Hosting Tips

Think Pink Valentine’s Brunch

By Jessi Afshin

Pink party skirts, rosé mimosas, flowers with a pastel flair, and a table flawlessly set with delicious eats and sugary sweets. What more could a girl ask for when toasting her gal pals at a “think pink”-themed brunch? Best friends Sophie Collins and Gillian Segal show us how to do the quintessential girls’ V-day soiree that celebrates love and friendship. Click through to see all the details for this femme feast (including sparkling sips, DIY tips, and delicious waffle bar bites!)

photography by christie graham

The inspiration.

Gillian: Life is short and I think it’s so important to celebrate the good things.  Valentines Day can be stressful for some people; the pressure of having a date, being in a relationship or having a wildy romantic day with your significant other can be overwhelming.  It’s easy to get caught up in the commotion and forget that it’s a day about celebrating love and the love for your girlfriends is just as important as any other! While I still expect a little romance from my hubby (**hint hint**) this shoot was all about remembering to appreciate all of the important people in your life on this special day!

Sophie: Gill and I love to get together with our girlfriends to celebrate special occasions (even if that special occasion is a #WineWednesday). We love hanging out with our significant others, don’t get us wrong, but there’s something so fun about getting your girls together for some wine and delicious food. We wanted to celebrate friendship with an unapologetically girly brunch, and some mimosas of course!

Gill is wearing sophisticated steel partyskirt, zara crop top (similar), j. crew sweaterpigalle louboutin

Sophie is wearing the rose champagne partyskirt, aritiza crop top (similar), bauble bar 360 earrings, and valentino flats

The decor.

Gillian: We setup the party in my dining room, which I had a lot of fun designing. (Gillian runs an interior design firm, Gillian Segal Design.) I wanted to make the most of this teeny tiny room, so I put in an oval tulip table (no sharp corners to bang up against), reupholstered some vintage chairs and covered my walls in a fun and graphic wallpaper.  We also got lucky with our pink theme, since I already had one of my favourite floral photographs up on the wall.

(sources: oval dining table)

In terms of the tabletop decor and concept for the shoot I really wanted things to feel fun and playful with just a bit of an edge (afterall, this was supposed to be a mimosa filled occasion for ladies who brunch!).  Protea are one of my favourite flowers, I think they are so underused and add a lot of interest with their beautiful colour and sharp jagged edges so we built around that.  Because there was already a lot of colour and texture in the room, I wanted keep things somewhat monochromatic – sticking with tones of pinks and greys/whites.  One of my favourite details was the candy necklace napkin rings – an affordable, fun (and edible) solution!

(sources: flower vessel)


The flowers.

Tips on creating or ordering a modern, tropical inspired arrangement for your next event by Lauren of @botanyandco:

When creating a modern arrangement with tropical flair, large blooms like protea and garden roses provide a clean, polished look. Also, using varying tones of peach and coral create depth, resulting in an organized color palette that goes perfectly with this girls’ brunch. Always design with flowers that are in season & speak to your local florist about what is best to use at the moment! In order to keep your arrangement alive for as long as possible, refill with fresh water daily and keep out of direct sunlight.

The sips.

Sophie: Since it’s brunch, I decided to keep the drinks light and easy. We drank a mimosa made with grapefruit (for a change) and Cupcake Prosecco, and a delicious and inexpensive rosé from Spain (Jumilla Rose – Olivares, which has punchy flavours of strawberry and cheerful sweetness).

To make the mimosa, fill the glass with prosecco ¾ of the way and top with the juice you desire. Grapefruit is a great alternative to orange and keeps you refreshed.

(sources: rose glasses)

The place setting.

Gillian: Stationary can be an easy and affordable way to add an extra layer of interest and detail to your table top (especially if you make it yourself like I did with these Valentines!).  I found an image and quote that spoke to me and voila! A cheeky way to greet our guests.  My one suggestion if you are going to do this yourself is to invest in some nice thick cardstock – printing a card on this will make it feel custom and substantial.

(sources: marble dinner plates, pink bowls, napkins, gunmetal cutlery

Download the printable PDF here.

The bites.

Click here to get the recipe for these swoon-worthy smoked salmon bites with horseradish creme.

(sources: white plate for salmon, berry bowls)

And that waffle bar!

Sophie: I used this one from my blog, without the blueberries!

(sources: red platter)

Top 3 must-haves for a Valentine’s girls’ get-together:

Sophie: Rosé, food that’s easy to put together & great friends who like to laugh.

Top 3 must-haves for a Valentine’s girls’ get-together:

Gillian: Great company, fun fashion (sometimes it’s your girlfriends who have the most appreciation for your cutest outfits) & lots of sweet treats!

The fashion.

(Mariel and Lauren of PARTYSKIRTS were guests and played stylists at the party!):

We love any reason to get dolled up and get together with our girlfriends! We find the more PARTYSKIRTS together in a room the more fun it is! For a more casual look we like our PARTYSKIRTS paired with a simple cotton tee, or a cardigan. And don’t forget some fun jewellery to dress it up!

Lauren is wearing lady length partyskirt, j. crew cardigan, pink pumps, bauble bar earrings

The Valentine’s playlist.

Gillian: A mix of songs by Carla Bruni, a french singer I was recently turned on to whose music makes me feel like I’m sitting in a Parisian cafe.

Sophie: Old classics like Stand By Me by Ben E. King, Beyond the Sea by Bobby Darin, and anything by Sam Cooke.

Gillian is wearing sophisticated steel partyskirt, zara crop top (similar), j. crew sweater, pigalle louboutin


We love that LOVE sign!

Gill: The love sign was a very small DIY project.  I found Marquee Love Letters found at Michaels but thought they needed some added zhush.  I cut out gold glitter paper to insert into the fronts for some extra sparkle.

Sophie is wearing the rose champagne party skirt, aritiza crop top (similar), bauble bar 360 earrings, and valentino flats

Mariel is wearing light graphite partyskirt, topshop top, and marni necklace (similar)

Gill is wearing sophisticated steel partyskirt, zara crop top (similar), j. crew sweaterpigalle louboutin

Lauren is wearing lady length partyskirtj. crew cardiganpink pumpsbauble bar earring

Your favorite Valentine’s memory ever:

Gillian: Last year was our first Valentine’s day as a married couple – that alone made it special! We ordered take out from one of our favourite restaurants, drank champagne and just had quality time together.  Sometimes it’s the simplest things that are the best!

Sophie: My boyfriend and I love to stay in, make our favourite meal (usually one of our many pasta recipes), open a really special bottle of red wine, light candles and relax. On our first Valentine’s Day, I gave him a red box with some photos and mementos and we’ve added cards, special concert tickets, and fun memories to it every year. We’ve dubbed it the “love box” (cheesy, yes…) but it’s fun to look through every now and then.

Sophie is wearing the rose champagne party skirt, aritiza crop top (similar), bauble bar 360 earrings, and valentino flats

Cheers to that! Thanks for sharing this gorgeous and girly best friends’ brunch, ladies!

Big thanks to Christie Graham Photography, PARTYSKIRTS by Skot Apparel Inc., Cookie Vonster, and Lauren at Special Moments flowers and gifts.

And be sure to follow along with Sophie @sophieccollins and Gillian @gilliansegaldesign on Instagram as they showcase how they make the the everyday something worth celebrating.