The Mystery of the Wedding Breakfast

10th August 2019

Hola! As my spanish friends would say 🙂 As you plan your UK destination wedding, one of the terms you will come across from most wedding venues is the term wedding breakfast. And, you’ll probably wonder why or what it means. Well, I thought I’d shed some light on this peculiar British term.

Spoiler alert; it includes a brief history lesson!

Wedding breakfast is actually the meal served at your wedding reception and it’s not necessarily served in the morning either! It is the wedding meal served at your wedding reception after the wedding ceremony.

The term wedding breakfast dates back to 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)

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. (I’m 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 wedding ceremony they were about to undertake)

Benedetto Photography

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

Across both religious and non religious weddings, the term has stuck ever since and folks still refer to the reception meal as the wedding breakfast even to this day. Why the term has not changed right up to our modern day remains a mystery. I guess it’s one of those things that has caught on and no one seem to mind (after all, we all need to eat, right?) or maybe some things are best left to ancient traditions. If you do know the answer, feel free to pop it into the comments section below.

What traditions will you incorporate into your UK wedding as part of your own wedding tradition? Do share.

If you have any questions about getting married here in the UK then feel free to ask away…I’d love to help.


Cynthia x


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