Photo: Getty Images
Hosting a seated meal isn't required — especially if you're having a morning wedding — but people want the opportunity to toast the couple, and that inevitably leads to food. Our experts weigh in on how to approach a morning celebration if you don't want a formal affair.
While there's no rule book that says you have to provide a sit-down meal following a wedding, the idea of breaking bread together and sharing a meal goes hand-in-hand with gathering your friends and family to witness your nuptials. Guests will have rushed to be prompt to a morning wedding, and they will be ready to refuel.
If your guest list is small, consider a breakfast cocktail party at your favorite neighborhood restaurant; it's really more about providing a place to gather, so just serve light fare and keep the time frame short so that people can go on about their days after wishing you well. But if you're a larger party, it doesn't get much easier than a brunch buffet: A nice spread of breads and croissants, fruit and cheese, and a carving station of meat is really all you need. You can make the spread as large or small as you see fit, but keep it simple with fewer items that are fresh and flavorful. Do we really need to point out the cons of a plated breakfast from a catering service? The thought alone of all those mass-produced scrambled eggs is reminiscent of a corporate meeting in a banquet hall where everyone just pushes the food around their plates. Skip it and give guests a few complimentary dishes they'll actually enjoy. Spruce up the service with additions like passed mimosas and bellinis, a coffee bar with sweet treats like fresh whipped cream, chocolate shavings, and rock candy stirrers, or specialty jams and honeys on the tables.
Your wedding is your celebration and should be a reflection of you as a couple, as well as fit within budget constraints. Think about what you as a guest would enjoy following a morning ceremony, then review the costs and plan accordingly so that you're comfortable with the amount you're spending. Be proud of the party you put on, and guests will turn up ready to celebrate.