10 Tips for hosting a memorable Galentine’s Day brunch
By Maria Allen
Each year, after spending countless hours designing picturesque New England weddings and other personalized social events for her clients, Kate Murtaugh, owner of Kate Murtaugh Events & Design, likes to take a day to raise a glass to her closest friends and colleagues by hosting a special “Galentine’s Day” brunch.
“We love creating celebrations and beautiful events, but wedding seasons can be very long and tiring and we don’t often get to take time to celebrate each other,” says Murtaugh. “It’s a day to get our hair and makeup done, sit back and relax and celebrate a great year.”
Galentine’s Day was first made popular by an episode of the television series “Parks and Recreation.” Fans may remember actor Amy Poehler’s character, Leslie Knope, explaining the experience:
“Every February 13, my lady-friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast-style. Ladies celebrating ladies.”
The unofficial holiday has since become somewhat of a cultural phenomenon, embraced by women of all ages and walks of life. While Valentine’s Day is traditionally centered around couples and romantic love, Galentine’s Day is an occasion to recognize the importance of friendship, congratulate one another on personal achievements and celebrate female empowerment in a festive fashion.
For Murtaugh, the secret to any great event--whether it is an elegant black-tie soirée or an intimate gathering of loved ones at a family home--is in the details. We asked the Scituate resident to share some of her top tips for hosting a memorable Galentine’s Day affair.
« Decorations - Start by picking a color scheme, such as a Valentine’s Day-inspired color palette, with rose, pink and coral. Balloon arches and centerpieces elevate the feel of an event and can make for fun photo ops. Companies like Fig Balloon Co. specialize in this and offer DIY kits so that customers can make their own balloon garland.
« Delightful Drinks - Brunch cocktails (and mocktails) turn an ordinary meal into a celebration. Set up a make-your-own mimosa bar with juice mixers, fresh fruit toppings and plenty of Champagne so guests can enjoy a glass of bubbly.
« Paper Creations - Designing your own invitations, menu cards and/or place cards adds a splash of elegance to your event.
« Personalized Touch - Request that guests send you a childhood photo (bonus if it shows them doing something related to what they do today). Present these photos at each place setting to show how far they’ve come.
« The Menu - If you’re following the “Parks and Recreation” theme, brunch is the go-to meal. Pre-plated individual-sized foods make serving a cinch. At our event, local caterer Suddenly Simple Events prepared a beautiful spread that included heart-shaped waffles, mini avocado toasts and fruit salad cups.
« Treat Yourself - Arrange a fun and feminine coffee and dessert table with lots of color. Think cakes with pink frosting and sprinkles. You can also order custom sugar cookies decorated with empowering phrases.
« Plan an Activity - It’s nice to give guests something creative to do with their hands. Pick up a bucket of cut flowers and have your group do a DIY flower arrangement or flower crowns or hire a calligraphy artist to come and give a workshop.
« Get Pampered - Encourage your guests to wear bright, cheerful colors. Help your guests feel even more beautiful by hosting a local hair and makeup artist to offer simple touch-ups--such as a lip bar or braid bar--to finish their look.
« Tablescape - Simple is not a bad thing, especially if you’re using colored decor. A rustic farm table can be easily decorated with white candles, a floral centerpiece and antique china. For a personal touch, tie a pretty ribbon around your napkins to incorporate the color scheme and add a hand-lettered name tag for each guest.
« Be Safe - Stay informed through trusted governmental organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding current COVID-19 protocols. The CDC has official guidance for people planning and hosting events. The guidance from the CDC is changing frequently, so be sure to check their website and your local health department for current guidelines.
For more information on Kate Murtaugh Events & Design, visit
Planning + Design: Kate Murtaugh
Events + Design & Kelly Golia Events
Venue: The Tannery Loft
Tabletop Rentals: Party Rental LTD.
Champagne Wall: Refined Rentals
Paper goods: The Paper Perfectionist
Custom Cookies: Givan Sweets
Cakes + Desserts: Lizzie’s Bakery
Catering: Moodfood Wellness Co. + Suddenly Simple Events
Balloons: Fig Balloon Co. + Polished Balloons
Florals Design: Bloom 52
Hair + Makeup: Tada Style + Jenny Luu