The wedding breakfast is a traditional part of most weddings, where guests join the newlyweds for a sit-down meal after the wedding ceremony, but where does this custom come from?
Origins of the Wedding Breakfast
The origins of the wedding breakfast are thought to go back to pre-reformation, when the wedding service was a form of holy communion. The bride and groom would fast before the wedding in order to receive the sacrament.
After the wedding ceremony, the priest would bless food and drink, usually cakes and wine, and then distribute it to the newly-weds, they would be breaking the fast. The wedding breakfast would also be the first meal that the bride and groom share together as a married couple.
The name wedding breakfast was not commonly used until the mid-19th century, and it is neither a breakfast or eaten in the morning.
The Modern Wedding Breakfast
The wedding breakfast of today is more of a banquet than the traditional wedding breakfast of cakes and wine that was shared in 16th century weddings.
Today, the wedding breakfast is one of the main events of a wedding celebration that is totally unique to you. Most wedding breakfasts will usually involve a sit down 3 course meal or buffet, but this is not always the case.
Wedding breakfasts are where the newly-weds and guests all sit down together after the ceremony, traditionally this is when the speeches are made. When organising a wedding breakfast it is import to consider guests dietary requirements, so it’s always good to include some vegetarian and vegan food in your menu.
Where you choose to have your wedding breakfast is up to you and will depend on your venue. You and Your Wedding says, “If you’re hosting a summer BBQ, it makes sense to set up seating outside and this is a great choice for more laidback wedding breakfasts. Your venue may have a choice of spaces to enjoy your reception and will be able to advise on the best room for you based on your numbers. When it comes to seating, you can choose to seat people at round tables or on long banquet tables.”
At modern wedding breakfasts, there are games and activities to help break the ice with guests. Icebreaker games are great fun and are ideal to leave on the table to encourage guests to interact and spark conversation. Hurray Days at Etsy has a great selection of cards, dares, conversation starters and fun packs that your guests will love.
The wedding shoe game is popular at wedding breakfasts and receptions, as it gets everyone involved. Guests are handed a wedding shoe card or one card is placed on each table. Then after the wedding speeches, the best man gets the bride and groom to sit back to back holding one of their shoes, and one of their partners shoes. The best man then acts like a gameshow host, asking questions and the bride and groom answer simultaneously lifting the shoe that corresponds to their answer. The guests mark their wedding shoe cards off, the persons or table with the most correct answers wins.