Heading into town for brunch with our pals on a sunny Sunday is what we live for. Nothing beats tossing back a few mimosas with your besties while mowing down on a fancy plate of eggs Benedict — especially after a long and arduous week. But hosting a backyard brunch can also be loads of fun, and it doesn’t have to be an energy-consuming affair like dinner parties tend to be. With these four useful tips and tricks, you might even start hosting on the reg!

Plan an Elegant Yet Hassle-Free Menu

Elegant *and* hassle-free? Yep, brunch let’s you have the best of both worlds. Think of large-quantity dishes that you can make in advance that also allow you to integrate fresh produce, like quiche. Not only can you feed 6-8 people, but you can fill it with colorful veggies to create an eye-popping display. If you’d rather sate everyone’s sweet tooth, opt for a French toast casserole; a light sprinkle of powdered sugar and fresh berry topping goes a long way.

You’ll also want to set up some nibbles on the side. If you choose savory for your main, have a plate of fresh fruit to pass around to balance things out; if you’re leaning toward a sweeter dish, swap that fruity side for an assortment of cheeses and crackers.

Pick One Brunchy Cocktail and Make It Count

Sure, the idea of a build-your-own-Bloody-Mary bar is fun and Pinterest-y, but who actually has time for that? Brunch is about being lax and it’s *your* weekend too, so embrace the big batch cocktail. Whether you choose fizzy mimosas or peachy Bellinis, no one’s going to grumble when you set a couple of boozy pitchers out on the table. If you want to dazzle things up in a fuss-free way, place sliced oranges along the rims of your serving glasses and plop a maraschino cherry or two into the bottom of each glass.

Present a basic but elegant tablescape

With al fresco dinners, we tend to be a bit more elaborate with our tablescapes. But when it comes to brunch, basic is better. Filling a single vase with fresh flowers from your garden and a couple of snippets of herbs is the perfect way to celebrate your outdoor space. Avoid unnecessary clutter like name cards, and definitely pass on the candles. (Seriously. It’s day time. You don’t need candles.)

As for dishes, stick with white or pastels. This allows your vibrant food to pop against a blank canvas for some serious Instagram-worthy shots.

Keep the Space Cozy

Post-brunch, you want your guests to feel satisfied and relaxed — but it’s kind of hard to be relaxed if you aren’t comfortable. After a while, hard benches and wooden chairs get the best of us. So unless you want your brunch to end prematurely due to sore butts and aching backs, spruce up your space and make it cozy AF with outdoor throw pillows and blankets. This will help everyone feel super mellow and at ease while sipping their post-meal cold brews and getting lost in conversation and laughter.

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