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To want to eat lunch at lunchtime on my wedding day?

122 replies

whatever22 · 04/08/2015 17:17

I have been to many weddings. A fairly normal pattern for me is, get up/eat breakfast/get ready/travel to wedding location/watch lovely ceremony that occurs when I would normally be eating lunch (1-2), then hang around for painful h-o-u-r-s waiting for food which is bizarrely served at about 4pm, even though people must know there guests haven't eaten since breakfast due to having to travel to a wedding. (Sometimes there are canapes which give me the dilemma of snacking then not wanting to eat a big dinner in an hour, or avoiding them and feeling starving).

Now I am planning my own wedding all the venues I have talked to go with a similar schedule. I don't understand why this is considered a reasonable thing to do! What do people expect their guests to do? find somewhere for an early lunch in an unfamiliar town/whilst all dressed up before the ceremony? Just go without proper food for 8 hours? Eat canapes at lunch time and yet still want a huge 3 course meal at 4??

What I would like is to get married at 12, and have the wedding breakfast served at about 2. (there will be a buffet later in the evening at around dinner time). I think this will be nicer for my guests (not to mention me! I also wont have eaten since breakfast!).

But when I searched around for other peoples 12 o clock start weddings I can't find any examples of people doing this, they seem to still have the main wedding meal at 3-4pm!

Am I missing something? Is there some reason for not just putting the wedding meals at normal eating times? Would you hate a wedding that did this?

OP posts:

Pennybun4 · 04/08/2015 17:21

I would say you are the paying customer who is choosing to use the venue and you can tell them when you want proceedings to begin and when food starts being served.

If they don't like it move onto the next venue and the next until one sees sense.


DoctorDonnaNoble · 04/08/2015 17:24

We got married early it was 11 I think! The 'wedding breakfast' was at about half one and the there was a buffet in the evening. Awesome day of awesome. Church wedding and reception was in function room at a pub. Best party ever!Grin


KatyN · 04/08/2015 17:25

I would say the reason is that you want pictures before you eat (and get drunk). Pictures take an hour or so easily, also it's nice to have a chance to speak to your guests before the meal.

Could you have a later ceremony so you and your guests can eat before it? Evening buffets tend to not cater for all the guests


MaidOfStars · 04/08/2015 17:25

I think 12pm weddings often have a bit of a boring stretch between dinner and evening. Sure, you catch up with people and so on, but you also get a little bit too drunk, and start to get restless.

We had our ceremony at 2pm, then dinner at 4:30pm. I think that was OK for people to eat lunch beforehand (I don't really care where they did so). Or those arriving the night before will have had, I presume, a big old cooked breakfast a little later than usual.

We did provide LOADS of canapes though.


Jen1610 · 04/08/2015 17:27

Well I got married at two. The hotel brought us up a platter of sandwiches to eat in the bridal suite when getting ready. People can have lunch if the wedding is at two. I've always had a sandwich or something at about 12.

You get married then have your pictures taken which takes a while then alot of your guests will want to chat to you so the time between the ceremony at two which can take up to an hour depending on if the bride is a bit late and the type of ceremony. if you had it then and the meal at four it flies by.

You would have a lot of time between the meal and evening reception if you had the food at two. I think I'd just want to sleep if I had a big meal then had to sit around for hours waiting for the reception to start.


Artandco · 04/08/2015 17:27

Get married at 4pm

Then you can have lunch whenever you like, and serve dinner for guests at 7pm. Only costs you one meal also


Jen1610 · 04/08/2015 17:29

However it's your wedding and you can and should be able to structure it whatever way you want.

Is there anywhere big enough you could put a marquee and hire in caterers, they'd do exactly what you wanted with regards to the food.


MrsGentlyBenevolent · 04/08/2015 17:30

Last wedding I went to served food first then speeches and such. The one before did a 'finger food buffet' as soon as we arrived (b+g provided cake, tea and small sandwiches), followed by speeches, then full buffet later on (about 5pm). Both worked, but I thought the light 'afternoon tea' worked very well, and will certainly keep it in mind when planning my own wedding.


PaulineFossil · 04/08/2015 17:31

I think a lot of hotels etc do this so that they can cater for a wedding and still have the kitchen free for evening service in the restaurant. We got round it by hiring a hall and a small independent caterer who wouldn't have done more than one function a day anyway. Took a bit more organising but was definitely worth it to have a meal at a proper time.


CatMilkMan · 04/08/2015 17:35

DP and I have been talking about our wedding and it seems ridiculous how traditional everything is expected to be.


badtime · 04/08/2015 17:35

I'm getting married at 4pm, so people can have lunch before.

