Pick your place
The simplest solution is to host the brunch at your home, but if you have a small space or live far from Mom, this may not be an option. Know approximately how many people you'll invite, and then hunt for the perfect party place. Check with friends and relatives with big houses or large yards to see if anyone would be willing to lend space to the cause. Look at party houses and event halls if you're expecting a large crowd. Consider square footage, location, parking, restroom availability and cost when you make your decision.
Spread the word
Make sure your guests know where to be and when. If you're having a small get-together, a phone call or email is sufficient to let everyone know your plans. If you're having a larger affair or just want to be more formal, send out invitations. Be sure to ask for an RSVP -- you'll need a head count to plan your menu and make sure you have enough seating.
Unique invitation ideas >>
Plan your menu
Anything goes for this in-between meal that's usually scheduled later than breakfast but earlier than lunch. This means you can mix up dishes from both meals and get the best of both worlds. Decide if you're going to handle the food all yourself, or if everyone will bring a dish to share. If you choose to go potluck-style, speak with every guest and confirm what she will bring so you have everything covered without too many repeats. Make sure to offer enough special dishes for everyone's diet; include vegetarian, low-carb and sugar-free offerings so no one goes home hungry. Don't forget to include Mom's favorite dish!
How to host a successful potluck >>
Drink it up
Offer at least one adult beverage -- mimosas are a favorite for brunch -- so you can toast to Mom. Give guests a wide range of both hot and cold drink choices, and make sure there's something for the kids, as well.
Provide the essentials
Make sure your guests have everything they need to sit back and enjoy. Have enough plates, napkins, cups and silverware on hand for all your guests. Also have a wide range of serving utensils to suit every dish. Count the number of people you expect, and set out a few extra chairs.
Make it pretty
If you're having a low-key affair at home, you don't have to get too fancy. Make sure your house is clean, cover tables with pretty table covers, and set out some flowers to get the place looking festive. If you're using an event hall or party house, you may have to get a little more creative. Create centerpieces to tie all the tables together. These can be as simple as flowers in matching vases or balloon bouquets. You might even consider designing each centerpiece around a photo of Mom.
Budget-friendly party decorations >>
||Looking for some menu ideas for your brunch? In this video, Sara Lee chef Cat De Orio shows you how to make an easy brunch for a crowd.
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