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The Wedding Breakfast

How often do wedding photographers take photographs at a wedding breakfast and stop to wonder why this afternoon meal is called a breakfast? History records that in the days of more strict religious observance than today, it was the custom for the bride and groom to fast before the wedding ceremony. Once they were wed, they would break this fast, the meal then having special significance because it was the first meal of their new life together. So it was a celebratory event and a priest would bless wine and cakes, which would then be distributed among the members of the wedding party.

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It’s up to you what time you choose for your wedding breakfast, but there are traditional elements to this meal that everyone will expect to see, both at the time and in the wedding photographs. Top of the list are the speeches. The bride’s father, the groom and the best man are each required to make one!

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The bride’s father will usually propose a toast to the health and happiness of the newly-weds and bid his new son-in-law’s relatives welcome. The groom will thank the parents, acknowledge the gifts he and his new wife have received, and propose a toast to the bridesmaids.

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It is the best man’s speech that most people look forward to, though, and they will be disappointed if he isn’t witty and humorous. He should have some interesting and funny tales to tell, especially about the bride and groom!

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Unless the happy couple are determined to be different, the wedding breakfast tends to follow a traditional pattern. It is customary to serve drinks to guests on arrival, followed by the meal itself and the speeches. After that, the great ritual of the cutting of the wedding cake takes place. It is then that professional wedding photographers like me find our cameras in competition with many others. Everyone wants to take photographs at this point to have a record of this most important wedding-day tradition.

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What type of menu you have at your wedding breakfast is entirely up to you. Usually the only consideration will be a financial one. While most people would prefer a three- or five-course meal, a light buffet might be a sensible option if you have a small budget. You also need to consider the dietary needs or preferences of your guests. Make sure your wedding venue is fully aware of any special requirements they have to cater for.

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There is a certain protocol to follow when planning the seating arrangements. The top table is always reserved for the bridal party itself – the bride and groom, their parents, the best man and the chief bridesmaid. It is again vital you consult with your wedding planner or co-ordinator, regarding the seating plan.

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Licensed wedding venues in Peterborough have a great deal of experience with the order and layout of the wedding breakfast. They are used to liaising with wedding photographers, florists, caterers, entertainers and many other professionals, in order to make sure your wedding breakfast is a complete success. All you need to do is relax and enjoy yourself. If you do then, as a wedding photographer, I guarantee that your wedding album will be full of smiles!

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