mother's day 2020

How to Host a Mother’s Day Brunch on Zoom, According to Party Planners

Photo: POP

After a couple months of social distancing, we’ve gotten used to meetings on Zoom, surprise birthday parties on Zoom, and happy hours on Zoom. Even milestone events like weddings and bar and bat mitzvahs are happening virtually now. So with Mother’s Day coming up, it only makes sense to bring that celebration to Zoom, too — especially if you want to loop in siblings or other family members. To help you throw the best virtual Mother’s Day brunch possible, we asked five party planners for the foods, drinks, gifts, and activities that will make your mom feel as special and appreciated as she is.

Food and drinks

As for what to eat at brunch, event planner Melissa McNeeley suggests going classic: bagels and lox from New York staple Russ & Daughters. This gift basket also includes chocolate babka, rugelach, and a pound of the store’s coffee beans.

For other regional favorites, Annie Lee, principal planner and founder of Daughter of Design, recommends crabs from Joe’s Stone Crab in South Beach (this set comes with a cracking board, mallet, cocktail forks, and bibs for an authentic experience), and Seri Kertzner, founder of Little Miss Party, says her family was delighted to receive frozen deep dish pizzas from Chicago early on in quarantine. Of course if you live close enough to mom, you can always leave a home-cooked meal on her doorstep.

Michele Pokowicz, president and partner at Mary Giuliani Catering & Events, suggests sending mom everything she needs to recreate her favorite brunch cocktail, like prosecco and peach juice for a make-your-own Bellini bar.

If mom’s more into green juice than sparkling wine, Pokowicz says you can also send over the fixings for a healthy smoothie. “That’s really something that’s super simple she could put together and enjoy,” she says. Daily Harvest offers blender-ready kits with frozen fruits and vegetables, a good choice if you’re going for a wellness-themed brunch.

Tabletop and decor

If your mom likes to kick off brunch with tea, send her a special tea set to use on your call. Lee says the one you choose should depend on your mom’s personal style. But if you need some inspiration, here are two of her favorites: a tea-for-one set with illustrated bears and a marble set with four cups and a teapot.

McNeeley loves the care packages assembled by Alice Cheng, owner of the Park Slope boutique A. Cheng. This one is perfect for coffee-drinking moms. It comes with botanical-printed napkins, a ceramic mug, and coffee beans from Pennsylvania–based roaster Wake.

Both Lee and Pokowicz recommend this all-in-one celebration kit designed by Kertzner. The box comes with everything you need to help Mother’s Day feel festive even when you can’t be together: pretty paper plates, napkins, and cups (so she won’t have to clean up afterwards), balloons, a scented candle, and cake mix for a sweet treat.

“Of course when it comes to decor, flowers are the way to go, and easiest to send,” says Diana Miranda, founder of Dreamery Events. She recommends ordering from The Bouqs Company because “they have a lovely selection of high-end blooms for all preferences.” Here’s a cheerful arrangement of colorful roses that’ll arrive on time if you order now.


For creative moms, instead of sending a bouquet of flowers, spend part of your virtual brunch arranging flowers together. Lee loves the idea of ordering loose flowers from wholesalers, like Blooms By The Box, and letting mom put together her own arrangement. If she doesn’t already have tools like clippers, stem tape, or ribbon, the Floral Society kit comes with all the essentials to get started.

Lee likes the idea of sending mom some gardening supplies for a gift she’ll continue to enjoy, and if your mom likes to cook, Pokowicz recommends herbs that she can use in the kitchen. She also suggests “incorporating some fun recipes that can go along with what you’re sending.” Miranda turns to Terrain for “lovely gift sets that are perfect for the homemaker,” like this windowsill herb garden kit that’s great for moms without a lot of space. She can set the whole thing up during brunch.

To go along with your green juices for a spa vibe, Lee recommends sending this paraffin wax kit, which is especially helpful now if mom’s hands are all dried out from all that hand washing. This set comes with wax, a warmer, and thermal mitts to wear as the wax does its work smoothing out her hands.

Upload 24 photos of family, friends, or even famous faces and this Etsy seller will make customized Guess Who boards for a game that’s guaranteed to crack everyone up. Keep one board and send the other to mom so you can play over Zoom and ask questions like “Is this person known for tearing up the dance floor at family weddings?”

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How to Host a Mother’s Day Brunch on Zoom