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What's Up Weddings

A cocktail brunch wedding reception

Mar 15, 2012 10:15PM ● By Anonymous

This idea was inspired by the miniature pancake photo above, which I found -- where else? -- on Pinterest. However, I envision this concept being a casual, yet incredibly elegant way of doing a mid-morning wedding reception.

The colors. Let's start with the color concept. I see a very neutral color palate filled with dusty pinks, purples, and peaches. 
In general, the atmosphere would be soft and romantic -- kind of like if you took a lazy Sunday morning in bed and turned it into a wedding. (Hm. Did that make any sense at all? I'm not sure it did.)

The place. A formal ballroom or mansion wouldn't be right at all for this type of wedding. It calls for an outdoor garden or a reception hall on the water. Eschew the standard seating arrangement for a variety of tables, some high-top, some regular, along with couches and armchairs for people to settle into and enjoy the mid-morning sun (which there hopefully will be).

The music. The mid-morning wedding doesn't really call for dancing, so this type of wedding reception is best for couples who would rather spend their time mingling with their guests to the sounds of jazz music or a pianist versus a loud DJ making excited announcements. 

The food. OK, this is where we really get going. After all, you know how much I love food. The very definition of a cocktail reception is when a full meal isn't served; rather, a myriad of heavy appetizers are passed and displayed to create a full meal. Of course, you need the mini pancakes on a stick above, or you could do the same concept with small Belgian waffles. But here are some other delicious heavy appetizer ideas for a brunch cocktail reception. 

An assortment of miniature quiches. In fact, I basically had this at my (evening, non-cocktail) reception -- we had kalamata olive and artichoke tarts. 

French toast bites with maple butter, anyone?

Minted fruit skewers for the health-conscious. 


And bacon-wrapped scallops. Basically because I don't think any wedding is complete without bacon-wrapped scallops.

There are so many other ideas -- how about toasted miniature bagels topped with chive cream cheese and smoked salmon? Scones with deliciously flavored jams? Slices of gourmet breakfast pizzas? 

The cake. Is a donut cake going too far? I'm not sure. I don't think that a typical wedding cake gives the right feel at a mid-morning breakfast wedding reception, but a doughnut cake might be too kitschy. Here's a nice way to combine it.

The bar. Morning isn't the time when most people get liquored up, so it will save on your bar bill. However, some traditional brunch cocktails will work nicely as signature drinks for your reception. Mimosas, bloody Marys, and screwdrivers are all often served in the morning. Other options are Bellinis and Cape Codders.

You can also set up two stations: a coffee station and a hot chocolate station (for kids). Set out all the accouterments, such as flavored creamers, syrups, marshmallows, whipped cream, and so on to give it a really extensive, upscale feel. 

Don't forget to offer plenty of nonalcoholic drinks, as there will be many guests who aren't interested in a cocktail at that time of the day. Iced tea, fruit juices, and lemonade are all standards. 

The rest. I haven't fully fleshed this idea out, but what about incorporating newspapers into this somehow to elaborate on the tradition of waking up to a newspaper on your front lawn? What other morning-time traditions did your family enjoy while you were growing up? That's the key to making your cocktail brunch wedding reception a good time!