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What Is A Wedding Breakfast?

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Wedding breakfasts are not breakfast based, it is an old tradition for the wedding day that occurs after the wedding ceremony. The wedding couple fast the night before the wedding and the wedding breakfast is their first meal together as a married couple.

Here we explore the tradition behind the wedding breakfast, plus some delicious ideas you may want to try on your upcoming wedding day.

What is a wedding breakfast?

The traditional wedding breakfast isn’t breakfast based. Instead, the term refers to it being the first meal a newlywed couple eat together.

In years gone by, the couple would fast from the night before, breaking that fast with this, the first meal after their vows.

Most modern weddings have a wedding reception dinner which is often deemed a form of the traditional wedding breakfast.

History of wedding breakfasts

While the first use of the phrase isn’t exactly known, it’s believed it originated from Christian beliefs in the mid 1880’s. A church wedding was the only way marriages were formalized in the past.

To prepare for the mass, the couple would fast so they would be able to receive the sacrament of Holy Communion. The priest would bless and hand out a selection of cakes and sweetmeats to the couple and their guests. This was a ‘break-fast’, which then began being called the wedding breakfast.

Since then, the tradition of an after ceremony meal continues today. Most newlyweds have some sort of reception at their wedding which includes food and drink.

wedding breakfast outside under large tent.

Delicious Wedding Breakfast Ideas

If you’re at the planning stage of your after-ceremony meal, then here are a few of our favorite ideas:

  • Afternoon tea – save money and host a less formal afternoon tea. From cucumber sandwiches through to pastries and scones, there’s something everyone will love.
  • BBQ – forget sausages on the BBQ: we’re thinking kebabs, burgers and corn on the cob. Don’t forget some scrummy salads too.
  • Street food – kind of like what you’d expect from a food truck, think along the lines of woodfired pizzas, curries, noodles and donuts.
  • Dessert table – if you love dessert, serve it to your guests! There’s nothing to say you need to provide the usual ‘meat and three vegetables’ at your wedding reception.
  • Buffet – everyone loves a buffet style, whether it’s food which is eaten with fingers or utensils. Being able to choose what you what and in the perfect quantities is always popular.