both – cleaned my plate actually! – and can vouch for their yumminess!) Other brunch menu options at The Columns include hand passed hors d’oeruvres such as mini muffalettas, Cajun deviled eggs, and Louisiana Crab Vol-au-vent with white remoulade. Isn’t your mouth watering already?
All this being said, you can eat brunch in many, many places in New Orleans, but finding a location with the right “vibe” is so important when planning a brunch wedding reception. In fact, I’ll go as far as to say that ambiance is just as important for a brunch event as the menu.
This is one of the reasons I like The Columns. I’m an outdoor dining kind of girl, so of course, the expansive front porch and side terrace are spots I’m immediately drawn to. The towering Oak in front of the hotel with its rustling leaves and the clambering of the street cars add a New Orleans soundtrack to your dining experience here. Of course, The Columns also has those indoor event spaces too and they’re just dripping with historic New Orleans charm.
And speaking of soundtrack, what is a wedding without music? A jazz trio is the perfect pairing for a New Orleans wedding brunch. I don’t recommend planning a brunch of any kind without one!
If this kind of simple elegance appeals to you, a brunch wedding reception might be the perfect choice for you. Simplicity is, in fact, one of the things Adam tells me his wedding clients love about hosting their events at the hotel. “We can take care of everything they need in-house,” Adam shared at our meeting “from food and beverage to staffing, tables, linens, and chairs. We make it simple and we do everything that we can to make weddings perfect for our clients!”
I won’t argue with perfect. Or brunch.
Brunch and craft cocktails go hand in hand. Here are a few fun options to consider for your New Orleans Jazz Brunch!
Happy Planning (and brunching!)!
Publisher, New Orleans Weddings Magazine
Illustrations by: stock.adobe.com/egorka87