Wedding Reception Forum

Food & Theme

Hello all!
My fiance and I have decided on a brunch for dinner reception (We love breakfast food!!). Our ceremony will take place in a garden, and we are having trouble deciding on a theme. We were leaning towards a Zen or Japanese theme, but are wondering if it will be odd considering our food choice. What do you all think? 
We like to have fun (ropes courses, walking trails, laser tag, etc.) and thought about maybe a theme to describe that aspect of us, but we can't figure out any ideas, do you have any suggestions? 
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Re: Food & Theme

  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited October 2016
    Hello all!
    My fiance and I have decided on a brunch for dinner reception (We love breakfast food!!). Our ceremony will take place in a garden, and we are having trouble deciding on a theme. We were leaning towards a Zen or Japanese theme, but are wondering if it will be odd considering our food choice. What do you all think? 
    We like to have fun (ropes courses, walking trails, laser tag, etc.) and thought about maybe a theme to describe that aspect of us, but we can't figure out any ideas, do you have any suggestions? 
    Japanese breakfast is rice, fish, and fruit.  It is not always to westerners' tastes.  I wouldn't worry about a theme, especially if it is not in your own culture.  You might accidentally offend someone with a Japanese heritage.
     
    My daughter married a man with Chinese heritage.  They had a traditional western wedding.  Some of his relatives gave the traditional "red box" gift, though, and the oldest male relative gave a short speech proclaiming that we (parents of the bride) were family now.  If someone did those traditional things and were not a part of the Chinese culture, I would think it very odd.

    My daughter and her husband are gamers.  She ordered a cake with a gaming theme - Dungeons and Dragons, I believe.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    SaintPaulGalSTARMOON44ei34
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    If you wish to serve brunch at your wedding, why would you not just have a morning wedding with a brunch reception?
    This.

    I would hate a breakfast for dinner reception.   Then again I'm not much of a breakfast fan anyway. Even at brunches I eat mostly lunch type items. I would much prefer a brunch during normal brunch time.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    ei34charlotte989875
  • You said your ceremony will be in a garden; where will the reception be?  That will have some effect on your decor (I assume by 'theme' you're talking about how to decorate your reception venue).  You'd likely decorate a rustic barn different than a ballroom or Elks lodge.  You could always incorporate flowers in your centerpieces that are found in the garden you're getting married in.

    "Themes" in weddings tend to work best when they're understated, like sticking to specific colors or a specific tone (which in your case may be "garden brunch wedding," if that's what you wish).  

    For example, my wedding decor was themed vaguely around mountains and the outdoors, with lanterns and ferns as centerpieces at the tables.  We also had several things that were just "for us," like our cake topper and guest book (both tied to my love for rabbits), and the groom's cake (made to look like Domo-kun, H's favorite character).  

    Sit down with FI and talk about what you each envision for your wedding.  If you love laser tag, maybe search for or commission a cake topper of you and FI holding the laser guns?  By "Japanese," do you mean you're hoping to do a cherry blossom theme?  I could see that being very beautiful in the spring (at least where I live in the northeast US) if you did it around the time the cherry trees are actually blossoming.  I would avoid over-the-top theme elements, like making your guests complete a ropes course on their way to the ceremony.  I also agree with PPs that using specific cultural traditions, if you don't already practice them, isn't appropriate, so I'd definitely leave out any specific Japanese wedding traditions unless one of you is actually Japanese.
    OurWildKingdomei34charlotte989875SP29
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited October 2016
    Hello all!
    My fiance and I have decided on a brunch for dinner reception (We love breakfast food!!). Our ceremony will take place in a garden, and we are having trouble deciding on a theme. We were leaning towards a Zen or Japanese theme, but are wondering if it will be odd considering our food choice. What do you all think? 
    We like to have fun (ropes courses, walking trails, laser tag, etc.) and thought about maybe a theme to describe that aspect of us, but we can't figure out any ideas, do you have any suggestions? 
    Sorry, but the bolded just makes you look cheap, and everyone will think so.  A restaurant in my town tried it - substituting eggs, sausages and hashbrowns for steak and shrimp.  Their business fell off.  People aren't that stupid.

