At a few recent weddings I have performed at recently there have been many guests from overseas, and on more than one occasion there was a little confusion from some of them why the meal at a UK wedding is known as a Wedding Breakfast.

The earliest usage of the term seems to be around the 16th Century, and it stems from the fact the wedding service is a Mass and therefore the bride and bridegroom were expected to to have been fasting since daybreak, so for them it literally was a Break Fast, and this was the situation for at least a couple of different religions including Catholicism. The situation was different though for most of the guests who wouldn’t have been expecting to be fasting and so they would have likely already eaten since waking.

The term is familiar in Britain, Australia, Germany, Austria and Scandinavia and some English-speaking countries except for the USA.