Recently I was part of a committee at church that was tasked to give a brunch in honor of a ministry we whom we partner. We had table hostesses to make people feel at home and great programming that fit the theme. For the rest, we did have a budget, albeit slim, but enough to do something beautiful to honor these special people. This is what we did.
Starting with the garden theme, we decided to go the more refined English tea sort of direction as opposed to rustic. We began with things we already had which included shabby chic table toppers in an assortment of pink patterns and mini-dessert stands made from thrift store plates, candle holders, and ice cream dishes. A group of ladies spent a couple of hours the day before the event making beautiful nosegays and arrangements using fresh flowers from the grocery store plus the bounty from a church member’s AMAZING rose garden. The fragrance was absolutely unbelievable! We added Dollar Tree vases, colorful flower pots, seed packets, gardening gloves, tools, hats, and clearance aisle fairy garden paraphernalia.
We asked for donations from the congregation but gave the volunteers the recipes we wanted to use. The menu consisted of Chef Salad with Maurice Dressing, Fruit Salad, and Croissants to be filled with Pimento Cheese, or Chicken, Tuna, and Egg Salads, all of which were served buffet-style. We found crystal-looking bowls at Dollar Tree to make the look uniform. Desserts were part of the centerpieces; a sampling of pecan, lemon, and chocolate cherry bars.
Tip: The point of dictating the exact recipes was a matter of consistency and simplicity. For example, instead of having three kinds of chicken salad where people took a dab of this and that, it was one bowl which we could refill. This made the table look good and no one went home with a half-eaten container of anything.
To make the event extra special, all the guests were sent home with gift cards and nosegays. The dessert plates, flower pots, and gloves were raffled off so everyone got something additional. We also purchased “to-go” containers and divided up the leftovers among all the guests which was a nice surprise for them.
Our goal was for our guests to truly feel loved and honored. From the feedback we received, that mission was accomplished.