Guest at a wedding might be taken by surprise somewhat if they were served bacon and eggs, cereals, a selection of pastries or a sausage sandwich for their meal, but why is this repast known as a wedding breakfast when it bears no resemblance to the kind of fare we traditionally eat in the morning?
The word “breakfast” can literally be broken in two to reveal its meaning. It means, therefore, to “break” a “fast” – or to eat once again after a period without food.
The meal eaten by attendees at a wedding, after the ceremony, could be so called because in bygone days a wedding would be held after the church service of mass. Prior to mass, the entire wedding party would fast; therefore, for the newlyweds, the wedding breakfast was the first meal of their wedding day.
Lunch or dinner, as served at a wedding reception, may retain the “wedding breakfast” title simply to reinforce the fact that it is the bride and groom’s very first meal as a married couple.
Another theory exists that the feast was known as the wedding breakfast because many people simply did not have a midday meal several centuries ago. Therefore, lunch as we know it simply did not exist.
While wedding breakfast remains so called, new trends are emerging that affect the fare being served. Contemporary wedding invites might lead to a relaxed meal featuring tapas-style dishes or sharing platters, or you might be served seasonal fish with chips or local sausages with mash. Bon Appétit!