Midday Wedding Receptions, Lunch Receptions

Planning the perfect afternoon wedding reception

Midday Wedding Reception
Midday wedding receptions are a popular alternative for brides, giving them more than enough time to prepare to leave for the honeymoon, while still allowing time to thank their guests for attending their special day. For many people, however, figuring out a menu for a midday wedding reception can be a bit tough. It's too late for lunch, and it's too early for tea, but that doesn't mean you can't come up with some fantastic ideas for your guests. Here are some suggestions to help you plan your midday wedding reception.

Keeping it Light

Generally, the food you serve at a midday wedding reception should be lighter fare. Start thinking of afternoon snacks to find your inspiration. The food should be easy to eat, and nothing that will spoil your guests' dinners later on. You can serve a fresh fruit medley, giving guests a wide variety of options. One fun tip is to pick fruits that match your overall color scheme for the wedding if possible.

An afternoon reception is also a great opportunity to serve light sweets, such as marzipan cookies or sherbet in colorful bowls. The foods that work best for midday wedding receptions are generally light and airy, giving your guests a refresher that will satisfy their hunger until dinner.

Summer Midday Wedding Receptions

If your wedding will be taking place during the summer months, it is a good idea to serve foods that are cool as well as refreshing. Take your cues from hotter climates and include tropical refreshments. Small wedges of key lime pie or sparkling mimosas are refreshing for any midday wedding reception on a hot day.

Even if your reception will be held indoors, your guests will appreciate the break from the heat. If you are planning an outdoor midday wedding reception during the summer months, you will need to ensure that everything stays cold, both for food safety and presentations sake. Make sure that the caterer brings enough ice!

Winter Midday Wedding Receptions

However, if you are planning your wedding to take place during the winter months, you will have even more great ideas for your midday wedding reception refreshments. You can serve small pieces of fruit pies, complete with a steaming cup of coffee. This is the time of year for comfort foods. Boston cream pie is another excellent choice, or if you prefer less sweet fare, you could serve pierogies or other warm snacks.


Midday wedding receptions offer a lot of variety when it comes to the types of beverages that you will serve. For summer events, wine spritzers, iced teas or sparkling water are ideal. Winter events are made even cozier with hot cocoa, hot tea or even coffee. Use your food selections as the deciding factor in which type of beverages you select.

Putting Everything Together

Your midday wedding reception should be fun, and never too serious. Think of it as an intimate get together with friends, even if you have 500 guests attending. By serving light fare or small portions of comfort foods, you can be assured that your guests will be getting just the right afternoon snack.

Written by: Cary Stuart