    My daughter's wedding ceremony was at 10:30 AM, followed by a buffet brunch that was appropriate for that time of day.  It included carved roast beef and salmon.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    STARMOON44MyNameIsNot
  • Could the theme be "garden brunch"?  Although I've never attended a wedding with a theme (or if I did, I didn't notice) and I've been to plenty of lovely weddings, so you don't have to stress about your theme, or what goes with what, too much.  If anything I'd focus more on ensuring that your caterer provides enough savory options for guests who prefer dinner food at dinner time.
    OurWildKingdom
  • CMGragain said:
    Hello all!
    My fiance and I have decided on a brunch for dinner reception (We love breakfast food!!). Our ceremony will take place in a garden, and we are having trouble deciding on a theme. We were leaning towards a Zen or Japanese theme, but are wondering if it will be odd considering our food choice. What do you all think? 
    We like to have fun (ropes courses, walking trails, laser tag, etc.) and thought about maybe a theme to describe that aspect of us, but we can't figure out any ideas, do you have any suggestions? 
    Sorry, but the bolded just makes you look cheap, and everyone will think so.  A restaurant in my town tried it - substituting eggs, sausages and hashbrowns for steak and shrimp.  Their business fell off.  People aren't that stupid.

    My daughter's wedding ceremony was at 10:30 AM, followed by a buffet brunch that was appropriate for that time of day.  It included carved roast beef and salmon.
    I respectfully disagree. But it might depend on your crowd and/or location. I love brunch for dinner, so do many of my friends, and restaurants who do that here do fairly well. I can of course understand if someone doesn't like brunch for dinner, but I definitely don't agree that it will make one look cheap. 

    I would just make sure to have a wide variety of foods and vegi or protein options. Brunch is usually pretty carb heavy. 
    ILoveBeachMusicDrillSergeantCatSP29redoryx
  • edited October 2016
    lyndausvi said:
    If you wish to serve brunch at your wedding, why would you not just have a morning wedding with a brunch reception?
    This.

    I would hate a breakfast for dinner reception.   Then again I'm not much of a breakfast fan anyway. Even at brunches I eat mostly lunch type items. I would much prefer a brunch during normal brunch time.
    I completely agree; I hate brunch for dinner. Even if you love it, will your guests?

    You didn't mention where your reception will be; also in the garden or in a different venue? You will want to be sure that any caterers even do brunch for dinner. 

    Finally everything @LondonLisa said. Japanese isn't a decoration, it's a culture and unless you or your FI are actually of that culture it's pretty disrespectful. Same thing with Zen Buddhism, it's a set of deeply held beliefs, not a theme. 
    ei34dyerwise
  • My H and I were married in a botanic garden with a brunch reception (at brunch time).  It went over really well.  I'm another vote for not doing brunch food for dinner, and definitely not play-acting at being Japanese, which is pretty gross.

    Apologies to regs who have heard me say this before, but for the OP, fine if you and your FI love breakfast foods.  Have breakfast together that morning (if you have time and are not superstitious).  Have breakfast for dinner every night of your honeymoon.  But I wouldn't take a very specific preference and impose it on all of your guests. 

    charlotte989875ei34STARMOON44
  • Agree with PPs on all fronts.  I'm also not a huge fan of breakfast for dinner so as a guest at your wedding, I would be pretty disappointed if your brunch selections didn't include a generous component of "lunch." 

    That said, I think there are ways to incorporate breakfast flavors in a dinner menu.  For example, mini chicken and waffle bites or mini quiche could be among your appetizers.  For dinner, you could do an entree of bacon-wrapped beef or maple glazed salmon with potato pancakes.  You might have a crepe station that serves both savory and sweet options.  Donuts for dessert in lieu of cake.  Give cereal treats as a favor.

    Your reception should be about thanking your guests with a meal most will enjoy, as you and your FI have the option of having brunch together or breakfast for dinner whenever you want.
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    MandyMost
  • climbingsingleclimbingsingle NYC 'burbs member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    No need for a theme - it's a wedding, not a kid's birthday party. 

    I personally love the idea of breakfast/brunch at any time. I don't think it makes you look cheap. 
    SP29
  • I am also in camp no breakfast at dinner.   I know a decent number of people who don't even eat breakfast at breakfast time.    You will be following proper etiquette if everyone eats a meal but I'm just not a fan.

