One of my new favorite things this last year has been throwing parties. I co-hosted a baby shower for one of my friends early last year, and ever since then I’ve been hooked. After the baby shower, Sara from Tell, Love, and Chocolate, and I threw a Summer Floral Affair, then hosted a costume dinner party at Halloween, and then I threw a Valentine’s Day party in February. Gosh, having parties is just so fun.

So for Easter this year, I had the idea to host a little Easter brunch. Most of the parties I’ve done have been involved and labor intensive, so I wanted something mellow and simple, but still a fun gathering with friends. And since I’d never done a party that involved our kids, we included them as well.

Here’s a few ideas to throw a beautiful, but low-key brunch:

1. Don’t over decorate. Decorations are my favorite, but they often get expensive and time consuming. So if you’re going low-key, keep your decorations minimal! The thing I like to focus on the most for any party is the table, so that’s what I did here. Plus, it’s easy to dress up a table without a lot of effort. For this table, I went super simple with a plain white tablecloth, woven round placemats and floral napkins (both found at HomeGoods) and a strip of fabric for the table runner (fabric from Minted). Then I threw some Easter candles in the center and called it good. The colors were all Easter appropriate, so it looked festive and pretty, but took very little effort. I’m also learning that have a supply of placemats, tablecloths, and cloth napkins comes in really handy…so I’m slowly stocking up on those.

2. Have one low-key activity. Even when a party is mellow, it’s still nice to have something for people to do besides eat. I was recently invited to a party with Target where they had a bouquet bar, so I took cues from them and created one for this brunch. I purchased seven or eight bunches of flowers from Trader Joe’s, separated them into glass vases, and had a roll of brown paper so they could wrap it up to take home. After we ate brunch, everyone was able to pick from the “garden” and create their own Easter bouquet — such a pretty and unique party favor, I think! I also had made sugar cookies that week and was planning to decorate them with my boys, but instead we brought them out and let all the kids decorate them, which was a fun activity for them, and still very low key for the moms.

3. Delegate. To keep things stress-free, it’s best to delegate some of the party responsibilities to your friends. I called up my friend and neighbor, Kayla, from Parsley and Pepper and asked her to help me with the food. She came up with an amazing menu and cooked everything. It’s what she loves to do and what’s she’s good at, so she had fun and it took a big load off of me. (You can find her recipes for the brunch right here). Friends always offer to help, so let them and keep things less stressful for you.

Ultimately, I throw parties because I have fun friends and I want to have a fun time with them. Stressing myself out in party prep kills some of the joy for me, so following these three tips will keep your parties fun, but stress free — it certainly helps me!

Now go throw a party!

 *photos by jana laurene and rad and happy