Here’s one thing you might not know about weddings: Most couples never get to sit down and eat on their wedding day — even after they’ve spent hours (or months!) deciding on the menu. They’re too busy entertaining guests, making the rounds, or greeting friends and family members to really focus on eating. It’s not that they’re not starving — because usually, they are! — it’s that those moments post-cocktail hour are primetime for hugs and congratulations.
While it’s important to make sure you get quality time with your guests, it’s equally critical that you eat something. You don’t want to be four glasses of Champagne in before you take a bite of that juicy roast beef — your stomach and head will never forgive you.
So to find out how to make sure you get to eat on your wedding day, we talked to a couple of experts. Read on — and enjoy your wedding meal!
1. Ask your caterer to serve you at a different time during your reception.
If you just don’t think you’ll be able to eat at the same time as your guests (because you’ll be way too busy greeting friends and family members) Emanuele Ponzo, CEO of Los Angeles-based catering company Crateful, suggests couples plan to eat at a later time during the reception, when guests are dancing and enjoying themselves.
“[Ask your caterer] to recreate the meal at a different time,” he says. “I’m Italian, and our approach is that it’s not difficult to make a meal for just two people…we just need to plan it.”
So if you think you might want to eat an hour or two later, just arrange it with your caterer. There’s usually a way to make it happen, and your chef wants you to be happy and fed on your big day.
2. Have a snack in the bridal suite after the ceremony is over.
Whether or not you’re taking photos after your ceremony, take a moment to escape to the bridal suite and have a snack with your beloved. You can ask your caterer to leave you a tray of hors d’oeuvres, or to drop off some simple snacks.
Says Kait Rovnyak, lead event planner at AaB Creates, “After the ceremony it is always nice to go back to the bridal suite for a private moment. That is the time to relax, have some Champagne, and enjoy food from the cocktail hour.”
3. Ask your caterer (or your mom or dad!) to gather a platter of hors d’oeuvres from the cocktail hour to leave at your sweetheart or head table.
If you don’t think you’ll be able to sneak away to the bridal suite for a nosh between the ceremony and reception, Brittany Rouille, a bride who tied the knot last year and now writes about her marriage and life on the road with her husband at MrandMrsAdventure.com, suggests asking someone to leave a plate of cocktail-hour hors d’oeuvres at your table to enjoy when you get back from taking photos.
4. Eat breakfast!
We know you’re going to be nervous on your wedding day, but eating breakfast is critical — even more important than usual! You need lots of energy to get through the events of the morning (last-minute prep, hair and makeup, emotional moments with your wedding party and family), so experts recommend eating something light but filling.
Says Rovnyak, “I find that most couples go for a healthy, light breakfast. Something easy but nutritious, like eggs or a shake, that will help keep their energy up throughout the day. We never suggest skipping breakfast, though!”
5. Don’t put your sweetheart table at the end of the buffet line.
This is a lesson bride Rouille learned the hard way! Though she and her husband, Drew Neumann, were first to christen the buffet, their sweetheart table was positioned at the end of the food line, so every single guest stopped to chat, take photos, and congratulate the newlyweds. A sweet gesture, to be sure, but one that left the couple famished.
Rouille recommends positioning your sweetheart or head table away from the buffet (if you’re serving a buffet-style meal) to avoid creating an involuntary receiving line during dinner.
6. Be honest with your guests.
If you do end up receiving visitors during your meal, be honest if you need to pause and take a bite of your food.
Says Rouille, “Drew and I found ourselves desperate to enjoy the beautiful plates before us, so we literally had to tell people to please excuse us as we were starving.” She adds, “Honesty is the best policy.”