Do you need to have a wedding breakfast?

A wedding breakfast is largely a British wedding tradition, it's a celebratory meal eaten by the newlyweds and ceremony guests after the wedding. It usually consists of a 3 course meal with traditional offerings such as soup and roasts. It's the first meal the couple share after the marriage has taken place. Is it really an essential part of your wedding day though or can you do away with a wedding breakfast?

The pros and cons of a wedding breakfast

Why have a wedding breakfast?

If people are following the traditional order of a wedding day then it's likely they'll be having a wedding breakfast, most wedding packages come with a wedding breakfast in the order of the day. A lot of couples do choose to follow wedding traditions quite closely, which of course is fine, it's your day you should totally do what you choose. Some couples are now opting for slightly less traditional menu options now though just so their day better reflects then a little better. Keep in mind if you are wanting different menu choices to the traditional options though, you'll need to raise this with venues as soon as you look around as they'll all have a set menu they use for weddings. If you're having a really small wedding ceremony it might also be a nice idea to sit down with close family after where you can actually chat, this will only work with a small number of guests though. 

Do you need a wedding breakfast?

The long and short of it is no, absolutely not. As I said, your day, your rules. You should do whatever you want and whatever best fits with you as a couple. There's more to a wedding breakfast than just sitting down for a meal. Like anything associated with a wedding, it costs a lot of money to feed your guests. If you're having a wedding breakfast for day guests and food for evening guests too that is a huge amount of money that will be going just on food. Of course it's not all about money (but believe me, if you're a budget bride cutting out the wedding breakfast can save you a significant amount of money) but you'll have to chase up menu choices, think about table decoration, seating plans, place names and a whole other bunch of extra stuff on top of the rest of your wedding planning. And to bring money back into it, those decorations, seating plans and place names aren't going to be free even if you're a DIY bride. If a formal meal really isn't your thing, there's no need to have it at your wedding day just because it's tradition. Chances are unless you have a really small number of guests you're not going to get to speak to anyone, you'll just be stuck on a top table watching others eat. If that's not for you then strike a wedding breakfast off your day.

Are we having a wedding breakfast?

Nope we're not. One of the first things we both agreed on when we started planning, before we'd even set a budget (even though we knew we wanted a very small budget wedding) was that a formal sit down meal isn't for us at all. We're not having a traditional wedding and we're not a traditional couple at all see it seemed a complete waste of time and money to us. I can hand on heart say that not having a wedding breakfast is one of the best wedding decisions we've made not only has it saved us a huge amount of money but its saved us massive amount of extra planning, stress and decoration that would have probably got binned after the wedding. If we'd gone for a wedding breakfast at our reception venue we'd have had to have gone for a day and evening package that would have cost us around an extra £1000 which is absolutely mind blowing. This way we haven't got to worry about who can be seated next to who and we'll actually be able to mingle with our guests instead of us all been sat at separate tables. We're not having any extra evening guests so we're having an afternoon ceremony and then straight on to the reception venue where there'll be a buffet early evening, we're also have a sweet table and cupcakes so there'll be plenty of food. We will be making it clear on the invites that there won't be a wedding breakfast as we don't want guests turning up to the ceremony hungry. By have an afternoon ceremony it will allow guests to eat before coming. 

What to do if you decide against a wedding breakfast?

I personally think it's important to let guests know there won't be a formal meal and what you plan on doing instead. Most guests still go to a wedding expecting a formal and traditional order of the day even if that's not you as a couple so just politely let them know that's not how you're doing things, that way they have plenty of notice to sort food before the ceremony as a hungry guest will be an unhappy guest. If you are having a wedding reception, I wouldn't skip on the food here, there's loads of options for what you could do here from buffets, to hog roasts sandwiches or pizza's or even an afternoon tea. Skipping a wedding breakfast is completely fine, skipping food altogether on your day is not so great!

The choice of whether to have a wedding breakfast or not is completely down to you and your partner, for us it was a tradition we really didn't want or need but for other couples it'll be an integral part of their day. If you are on a budget though and you really aren't fussed about tradition I would highly recommend not having a wedding breakfast.

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