As we dive into summer, (I mean, we’re close enough) I realized I’d yet to throw a party this year. Not really sure how that happened. Oh wait, I have a three-nager. That might be why. But I recently decided that had to change (not the having a toddler part – the party part). I’ve learned you really shouldn’t wait for a reason to get friends together. They take too long to materialize. Instead, just make one up! A brunch to welcome summer seemed like as good of a reason as any. But as a busy mama I’m in no mood to spend hours pulling a party together.
So I pulled out all my tricks to host a beautiful summer brunch without losing my mind. And today I’m spilling the beans in the hopes it might inspire you.
TRICK 1: Amp up your tabletop. A gorgeous tabletop is a bit of a ubiquitous requirement for a brunch, but who can manage to stock multiple set of dishes to switch up a look? That is where the first trick comes in. Take your classic set of white dishes next level with Harlow & Grey. If you haven’t discovered Harlow & Grey yet, I’m about to blow your mind.
This line of modern party goods is absolutely stunning. This is way more than a disposable plate. Harlow & Grey’s artful collections (think black, gold, even marble!) feature modern designs and amazing attention to detail like gold-foil edges and of the moment colors. Hello, amethyst, color of the year. Harlow & Grey’s coordinated pieces offer plates, cups, dinner & cocktail napkins to transform all your tabletop staples. I’m obsessed with the light and lovely look we created for this party.
To celebrate the transition from spring to summer, we layered my dining room table in a sea of pale lavender, white, and subtle pinks A mix of gray and white candles in marble and brass holders added ambiance. Hits of black kept things from getting overly saccharin. To make things feel extra personal and little more special we added Harlow & Grey place cards and a flower sprig on each plate. It’s those little tiny (easy!) details that take a table next level.
TIP 2: Don’t sweat the food. While I’m all for some good home-cookin’, when you’re hosting why take on the unnecessary burden? Especially for something like brunch. I strongly advise hitting up your favorite bakery or cafe for a bevy of treats. Things like quiche can be purchased the day before and reheated. Salads are simple and easy.
I turned to Le Marais Bakery, my go-to spot in San Francisco for an amazing treat. Supplement with fresh berries, mixed nuts & dried fruit and everyone will go home quite satisfied. And you won’t have spent hours slaving in the kitchen. Win win.
TIP 3: Rosé all day every day. Enough said. Except if you want to make a really dramatic moment serve up your rosé in a magnum. Just be sure you know how to open the bottle. (check Instagram stories today to see my poor attempt to open my favorite Azur Rosé).
TIP 4: Take your flowers next level. You can break the grocery store bouquet habit. Thankfully now there are some really great sources for beautiful blooms that you can arrange at home. We’re lucky in the Bay Area as we often get to test out new services before they go national. Case in point, Matilda’s Magnolias.
Matilda Magnolias buys fresh cut flowers from Bay Area farmers, changing the weekly arrangements to make sure they’re using the best of what’s in season. Then Matilda’s delivers a “bloom box” of stems to your door and you get to do the arranging! Each box comes with a beautifully illustrated tip sheet on how to make the best bouquet. Matilda’s introduced me to Astilbe which might be my new favorite bloom.
And so you see – there was really hardly any work that went into pulling this pretty setting together. I sent the invite out via email. Easy. Almost everything on the table could go in the compost or recycling bin. Clean up was a breeze.
I want this brunch to serve as the model for your gathering this season. Because you can create a stunning atmosphere, have delicious treats, a table full of people you love and not make yourself crazy. You just have to remember you don’t have to do everything yourself. There are amazing, beautiful things created by amazingly talented people who can help you. And there’s no shame in that!
SHOP THE TABLE: harlow & grey plates / marble candle holder / wine glasses / gold flatware / harlow & grey cups / gray taper candles / matilda’s magnolias blooms / harlow & grey place cards / copper place card holders / harlow & grey napkins
This brunch was a such a special treat and shared with such lovely friends that we had to go and make a beautiful video to capture the day. I hope it inspires you to gather your girls and spend some time together for no other reason than the fact that you can.
For even more summer party inspiration, CLICK HERE.
original photography & video direction by andrea posada creative
amethyst collection tableware by Harlow & Grey
wooden place card holders from Esselle
calligraphy by Joy + Confetti
floral arrangements by Matilda’s Magnolias
brunch spread by Le Marais Bakery
rosé via Azur wines
gifts by saje wellness / lilah b beauty / karuna skin