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How to Host a Brunch for Your Sweeties

02/13/2013 04:15 pm ET | Updated Apr 15, 2013

Valentine's Day doesn't necessarily mean a table for two! The holiday can be even sweeter when toasting to the relationships that last us all year with a group of friends.

Just recently, I invited my closest girlfriends over for a bubbly brunch to celebrate the memories we've shared living in NYC. Even though ours was a Valentine's Day-inspired theme, you can spread the love year round by hosting your own brunch any time!

1. Serve one creative cocktail. Let Cupid kick off the party by setting up a self-serve bar! Allow guests to be their own mixologist and display items for mimosas or bellinis. I set out ingredients including Prosecco, limes, seltzer, juices and other items for a signature Valentine's cocktail!

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2. Show the love! A welcoming table inspires a casual and comfortable vibe for guests. Add a "sweet touch" to each place setting with name cards so guests feel the love as soon as they sit down. I used Valentine's Day-themed Martha Stewart cupcake stickers, which perfectly matched the classic Valentine's Day color scheme of red, pink, deep purple and white.

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3. Use something unexpected... meaning, put a unique twist on classic items. For example, my table was based around a rustic chic theme from items I picked up at West Elm, but I also clipped mini clothespins to each linen napkin to add a splash of fun.

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4. Serve up a sizeable selection. Create a menu consisting of various items or suggest guests bring a side dish to turn your brunch into a potluck! Remember to ask everyone in advance what they'll bring so you don't end up with a menu of only sweet or savory items. Get creative and incorporate Valentine's most iconic shape (a heart) into your food. Mini BLTs took us less than 15 minutes to make and only requires fives things: heart-shaped cookie cutter, toast, bacon, lettuce and tomato. Seriously, how easy is that?

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5. Indulge your sweet tooth! The best part of Valentine's Day (well, aside from showing our loved ones heartfelt gratitude) is another excuse to treat ourselves to sweets! Set up a coffee and dessert station on a bright tray or stand for guests to taste test. I served an eclectic mix of iconic items such as candy hearts and novelty items like mustache cookies!

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6. Don't forget the favors! Allow guests to fill goodie bags from a selection of Valentine's cookies and delicious candies as a reminder of their afternoon.

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Vendor Credit : Creative Direction and Styling: Katie Meyers // Table Top Decor: West Elm // Photography: Wood Barn Photo // Catering: Ashton Keefe, owner of Ashton Keefe Culinary Lifestyle Services & head teacher at Haven's Kitchen // Prosecco: Zonin USA // Clothespins: Clip & Pin // Cake Stand: Sarah's Stands // Favors & cookies: Butter + Love

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