Receptions: Beyond the Sit-down Dinner

If nighttime isn't the right time for your reception, think creatively! Here, some top wedding planners provide inspiration and tips.

A Lavish Brunch

(late morning-early afternoon)

receptionsThe planner: Susan Southerland, owner of Just Marry!, a wedding-planning company with locations in Savannah, Georgia, and Orlando and St. Augustine, Florida.

Brunch Menu

  • Tropical fruit display
  • Citrus gravlax
  • Mixed berry parfaits with cinnamon yogurt
  • Spinach and blue crab eggs Benedict with Key lime hollandaise
  • Miniature quiches
  • Sausage and bacon
  • Caramelized banana and mascarpone stuffed French toast
  • Petits filets mignons
  • Crisp potato croquettes
  • Selection of miniature pastries, breakfast breads, croissants and muffins
  • Fresh bagels with cream cheese and slices of cucumber, tomato and Bermuda onion
  • Wedding cake
  • Selection of Viennese sweets


Comfort Foods

receptionsBrunch is all about giving your guests lots of choices at a variety of food stations, according to Southerland. “I like to do a different take on typical brunch foods,” she says. “For example, instead of traditional corned beef hash, have a chef at one station slicing fresh corned beef and serving it on a hash brown potato pancake. Another station might have caramelized banana and mascarpone stuffed French toast, while yet another offers spinach and blue crab eggs Benedict—a twist on two classic morning dishes that are popular with everyone.”