    And please don't try to take a culture and make it your decor if you're not in that culture.   My Asian friends didn't have weddings with shamrocks and leprechauns guzzling beer and eating bad boiled meals.   Please make sure that what you're doing is respectful. 
  • I love breakfast for dinner, but as you can see OP, the idea of it is polarizing. Something to consider- will your guests think the same?

    I agree that if you are searching for a theme, you don't need one, and make sure it's appropriate.

    If there is something you really want to point out, one of the easiest ways is the cake topper. Otherwise, I think using flowers that are also in the garden for your centerpieces or on your cake is a good way to go. Use those same colours in your invitations. Keep it simple.
  • I love breakfast for dinner.  As long as there is plenty of food and plenty of options this won't make you look any cheaper than any other non-3 plated course option.  But as much as it pains me to admit, this is sort of a know your crowd thing.  And may be better recieved at actual brunch time.  But as long as your guests are properly hosted, do what makes YOU happy.  

    And no need for a theme - you already have one "garden brunch."
  • SwissMs said:
    I love breakfast for dinner.  As long as there is plenty of food and plenty of options this won't make you look any cheaper than any other non-3 plated course option.  But as much as it pains me to admit, this is sort of a know your crowd thing.  And may be better recieved at actual brunch time.  But as long as your guests are properly hosted, do what makes YOU happy.  

    And no need for a theme - you already have one "garden brunch."

    Unless there are large portions of meats in there, I think plenty of guests WILL see it as cheaper.   It's among the reasons that brunch / breakfast are far more affordable dining options than dinner in the same restaurant. 

    That doesn't mean that doing this is necessarily bad.   But I think when you intentionally deviate based on what just YOU like vs what the guests like, it may not go over entirely well.   


    charlotte989875STARMOON44MesmrEwe
  • Hello all!
    My fiance and I have decided on a brunch for dinner reception (We love breakfast food!!). Our ceremony will take place in a garden, and we are having trouble deciding on a theme. We were leaning towards a Zen or Japanese theme, but are wondering if it will be odd considering our food choice. What do you all think? 
    We like to have fun (ropes courses, walking trails, laser tag, etc.) and thought about maybe a theme to describe that aspect of us, but we can't figure out any ideas, do you have any suggestions? 
    To me, the bolded says you are outdoorsy, active, laid-back people. THAT is what you should in your wedding. You're getting married in a garden, which I assume is outdoors, so great! But sometimes "garden party" can come off as pretty stuffy, and it sounds like you want a laid-back atmosphere instead of a stuffy one. So get married in the garden, but do more casual invites so people know it's a more casual affair. You can do food that is fun and casual, too, whether brunch or not. Plan the whole event so there's not a lot of time where the guests are standing around waiting, or standing around with nothing to do, or being held as a captive audience, because that sounds the opposite of who you are (as you describe in the bolded above). So maybe you don't do any intros, and only have one short toast, and only one spotlight dance, so you spend most of your time actually having fun with your guests. 
    charlotte989875sparklepants41SP29
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    We recently had a couple who wanted to cheap out and have a breakfast for dinner reception.  They had heard that breakfast for dinner is cheaper.  

    Well they are correct, breakfast foods are cheaper.  If you look catering menus breakfast is the cheapest, then lunch, then dinner.  

    However,  the club (and specifically the chef) do not allow breakfast for dinner.  He is not going to waste his Saturday night on such little revenue.  I take that back,  they would, but you would have to pay the same as dinner.  The couple ended up not doing it (but did have breakfast burritos for late-night snack).

    We are a private club and they were not members.  The club really don't care if they walked or not as we don't need the business.  






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    MesmrEwe
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    CMGragain said:
    Hello all!
    My fiance and I have decided on a brunch for dinner reception (We love breakfast food!!). Our ceremony will take place in a garden, and we are having trouble deciding on a theme. We were leaning towards a Zen or Japanese theme, but are wondering if it will be odd considering our food choice. What do you all think? 
    We like to have fun (ropes courses, walking trails, laser tag, etc.) and thought about maybe a theme to describe that aspect of us, but we can't figure out any ideas, do you have any suggestions? 
    Sorry, but the bolded just makes you look cheap, and everyone will think so.  A restaurant in my town tried it - substituting eggs, sausages and hashbrowns for steak and shrimp.  Their business fell off.  People aren't that stupid.