Another option is to have a buffet meal rather than a formal 3-course, so people can fill up on canapes if they want, and have a lighter meal.


badtime · 04/08/2015 17:38

CatMilk, I'm getting married later this month and not taking it terribly seriously, but the shock on other people's faces when I tell them I'm not wearing white, or buying the cake from M&S is astonishing, even quite unconventional or alternative people.


OpposableThumbs1 · 04/08/2015 17:39

I got married at 3pm and served food at 6pm. There was plenty of time to have lunch before hand and dinner was at a reasonable time for adults and kids.


whatever22 · 04/08/2015 17:41

Hi, to clarify the problem is not so much finding a venue that will let me do this, its just it seems so 'unusual' that I was worried there was a problem with it I hadn't thought of.

As far as there being a 'boring stretch' between the meal and evening reception, I don't see why this is any different to having a gap earlier between the ceremony and meal? Its a time to mill around have a drink and socialize, and maybe its just me, but I'm way more up for that on a full stomach than an empty one!

OP posts:

Whocaresaboutchrysanthemums · 04/08/2015 17:50

I could have written your post OP!

We are having church at 11, then lunch. Cake and speeches at 1pm. I too find the 4pm three course meal a bit strange.

This earlier time only works because a) we are having lunch in the church hall, b) all guests are near by, and c) we are having. Break between 4 and 8pm when we have booked a pub for an evening party.

The main reason 'venues' would not start earlier is because you then have a full day to fill before dancing. we are really happy with our plan, but there are a few raised eyebrows about the break.


SoftSheen · 04/08/2015 17:59

We had the (church) ceremony at 11, welcome drinks at 1 pm and lunch at 1.30 pm. It worked well, partly because the hotel was only 2 min walk from the church. You are paying (probably lots of money, too), so just tell the venue what you want.


BackforGood · 04/08/2015 18:01

If you are having an 'evening do' then 12 is very early to get married.
Why not have lunch.
then get married
Evening do ?

I agree it's a nightmare having a ceremony at 12 and not eating until 5 or 6, but, unless you aren't having an evening do, then the answer is to have the ceremony later, or your guests are going to be sitting round twiddling their thumbs for hours anyway.


MaidOfStars · 04/08/2015 18:02

As far as there being a 'boring stretch' between the meal and evening reception, I don't see why this is any different to having a gap earlier between the ceremony and meal?


Sorry, I wasn't very clear. With a 12 noon wedding that is going to run until 11 pm, you have around 7 hours of ceremony/dinner/evening entertainment. That leaves 4 hours of time to fill. I said "between dinner and evening" but that was just to match your proposed timings. The gap could just as easily be between ceremony and dinner, and I agree that's a little more problematic for the patience of guests and the effects of booze.

I was suggesting that 12 pm weddings are long days, and unless jam-packed with multiple activities/interests or you start the evening celebrations early, you're going to have an obvious gap.


addictedtosugar · 04/08/2015 18:03

We got married at 4. Gave everyone time to get to us, wedding, photos, chatting, drinks and canapés, speeches and dinner at 7. No evening only invites. Everyone to everything.


Bunbaker · 04/08/2015 18:04

That is why I had a three o'clock wedding. We didn't have hours of photos after the wedding and the hotel where we had the reception was just down the road from the church. We had a buffet at about 5ish, but no evening do.


msrisotto · 04/08/2015 18:04

I recently attended a wedding at 2pm. Stopped at a supermarket to grab a sandwich on the way, no big deal. Do what you want though.


happygirl87 · 04/08/2015 18:07

We got married at 2.30. Understand what you saying about going for lunch in strange town all dressed up, but we hoped/assumed people would just have a sandwich at 12-12.30, as we did, in the knowledge that there's a big three course dinner coming!


PuppyMonkey · 04/08/2015 18:07

I think do what you want it's your wedding, but if you're asking if a ceremony at noon and main meal at 2pm is do-able, I think you'd be pushing it - photos, faffing, greetings, travelling to reception venue, further faffing, chatting, a little more faffing all have to be factored in.Grin

(mind you I usually attend catholic weddings which have a full Mass and everything so you'd never get your lunch two hours later).

Earlier start is the key.


Theycallmemellowjello · 04/08/2015 18:08

I think people do it later as they like to have an evening do - and if you have lunch at 2 then you've got 6 hours to kill before the disco. Also it's more expensive to have the venue for that long. But you should do what you like.


HelsBels3000 · 04/08/2015 18:12

From my experience - I didn't eat a bloody thing of the wedding breakfast - too excited/nervous/overwhelmed/happy to feel in the slightest bit hungry. So the fact you won't have eaten since breakfast will perhaps be mostly irrelevant on the day.

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