The River Club » A Family Community

Checklist for the perfect Mother’s Day brunch

Do you want to make the perfect Mother’s Day brunch? Like anything, it will be much easier to pull off with a little prior planning. Here’s a checklist . . . if you get started today you’ll have an elegant brunch that your mom will love!

Today, Saturday April 30: Figure out who you want to invite. If it’s just your immediate family things are easy. But if you want others to come, send out email invitations TODAY and ask them to RSVP by tomorrow evening. In the age of internet invitations, if people are going to RSVP they usually do so within 24 hours. If you don’t hear anything back, make sure you call/email and confirm if they’re coming or not. Every event planner we know laments the fact that, for whatever reason, the digital age has caused people to become lax with their RSVPs. We hear countless stories about people not acknowledging receipt of an invitation and then showing up.

Regarding numbers, we recommend a smaller gathering. Nothing seems more decadent than a small, intimate gathering (4-8 guests) with all the bells and whistles.

Sunday, May 1: Decide on your menu. Our recommendation is to go with something your mom likes. Alternatively, if she’s on a diet, be conscious of this and serve something relatively low calorie. If you’re at a loss, our all-time favorite brunch is biscuits and gravy with a side of sausage, followed by a fruit salad. Here are two amazing recipes from Emeril Lagasse: Sausage gravy and Traditional Southern biscuits

biscuits and gravyPIN

Monday, May 2: Decide on drinks. Instead of the traditional mimosas for brunch, why not try a variation? We love Bellinis- the traditional recipe calls for white peach puree and Prosecco. If you want to save time you can use peach juice and sparkling wine or Champagne. Our recommendation is not to spend the money on Champagne if you’re going to mix it with juice. Domaine Chandon makes a lovely sparkling white wine in California that is delicious but a fraction of the price of real Champagne. You can also try mixing the sparkling wine with ruby red grapefruit juice or rhubarb syrup. A lovely idea is to save a glass of sparkling wine or Champagne for after brunch- give it to your mom to enjoy while you do the dishes.

rhubarb belliniPIN

Tuesday, May 3: Decide on flowers. To make your life easy, have them delivered Saturday evening or Sunday morning. We love the idea of something fragrant- like roses or white flowers. For a beautiful DIY arrangement, try this one with lemons in the water for added color. Skip the lilies- they have such a strong smell they can overpower the food.

flower arrangementsPIN

Wednesday, May 4: Decide where you want to serve the meal. If the weather is getting warm near you, a lovely idea is to have brunch outside. Check the forecast today and see if it will be possible.  If so, and you don’t have a formal table, you can make a cute boho picnic table out of pallets and sit on pillows.

outdoor brunchPIN

Thursday, May 5: Make place cards for the table and decide on decorations. If you’ll be eating inside, we love the idea of decorating the light hanging over the dining table- especially if you own a chandelier. Hang multi-colored ribbons from it for something cheap, easy and different. If you’re sitting outside, you can hang a few prisms from tree branches and turn a tree into a chandelier! Search online for cheap places to purchase them in your city, or have a look at a local antique shop- many of them have boxes of mismatched old chandelier crystals that they sell cheaply.


Friday, May 6: Time to shop! Before you go, take the time to make a list of everything you need. It’s tempting to just look at the recipes on your phone while you’re at the store, but making a list before you leave will keep you from buying items you already have.  If want to use your smartphone, here is a great app you can download to help you manage your recipes, create shopping lists and more: AnyList. If you haven’t ordered any flowers, pick up some at the grocery store on your way out.


Saturday, May 7: Decorate and food prep. If you’ve been following our blog regularly, you probably just finished with your spring cleaning. If not, spend the morning cleaning bathrooms and other public spaces. Then do any advanced food prep your recipes allow. When you finish you’re ready for the fun part: decorating! Also use this day to iron any table linens, polish silver and put the Prosecco/Champagne/sparkling wine in the refrigerator to chill.

Sunday, Mother’s Day: Have fun! If you’ve followed this checklist, your work today should be minimal. You just need to do the final food preparation and then spend the day relaxing with your guests. Don’t forget to pour your mom that glass of Champagne so she can relax while you do the dishes!


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