Four Ways to Set a Meaningful Table for Your Mother's Day Brunch

Honor Mom by crafting an intentional tablescape that speaks to her favorite things.

elisa marshall mothers day pea soup served in goblet
Photo: Leatal Cohen/Pics and Petals

Whether you're planning a low-key Mother's Day brunch for your own mom, celebrating the mothers in your extended family, or putting together a morning meal for your partner's first holiday, creating a custom table setting is one easy way to show the matriarchs in your life a little extra love. Ahead, event planner Allison Jackson of Pineapple Productions explains how to customize your tablescape to honor the women who mean the most to you.

Customize your color palette.

For simple, understated décor, choose a few symbolic colors that reference your mother's favorite things—her go-to shade of pink; pastels inspired by a Monet painting she loves; or a multicolored palette that draws on the tones of your family's birthstones. "For my own family, this approach means an easy blue (September/sapphire) and white (April/diamond) theme," says Jackson. "Blue-and-white china and linens we already own are made more special by scanning and printing out black-and-white family photographs to be used as place cards. Readily available seasonal white flowers—like peonies, lilacs, and sweet peas—in vintage glass or cut crystal containers complete the timeless look."

Find a focal piece that's personal.

Build your tablescape around a single item—or a cherished collection—that doubles as a unique centerpiece and a nostalgic conversation starter: Your grandmother's collection of antique teacups, a few framed photos of your favorite childhood family vacations, or mementos from favorite trips and parties. "To gather inspiration for a meaningful table, I like to shop my closets, cabinets, and bookshelves," says Jackson. "At our home, our shelves and cabinets are filled with treasures collected from family travels. I like to pick from these treasures—whether it's piece of porcelain from China, a geode from Brazil, or oyster shells from Maryland's eastern shore—to create a focal point for a Mother's Day tablescape."

Incorporate the great outdoors.

Create a seasonal setting with an outdoor brunch focused on your mother's best-loved flowers. "A special al fresco brunch atmosphere may be created by setting a farm table with your mother's favorite flower in verdigris vessels and maidenhair ferns in stone pots," says Jackson. Add grass placemats, floral print linens, and dishes in shades of green and taupe to coordinate with the outdoor surroundings, and accent the guest of honor's chair with a garland of vines and flowers. "Serve a menu inspired by other items from the garden," says Jackson, "like scones with raspberries, strawberries and lemon curd; French omelets with fresh herbs; citrus sangria; and sun-brewed iced tea."

Start a new tradition.

Create new family memories by organizing a DIY project everyone can do together—resulting in a precious keepsake. "We sometimes take a simple, newly purchased white tablecloth and inscribe messages of gratitude on it over the course of brunch," says Jackson. "Afterwards, we have the inscriptions embroidered to create a keepsake to be used at a future family celebration." Another option: Take your cues from your mom's favorite hobbies to come up with a unique and memorable group activity. "My mother-in-law loves gardening," says Jackson. "We love creating a brunch tablescape of potted herbs, flowering plants, and topiaries. After brunch, as a family, we will spend time together planting these items in her existing garden."

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