Food is of utmost importance for your wedding day. Almost every couple I have met down through the years has had the same two objectives for their big day – great food and fantastic entertainment. The Irish wedding differs from a lot of other cultures in the span of the day – with most beginning with a church ceremony that can last upwards of 2 hours by the time the registry has been signed, hands shaken and cheeks kissed, and a myriad of photographs captured. From there, taking travel time to the venue into consideration could add another hour. Guests could be met at the venue with anything from a simple glass of bubbly to a spread of canapés and sweet treats, depending on the bridal couple’s budget. Give or take another two hours before guests are called for dinner, this is where the trouble often begins. Speeches before? You could be waiting another hour from the time you sit down to be fed. Speeches in between courses? Main course could be ruined. Speeches after the meal? You’re absolutely stuffed and can’t fathom the thought of getting out on the dance floor. Another couple of hours go by and you’re nibbling on cocktail sausages and chocolate biscuit cake. If you’re looking to escape from this typical Irish wedding routine, here are a few alternative options you might want to consider: Brunch & Lunch Wedding Go for an earlier ceremony, followed by some delicious breakfast and lunch inspired dishes. Keep the tone light with French toast, eggs Benedict, crisp salads, omelets, a continental selection of cooked meats and cheeses, fresh breads and pastries, accompanied by light and refreshing champagne cocktails, juices and smoothies. BBQ Wedding Perfect for a summer evening wedding, a BBQ is a great way to keep your wedding fresh and fun. Steer away from the typical burgers and steak and go for more unusual options like pulled pork, chargrilled lemon and herb chicken, marinated sausages, baby back ribs, lamb cutlets and a build-your-own-burger bar, with an array of salads, cheese, breads and toppings. Don’t forget about your vegetarian guests with delicious Mediterranean vegetable skewers, falafel burgers and corn on the cob. Follow this up with a great dessert buffet or ice cream sundae bar, a selection of craft beers and pitchers of cocktails. Afternoon Tea Party Tiered stands of finger sandwiches, gourmet tartlets, quiches, scones, cakes and sweets accompanied by fresh prosecco and a selection of freshly brewed teas and coffees is a lovely alternative to the wedding dinner for a smaller or more casual wedding reception. This is something that could also be followed later by a BBQ or buffet of hot food if you want to keep the momentum going.