Rise and Shine

wedding brunch

Try something different, have a wedding brunch reception.

If you’re a morning person, you might want to consider this trend: the brunch wedding reception.

Morning receptions offer one large advantage over the traditional late-afternoon or evening party: Cost. Brunch is generally cheaper than dinner. After all, eggs and pastries are significantly less spendy than shrimp and chateaubriand. And chances are your guests will drink less alcohol in the morning than they will in the evening, cutting down on bar expenses.

Brunch also offers plenty of creative menu options. For one morning wedding, caterer Carolyn Kumpe, owner of Vendage & Co., greeted arriving guests with hot coffee and doughnut bites. Later, she set up a biscuit station, serving whipped cream biscuits with toppings such as fried chicken, sausage gravy and smoked trout. “You can also do a waffle, crepe or omelet bar,” she says.

For the 2016 wedding of Paige and Dennis Lueken at Avio Vineyards in Sutter Creek, Kumpe served Danish pastries, scones and muffins, all made by hand, and set out Mason jars filled with lavender honey butter and strawberry balsamic jam with black pepper. She followed that up with a buffet of quiche and frittata bites, DI Y omelets and crispy rosemary potatoes. “The guests loved it,” says Dennis Lueken. “A brunch wedding was perfect.”

Brunch also offers lots of fun beverage options. You can have a coffee and espresso cart, a nonalcoholic drinks center and a bar serving mimosas, bloody marys, micheladas and screwdrivers. For the nondrinkers at the Luekens’ wedding, Kumpe offered strawberry smoothie and orange juice shots. For the drinkers, there was a DIY bloody mary bar with choose-your-own garnishes such as candied bacon, celery sticks, olives and pickled jalapeños.

And at the end of the party, instead of throwing rice at the departing couple, guests can shower them with—what else?— Rice Krispies. Says Kumpe: “I’ve seen Cheerios, Lucky Charms and Froot Loops tossed, too.”

by Marybeth Bizjak

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