Alternatives To A Traditional Wedding Breakfast

Colourful food displayed on a wedding table | Essex Wedding Planner

Following the exchange of your wedding vows, tradition states you should then treat your guests to a three course sit down wedding breakfast. However, as we know, couples are now choosing to break with tradition and include a variety of non traditional elements into their wedding day. With alternative catering choices topping the list as ways couples can add a little of their personalities into their wedding day.

With the number of guests attending a wedding as well as the vast age range, couples can be tempted to play safe and offer their guests a traditional three course wedding breakfast. Whilst this is perfectly acceptable and is well suited to many weddings. For couples wishing to throw the rule book out the window, you will be pleased to know there is an extensive range of alternative catering options available to choose from. Allowing you to treat your guests to different style of wedding breakfast to tantalise their taste buds.


With it’s irresistible smokey aroma and the relaxed social ambience often associated with a barbecue, it’s easy to see why an increasing number of couples are viewing this as a perfect option when looking to treat their guests to something a little different. Inviting your guests to help themselves to a selection of freshly prepared flame grilled meats and vibrant classic sides of salad, coleslaw and potatoes is the perfect way to introduce a relaxed and stress free tone to your wedding day. You can be as elaborate as you please with this flexible style of dining, with some newlyweds choosing to stick with simple and traditional burgers and sausages. Whilst other prefer to offer their guests a banquet of luxurious options such as marinated steak, prawn skewers or flamed grilled chicken breasts.

Family style feasts

Raising in popularity in recent years, family style dining is the perfect option for couples wishing to treat their guests to a delicious feast of casual sharing boards. Think mouth-watering platters of freshly cooked meats served with an abundance of colourful salads, potatoes and rustic breads. All conveniently served to the centre of tables so guests can help themselves. Often seen as a great alternative to a barbecue by couples who are attracted by the idea of social dining but would prefer that their guests enjoy a relaxed and informal feast without having to leave their seats.

As you know, I love to share a top tip – So, if you are considering family style dining for your wedding day and are hosting your celebration within Essex or the surrounding areas check out Gather & Feast Events who are absolute legends in this style of dining.

Colourful wedding food on a rustic trestle table | Essex Wedding Planner

Grazing stations

Luxury grazing stations are perfect for couples who are looking to  replace the traditional three course wedding breakfast with a steady flow of delicious food throughout their wedding day. A vast array of speciality cheeses, cured meats, breads, crackers and chutneys to name a few, all elegantly styled to perfection. Making them a visual feast for the eye as well as the palette. For couples wishing to introduce more substantial options for their guests, consider adding a mac & cheese station or hot filled rolls to further compliment this flavourful style of dining. 

Food trucks

Let’s face it, who doesn’t love a slice of wood fired pizza or a generous portion of salt & vinegar infused fish & chips. If this is your food of choice, why not book a selection of food trucks and treat your guests to a selection of your all time favourites. The possibilities are endless and range from Mexican street food trucks, build your own burger stations or food wagons to serve toasted sandwiches to your guests at the end of your wedding day. You will quite literally be spoilt for choice and are sure to find options that perfectly reflect your preferred style of food.

Evening food

Gone are the days of a beige buffet being offered to your guests following your first dance. Evening wedding food has been revived, with many couples now spending as much time choosing their evening food offerings as they do finalising their wedding breakfast. Large Paella pans, wood fired hog roasts, cheese and biscuits stations and hot filled rolls are all top of the list when it comes to choosing which culinary delights to offer your guests throughout your evening reception.

Dessert stations

Arguably the most anticipated course, (well for me anyway), couples are now choosing to thoroughly spoil their guests by treating them to a show stopping display of delicious desserts. Donuts stacks, cookies jars, bite size helpings of classic favourites such as cheesecake, creme brûlée and chocolate tart, as well as refreshing fruit platters, to name a few. And, as another huge bonus, they also look incredible. So be sure to tell your photographer to capture a photo before your guests dive in.

Dessert table on a wedding day | Essex wedding planner

I hope that you have enjoyed reading this blog post and it has inspired you to be creative with the menu you offer to your guests on your wedding day. Choosing a suitable menu that perfectly reflects your special day is just one task that you will undertake whilst planning your wedding.

If you would like assistance with the many decisions you will need to make throughout your wedding planning journey, and you are marrying within Essex, Suffolk, Kent, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire. Please do get in touch to discuss the planning services I offer. I would love to hear from you and discuss how I can assist you.

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Image Credits: Terri & Lori Fine Art Photography & Film

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Hayley Jayne Weddings & Events
Brentwood, Essex

01277 226785
07889 171453

About Hayley

With a keen eye for detail, organisational skills that are second to none and the love of a “to do” list it was inevitable that Hayley would become an events planner. She started her career within the legal profession and was a Personal Assistant for 14 years before training with the UKAWP to become a professional wedding and events planner and then going on to launch “Hayley Jayne Weddings & Events”.

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Hayley Jayne Weddings & Events trained with the UKAWP