    My daughter's wedding ceremony was at 10:30 AM, followed by a buffet brunch that was appropriate for that time of day.  It included carved roast beef and salmon.

    So, I agree with everything everyone else has said except the bolded. Who the fuck cares if you "look cheap"? Beer and wine only (or mimosas only) "looks cheap". Not having live flower centerpieces "looks cheap". An iPod instead of a DJ "looks cheap".

    "Looking cheap" is not something people should be worried about.

    That said, I do think brunch for dinner is polarizing and I would make sure to have a lot of lunch type options available.

    I disagree with your disagreement ;-)  There is no obligation to provide alcohol, so if any complimentary alcohol is served, I see it as generous.  I have seen lots of centerpieces that do not include live flowers, and they can be elegant and expensive.  I concentrate on the music, not on the service delivery model.  I barely paid attention to the DJ at DD's wedding.  My son used a computer to stream music.  The dance floor was still packed.

    What I will remember is the food.  What I will comment on is the food.  Breakfast foods served at a dinner reception makes me think the couple tried to offer the most etiquette approved meal at the cheapest price.  Breakfast foods belong to a brunch.
  • @MobKaz lol, I'm laughing at myself here because if someone served breakfast for dinner my reaction would be a lot of excitement and then hoping they have some sort of special French toast. So it might depend on your crowd. 

    But I'm also thinking of a more delux brunch food, not just a basic continental breakfast. 
    SwissMsSP29DrillSergeantCat
  • It will definitely be a more deluxe brunch (quiche, french toast, etc.) 

  • stimpson0518stimpson0518 member
    First Comment
    edited October 2016
    Thank you all for your replies and opinions. We have decided to not have a theme. As far as brunch for dinner "looking cheap", we don't care. For us, our wedding is about celebrating our union with family and friends; dancing all night, talking and laughing with everyone in the same room. We don't plan no doing the typical 1st dance ( we'd never dance like that any other day) but rather a swing dance, line dance to our favorite song, or something of the sort.

  • It will definitely be a more deluxe brunch (quiche, french toast, etc.) 

    I would suggest you do make sure you include a lot of "heavy" breakfast foods- quiche, omelette (you could do vegetarian and not), ham, sausage, hash browns.


  • It will definitely be a more deluxe brunch (quiche, french toast, etc.) 

    Consider something more filling. Ham carving station with biscuits? Steak and eggs? Bagels with smoked salmon? Omelette stations, bacon, selection of sausages, shrimp cocktail, oysters and Bloody Mary shooters, crab cakes Benedict. 
    charlotte989875ei34
  • We are considering stations, perhaps I should also add that we have a while until our wedding: May 2018. 
  • DrillSergeantCatDrillSergeantCat Oklahoma City, OK member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    A former friend of mine did breakfast for dinner for his wedding reception and I loved it. He had sausage, bacon, ham, scrambled eggs, french toast, pancakes, and fruit. He also had a barista and had a coffee and tea bar. He had the traditional wedding cake and then had another table of various cookies as a favor. It was honestly my favorite reception ever. 
    [Deleted User]
  • I wouldn't think of brunch-for-dinner as cheaping out.  Actual breakfast during breakfast time is cheaper to cater, but that doesn't mean that caterers will offer that menu and that pricing for your dinner reception.  If anything, I would expect to see something like this as a bit of an upcharge over your standard banquet chicken dish since the menu is more of a custom thing.

    And even if it was cheaper, so what?  I wouldn't judge a couple for choosing budget-friendly options.  There is (virtually) always a more expensive choice available no matter how lavish you get.  Serving prime rib?  Guess you cheaped out by not serving filet.  Serving filet?  Well, it's not imported wagyu beef so you deserve scorn.

    I think brunch for dinner sounds lovely.  No style of food is going to please every last guest.  Everyone is at least familiar with brunch foods.  It's not like you are serving something super exotic that is going to freak out half your guests.
    DrillSergeantCatILoveBeachMusic
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