Brunching in Style

Bringing Style to the Table

By Shauna Diliberto | Photography by Rachel Liz Photography 

If you’re like me, fashion and style carry through to all parts of life, not just when I’m picking out dresses.

This is especially true when I’m throwing a party. No matter how casual and simple the affair, it’s fun to make it an occasion!

Here are my quick tips for throwing a brunch (my favorite meal) on the fly, and looking as cute as the pink-frosted doughnuts you’re serving.

1. Set the table

This takes minimal effort and makes a huge impact. A tablecloth or runner immediately dresses up any table and defines the space. Don’t have a tablecloth? Use cute printed wrapping paper or even craft paper. Also, don’t forget cloth napkins. Don’t have cloth napkins? Try vintage hankies or even fabric scraps cut into squares. And don’t forget fresh flowers! This is key.

2. Pick a tried and true recipe

Make something you’ve nailed before and everyone loves — maybe it’s a quiche or some fancy egg sandwiches. Pair this with goodies from your favorite bakery, fresh fruit and a couple different types of cheeses. Not everything has to be homemade.

3. Don’t be dull

No matter what you decide to serve, the key is to present it in an interesting way. I love the idea of cheese and meats served on cake stands. Stack up pretty glazed doughnuts on butcher blocks. Slice some seasonal fruit. Pull apart a bakery-fresh baguette. Spoon jam, jelly and honey into decorative bowls or teacups.

4. Cheers!

I love having ONE signature cocktail at a party. A simple champagne cocktail is my go-to. If a guest doesn’t drink, serve sparkling water with a large fruit wheel in a champagne glass. Everyone should have sparkles at brunch.

5. Dress for success

Last but not least: what should the hostess wear? Being a vintage clothing shop owner, I always love an opportunity to debut a favorite vintage frock. This is when a ’50s style dress feels like a hostess must-have. Or if you’re a little more laid-back, try a vintage mumu (AKA, a vintage housedress). Don’t be afraid to be bold with pattern or print. But also remember to keep it casual — go sans shoes and maybe add a little vintage apron! SWM

Shauna Diliberto is the owner of Maeflowers Vintage. She co-owns Vintage Love with Driftwood & Glitter’s Susan Hodell. You can find them at 201 E. Jefferson St. in downtown Syracuse. For more information, visit

Makeup by Julianna Pastella of Pastel Makeup and Style.

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