What is the wedding breakfast?

What is a Wedding Breakfast, and Why is It Important?

Wedding Photography

wedding breakfast champagne reception at The Christmas Steps Pub in Bristol

Hey there, lovelies!


As a wedding photographer who has captured countless weddings, I am often asked about the wedding breakfast. For many, this charming tradition is a bit of a mystery.

Understanding and planning your wedding breakfast can add a beautifully intimate touch to your special day if you’re thoughtful and romantic. Let’s dive into what this tradition entails and how it can become a memorable part of your wedding celebration.

Understanding the Wedding Breakfast Tradition

The meaning of the wedding breakfast goes back centuries and is particularly rooted in British tradition. Despite its name, it doesn’t necessarily happen in the morning. Historically, it refers to the first meal shared by the newlyweds after their ceremony. This meal symbolized their first act of unity as a married couple, breaking the fast together after the wedding. But why is it called a wedding breakfast if it can happen at any time of the day? The term “breakfast” here represents breaking the couple’s fast before their wedding ceremony. This tradition, though ancient, brings a charming and historical nuance to your wedding day, reminding everyone of the rich heritage behind modern weddings.

wedding breakfast table setup with dryed flowers

How the Wedding Breakfast Differs from Other Wedding Meals

So, what is the difference between a wedding breakfast and a reception? While the reception is often a larger, more relaxed gathering with dancing and mingling, the wedding breakfast is typically a more formal sit-down meal immediately following the ceremony. It’s an opportunity for heartfelt toasts, quiet conversations, and an intimate celebration with your closest loved ones. This meal sets the tone for the rest of the day, offering a moment of calm and connection before the festivities continue.

wedding breakfast meal with Parsnip Mash at Bristol

Planning Your Perfect Wedding Breakfast

When thinking about wedding breakfast food ideas, it’s all about creating a menu that resonates with your taste and the romantic atmosphere of the day. The choices are endless, from elegant brunch options like smoked salmon and quiche to a more substantial fare such as roast chicken or a vegetarian feast. The key is to select dishes that feel special and meaningful to you as a couple. Consider incorporating seasonal ingredients or dishes that hold personal significance, adding another layer of intimacy and thoughtfulness to your celebration. The setting for your wedding breakfast can greatly influence its ambience. Whether you envision a garden brunch under a canopy of flowers or a cosy indoor meal in a charming old hall, the venue should reflect your romantic and imaginative spirit.

wedding breakfast hamburgers as a very unique tradition

Menu Ideas to Delight Your Guests

When thinking about wedding breakfast food ideas, it’s all about creating a menu that resonates with your taste and the romantic atmosphere of the day. The choices are endless, from elegant brunch options like smoked salmon and quiche to a more substantial fare such as roast chicken or a vegetarian feast. The key is to select dishes that feel special and meaningful to you as a couple. Consider incorporating seasonal ingredients or dishes that hold personal significance, adding another layer of intimacy and thoughtfulness to your celebration.

Choosing the Right Venue and Setting

The setting for your breakfast can significantly influence its ambience. Whether you envision a garden brunch under a canopy of flowers or a cosy indoor meal in a charming old hall, the venue should reflect your romantic and imaginative spirit. Think about how the light falls at different times of the day, the background for your photographs, and the intimacy of the space. Small, personal touches like floral arrangements, elegant table settings, and ambient lighting can transform any venue into a magical space for your first meal as a married couple.

Etiquette and Traditions to Follow

Planning the wedding time typically occurs immediately following the ceremony. However, the exact timing can vary depending on your schedule and preferences. An early afternoon meal can transition smoothly into an evening reception, allowing plenty of time for formalities and fun. For those inspired by regal traditions, you might wonder what the royal wedding breakfast is like.

buffet wedding breakfast food at a wedding at Folly Farm

These events are grand and elegant, often featuring multiple courses, fine wines, and exquisite decorations. While you might not replicate the exact grandeur, drawing inspiration from these royal celebrations can add a touch of elegance to your wedding. Incorporating elements like wedding breakfast entrance songs and thoughtful wedding breakfast ideas such as personalized notes or themed decorations can further enrich the experience, making it a heartfelt and unforgettable part of your wedding day.

DO YOU HAVE SOME QUESTIONS?

Let me answer them!


The wedding breakfast is a formal meal immediately following the wedding ceremony, traditionally the first meal shared by the newlyweds. The reception is typically a larger, more relaxed gathering that follows, often featuring dancing, entertainment, and mingling.

The wedding breakfast is a traditional meal shared by the newlyweds and their guests after the wedding ceremony. Despite its name, it can occur at any time of the day and symbolizes the couple’s first meal as a married pair.

The royal wedding breakfast is a grand and elegant meal hosted after a royal wedding ceremony. It often includes multiple courses, fine wines, and luxurious decorations, setting a regal tone for the celebration.

The wedding breakfast typically takes place immediately after the wedding ceremony. The exact timing can vary depending on the day’s schedule. Still, it generally happens in the late morning to early afternoon if the ceremony is in the morning or early evening if it is later in the day.

It is called a wedding breakfast because it signifies the first meal the couple shares together after the ceremony, breaking their fast. Historically, couples would fast before their wedding, and this meal marked the end of that fast.

Good wedding breakfast entrance songs include romantic and meaningful tunes that reflect the couple’s journey. Songs like “At Last” by Etta James, “Marry You” by Bruno Mars, or “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri can set a beautiful tone.

Unique wedding breakfast ideas include personalized place settings, hand-written notes to each guest, a photo slideshow of the couple’s journey, themed decorations, and incorporating elements from the couple’s cultural backgrounds. These details create a warm and memorable atmosphere.

Folly Farm wedding breakfast cake in Bristol

READY TO

Capture Beautiful Wedding Breakfast Memories?

Eager to share the intimate and romantic moments of your wedding breakfast with your family through stunning and personalized photo gifts? Let’s work together to make it happen! Schedule a call with me today, and we’ll discuss how to transform your wedding breakfast photos into treasured keepsakes for your loved ones.

Looking for more tips and inspiration on creating memorable photo gifts from your wedding breakfast?

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