A wedding breakfast is the age-old tradition of the bride and groom treating their guests to a slap up meal as part of their nuptial celebrations. Despite the name, which seems peculiar to British usage, a wedding breakfast doesn’t have to be, well, breakfast – you can have your meal any time you like, and it is most commonly part of an afternoon or evening reception.
What is accepted practice for a wedding breakfast is for it to be a formal sit down meal, usually either preceded or followed by speeches. And it is this aspect of the wedding breakfast tradition that couples are increasingly choosing to avoid, opting instead for more informal eating arrangements at their wedding.
Reasons to Skip the Wedding Breakfast
One of the big factors behind the declining popularity of the wedding breakfast is cost. After hiring your venue, laying on food for all of your guests is likely to be the most expensive part of your wedding day. Many couples decide they simply don’t have the funds, or would rather invest their cash in some other aspect of the day – like hiring a bigger and more spectacular venue, for example.
There also has to be a caveat here for just how ‘traditional’ the wedding breakfast is. While it is believed that the practice can be traced back some 500 years, laying on a formal feast for all guests was probably only ever something the well-to-do could afford. Up until relatively recent times, the majority of wedding celebrations did not involve a sit-down meal for that very reason.
Alternatively, many couples are deciding to forego the wedding breakfast because it doesn’t fit in with their vision for their big day. It might be that they have chosen a venue, say an outdoor location or somewhere without adequate catering facilities, where laying on a formal meal is not practical. Sit-down meals also create additional issues of space, and it may be felt that a more informal approach to catering better suits the guest numbers.
If a couple have a very particular idea of what sort of food they want to serve, it may be that there are better options for delivering it than a sit-down meal. Or it might just be that the newlyweds don’t want to be tied to tradition, that the standard hotel-with-meal-included wedding package is not for them and they want to get away from seating plans and speeches altogether.
Wedding Breakfast Alternatives
Whatever the reasons, it does not follow that no wedding breakfast means no food at a wedding. It is just a case of how and where a celebratory meal is enjoyed breaking free from the formal wedding breakfast mould.
There are all sorts of options. For an outdoor summer wedding, a BBQ or hog roast is a fantastic fit if you want a laid-back, sociable vibe for your big day. Along a similar theme, a self-service buffet is a great way to cater for larger numbers of guests. Some wedding planning traditionalists would say you have a sit-down meal at the reception and then a buffet at the evening party, but why not just skip the meal altogether and really go to town on a great buffet?
For couples looking to create a festival-like party atmosphere at their wedding celebration, hiring in catering vans is an increasingly popular choice. The big benefit of this is that you can have different food options to suit different tastes. This is also ideal if you want to ask guests to pay for their own food. And when it comes to it, if you are throwing an awesome party with great music, great entertainment and great people, no one really minds paying for a meal.
At The Colony, we hire out our indoor and outdoor venues with wedding packages that can include catering or not, giving you the choice. And with our fantastic outdoor space, we offer the options of BBQ and hog roast catering facilities. To find out more, please get in touch with us today.