Eat a private dinner BEFORE your reception

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dinner for 2

Julia and Brad were super duper smart about making sure they had time to eat at their reception: they ate BEFORE it! Here's what they did (and their surprise gift from the caterers!):

We asked our caterers to put a couple of plates for us on the kitchen counter so we could eat quickly before greeting our guests. But they went way above and beyond and dressed this elegant table for us, with a candle and our preferred beverages, and we got to enjoy a really lovely, private meal immediately after the ceremony. It was unexpectedly one of the sweetest parts of the night, and I got all giddy about it for several minutes, as seen here.

We hear all the time that there isn't time to eat (or even breathe) at weddings, so this handy solution is awesome.


Ooh, and Tricia and Barrett did this, too:

After the ceremony, we ate dinner by ourselves for 20 minutes to soak up everything that happened in the ceremony. It was very private and romantic, and we loved just being able to reflect.

See what else went on at Julia and Brad's and Tricia and Barrett's weddings!

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Comments on Eat a private dinner BEFORE your reception

  1. I highly recommend doing this. Also, if anyone wants to learn more about the history of “taking a break before the reception” look up the Jewish tradition of Yichud.

    • The concept of Yichud was a HUGE inspiration to me. In between our ceremony and reception, we went for a nice long walk just the two of us. (Well, and our photographer lurking behind us.)

      Yichud walk

    • even if my FH and i weren’t jewish and having a jewish ceremony, i would insist on having a yichud. it’s such a sweet idea, and i see no purpose in rushing from ceremony to reception without having a chance to reflect on the commitment you just made in front of however many people.

      also, the built-in food time is definitely a plus!

    • I know it’s traditionally used for the consummation of the marriage, but damn if we didn’t use the time for a lot of consume-ation of a whole tray of appetizers. Kicking out the photographer and everyone else and eating a whole variety of things in puff pastry was exactly what I needed in that moment.

      • I am an orthodox Jewish woman (Hassidic, no less) and I can assure you Yichud is NOT used for consummation. It has to be long enough for consummation (the time it takes to cook and eat an egg, btw. who knew?) but no sex takes place then. I mean, the couple might, but it is not the custom. They use yichud to eat supper, and trust me they want to, because they were fasting the whole day.

  2. This is such a great idea.
    The bride and groom can kill 2 birds with 1 stone ~ some time alone and actually get to eat dinner 🙂

  3. Our caterer prepared two big giant take home meals for after the reception, which Husband and I INHALED when we finally made it to our hotel room that night. We didn’t ask for it, they just did it because they watched us flit around without being able to eat. That moment, of my new husband and I, sitting in our big hotel bed feeding each other and discussing everything that had happened was really the first and best start to our wedded life together.

    • ~That moment, of my new husband and I, sitting in our big hotel bed feeding each other and discussing everything that had happened was really the first and best start to our wedded life together.~

      I’m going to aim for this moment. It sounds wonderful.

  4. As a caterer, we sometimes TRY to get the b&g to eat, but it can be hard. If your facility has any small, private rooms, ask to use it and be left alone! Hardly anyone will notice since most guests just assume you’re taking photos. The company I work for has a standard for weddings that we pack a meal for the b&g to eat later. It’s a great bonus that not all of them expect!

    I’ve also seen that before the exit, they clear all the guests out and have one last dance together, without anyone there. It makes it so much more intimate.

  5. I have a few B & Gs that have done this. They seem a lot more relaxed and happy to greet their guest after. My last wedding I had to chase a peacock away from my B & G’s plates!!!!

  6. Ok, this make me love all your caterers so much. How considerate!

  7. ooh, this is what we’re doing! Its our compromise between my wanting to elope, and my fella’s desire for ‘the big day’ with everyone we know…I’ve always wanted an earlier ceremony because I want to spend the day celebrating, not preparing so we’re having ours at 11am, then the husband (!) and I are having a secret detour to have a wedding breakfast on our own (well, our photographer and driver are coming along too but will be lurking), then we’re heading to the reception venue for a ‘wedding second breakfast’ (I love that I can get a Tolkien reference in) which will be afternoon tea!

    Its the first proper planning decision that has made me excited for ‘the big day’…because we get chance to share a moment or two alone, and focus on the wonder of the day in regards to US, not just our guests 🙂

    and what with the bridal party breakfast, wedding breakfast, wedding second breakfast, ice cream cart and the cake of cheese vs pile of meats and veggies style evening buffet, I’m more worried I might over-eat, than not eat!

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