Weddings are evolving and there are many alternatives to the traditional evening affair that couples are considering. An afternoon celebration with different foods, cocktails and entertainment is an elegant twist on tradition and still allows couples to incorporate personal touches and create a memorable guest experience. But for many who still envision a more traditional, classic affair, the idea of an afternoon wedding is dismissed as being too casual, though it doesn’t have to be. In fact, there are ways to have a brunch/afternoon affair that is still classic, traditional and sophisticated.
While most brunch weddings happen on Sunday, you can opt for a Saturday which is more convenient for your guests. And more importantly, you can still host the after party for your friends and family that want to continue the celebration. To elevate the level of sophistication more common with evening weddings, skip the garden party aesthetic most opt for and incorporate jewel tones accented with light, lush flowers. Set the tone with the invitation and acknowledge preferred attire as many will ask! If you want guests in formal attire, a suit and tie for men and cocktail dress for women is still appropriate for the afternoon.
Starting with the ceremony, welcome guests with a coffee bar and pastry accompaniment. They will love this as many probably didn’t have time to eat before traveling to the wedding. For the cocktail reception, your food selections can be yummy brunch style hors d’oeuvres such as sous vide egg bites, mini pastries and tea sandwiches with salmon, egg salad and other accouterments.
Transitioning to the reception, kick it off with the traditional introductions and toast and invite guests to enjoy a fabulous plated meal customary at an evening wedding. You can also incorporate the parent dances and cake cutting or feature an amazing dessert bar if you want to forgo cake. You can also have a traditional band and incorporate dancing or if you want to keep it simple, have a jazz quartet play for the main portion and transition to a dance band for the after party.
While there are many ways to elevate the level of sophistication of an afternoon celebration, you’ll still want to consider if it’s right for you. If you are an early riser and can’t see yourself up past 9 pm, it could be the perfect way to celebrate your special day and still plan a elegant, traditional wedding.