The Rise Of The Wedding Brunch
If the term ‘wedding breakfast’ wasn’t confusing enough, there’s a new wedding-based meal in town. It’s the rise of the wedding brunch. The millennial age has given us a lot of less-than-positive things - social media anxiety, perfectionist tendencies, and FOMO. But if there’s one thing we can be grateful to the era of #AvoToast for, it’s the popularity of brunch.
For anyone not familiar with the concept of brunch (where have you been?!) it’s a hybrid of ‘breakfast’ and ‘lunch’. It incorporates the best of both meals, and as a result our obsession with breakfast foods is at an all time high. It used to be that a Saturday night at a fancy restaurant was the epitome of a romantic date, and so fine-dining has inspired many a wedding meal over the last ten years. But brunch is the newest way to wine and dine - forget the cocktail bar on a Friday evening, it’s all about the coffee bar on Saturday morning. And in case you weren’t aware, breakfast can be darn right romantic. Ever since the appropriately named ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ morning meal times have taken on romantic and glamorous connotations.
Who doesn’t love brunch? In fact, the only thing that people love more than brunch is a good wedding, so it was only a matter of time before these two things coupled up. Pinterest’s 2017 Wedding Report depicts that there has been a 35 percent increase in the rise of brides and grooms searching for “wedding brunch” ideas on the social site. And with ideas like waffle bars, doughnut towers and crosswords printed on the back of the menus, can we really be surprised by how much this theme has taken off? It’s all of the best foods served at one meal - pancakes, waffles, avocados, smoked salmon, flat whites and bottomless prosecco. Need we say more? Sitting down at a restaurant, and picking up the menu to see words like ‘mimosa’, ‘bakery basket’ and ‘eggs benedict’ instantly makes people happy. In part, we’re sure the fact that brunch traditionally takes place on a weekend permits those relaxed vibes to come out in full force, but there’s no denying that brunch is always a positive experience from start to finish.
After all, brunch isn’t a meal - it’s a lifestyle; a way of living. It’s part of a routine we all buy into. When Saturday morning arrives we hop out of bed, throw on our favourite pair of jeans and head out to meet friends at our local haunt. The promise of steaming lattes and the exchange of gossip is just the millennial way of life. As our working hours creep ever longer, we’d rather exchange our Friday night out for an early night in, and be up on a Saturday morning to make the most of the weekend.
In line with this emerging trend, morning weddings are happening more and more often as couples want to ensure there is time to include everything they have planned. When the ceremony finishes and guests head to the reception, it’s actually prime brunch time rather than 2-3pm which traditionally is when the wedding breakfast is served.
Brunch is a relaxed and casual affair, which can really add a chilled out vibe to your day, if that’s what you’re hoping for from your wedding. Imagine your guests sitting at long tables, passing plates of scrambled eggs back and forth. Sharing platters have been a popular style of dining at weddings for the last couple of years, as couples want their guests to feel comfortable enough to break bread together. So what better way to do this with your closest friends and family on your wedding day than to tear into buttery croissants, warm brioche rolls and pain au chocolats bursting at the seams?
There are many positives to having a brunch wedding, and the top one has to be that it avoids the agonising process of choosing a 3 course meal that all guests will be happy with, i.e. the perpetual chicken vs beef debate. With brunch you can offer a selection of options and so people are guaranteed to like a number of things. It’s also a great option for vegetarians or anyone suffering from an allergy, as they can choose things they are able to eat from a variety of foods, rather than taking their chance with the often less-than-inspiring veggie / gluten-free option.
A couple of things to bear in mind when planning your brunch wedding - a relaxed affair featuring pastries and other breakfast foods won’t necessarily fit a formal dining set-up. Opt for long banqueting tables where guests can pass dishes of food down the line, and chat to everyone in their proximity. You probably won’t need a multitude of crockery either. You might still opt for different courses in line with the brunch theme - mini bagels for canapés, buffet-style breakfast for mains, and buttermilk pancakes drowned in syrup for dessert - but given the relaxed style of this type of meal, guests can easily just use a couple of plates. This can contribute to keeping costs down too. Do you know how expensive charger plates are?! As gorgeous as fine art tables are, draped with silk runners and lined with candles, a brunch set-up more favours linen cloths - a stylish and modern take on the traditional breakfast table. Linen fabrics are going to be huge over the rest of this year and next, so rest assured your wedding style will still be bang-on trend.
However, feel free to leave the wine glasses and champagne flutes right where they normally would be. As some wise person once said “brunch is just an excuse to drink wine at breakfast” and what a good excuse it is. With endless boozy brunch options, nailing your drink choices for your wedding meal can be very easy. Bloody Mary, anyone? Or maybe you’ll fancy one of those the next day after you’ve gone to town on the fizzy stuff. Not to fear, other cocktail options are available - mimosas, bellinis and espresso martinis are all perfect matches for the brunch theme. More of a tea person than a coffee lover? Long Island Iced Tea is the way to go.
With a brunch wedding typically happening earlier on in the day (although if you’ve never had breakfast-for-dinner then you haven’t lived) it is important to consider what will happen immediately after the meal is over. Traditionally, with an afternoon ceremony, the dining may not finish until 5:30 / 6:00 by which time there’s a small window for the speeches and then the evening guests will arrive. With a brunch wedding, you have more of the day to play with, but the last thing you want is a lull where the guests have nothing to do. Our top suggestion? Transition from brunch to a classic garden party, with lawn games and you guessed it - more cocktails. Guests can stretch their legs, mingle and try their hand at croquet and boules.
On the fence about whether your guests will enjoy a brunch wedding? You can still have the best of both worlds and serve more traditional food when the evening guests join the festivities later on. Opt for a three-course meal or street food vans which offer your guests a variety of options. Follow And So To Wed on Pinterest to discover more fabulous wedding ideas, and make sure to send us an invite if you do go for a brunch wedding! We’ll be there faster than you can say “how do you like your eggs?”
Written by Charlotte Spain