laid table ready for the wedding breakfast, Alegrar Events, Surrey Wedding Planner

The Mystery of the Wedding Breakfast

Ever wondered why the meal served at the wedding reception is often referred to as the wedding breakfast? Yes, me too! Far too often, we practice a lot of things without actually knowing what they mean and…, we’re all guilty, myself included. It is that common excuse of ‘oh, this is how we’ve always done it’ or this is the norm and we accept it without really questioning or understanding its origin. Well, let’s hope this gives you a bit of an insight.

Well, same goes for the wedding breakfast. When I first came across that phrase, I thought to myself it must be referring to breakfasts on the wedding day (as in, have some breakfast to prepare you for the day ahead, because that might be the only meal you have on the day) How wrong I was.Turns out wedding breakfasts are the sit-down meals you have during the wedding reception. But why call it wedding breakfast especially since most wedding receptions are in the afternoon?

Apparently, it dates back to many many moons ago (before the 16th-century reformation – a period where the then Church was divided and the protestant movement was born – do look it up if you’re interested in history)

laid table ready for the wedding breakfast, Alegrar Events, Bespoke Surrey Wedding Planner

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As part of the holy order of the day (at that time), within both the Catholic and Protestant Churches, couples about to marry were required to be on a fast (a spiritual process of abstaining from food) prior to their wedding ceremony. (Not exactly sure why the order was instituted but I personally think that it was to help the couples to really consider and understand the importance of the ceremony they are about to undertake)

The couple then ‘broke their fast’ after the ceremony by indulging in and eating food served at the reception hence the term ‘breakfast’. It was the first meal the bride and groom would have together as a couple after marriage.

The name or term has stuck ever since and folks still refer to the reception meal as the wedding breakfast. Why the term has not been changed right up to this our modern day still remains a mystery. Guess some things are best left to ancient traditions. if you do know the answer, feel free to pop it into the comments section.

What other traditions will you uphold as part of your wedding tradition? Do share.

Happy planning!

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