Weddings are lovely, aren't they? It's why we all love being guests at one. However, perhaps what makes them unique is not just the celebration itself but also the many activities and side attractions involved in the celebration. From planning and shopping to activities on the D-Day itself, they are the scenes we all get to remember and reminisce on for days on end, long after the wedding is over.
While some of these activities and traditions are well known to everyone, some are more popular amongst certain nationalities and cultures. Since we are always looking to add more activities to our weddings to make them more memorable and exciting, it's not surprising that people end up adopting wedding practices from other cultures besides theirs.
An example is a Viennese Hour, a wedding activity now taking centre stage in many weddings across the country. Do you know what a Viennese Hour is and why you and your partner should include it in your wedding plans? You'll find out in this detailed guide.
What is a Viennese Hour at a Wedding?
As the name suggests, the Viennese Hour is a wedding tradition that found its way into wedding cultures worldwide, from Italy. Italian immigrants who first settled in Ohio and Pennsylvania brought it into the United States.
The tradition features a grandiose display presented by a couple of an array of fruits, pastries, cakes, and coffees—basically, all you can eat— in large quantities. This display typically comes after the cake has been cut, and the wedding swings into a more upbeat mood; as the evening draws to a close.
More often than not, this display is a blatant show of luxury. Depending on the wedding size and budget, it could take up as many tables as possible and be consumed in a cocktail of pomp and fanfare. The Viennese Hour is also commonly referred to in some parts as the Venetian Hour. In its full glory, decadence is at the heart of this wedding tradition.
What's the Difference Between a Viennese Hour & a Sweets Table?
The Viennese Hour and the sweets table serve as dessert buffets and are delicious, but that's where the similarities end. These are some of the differences between them.
A sweets table is usually displayed at a wedding from when the reception begins. Wedding planners use it strategically as a significant part of the day's decor via its placement and aesthetic arrangement. This is in stark contrast to the Viennese Hour, traditionally presented to wedding guests only after the cake has been cut. For indoor weddings, sometimes a separate room is reserved for the purpose.
Another area in which a sweets table is different from the Viennese Hour is the contents of both tables. A sweets table is usually filled with more candy than anything else. If ever included on a sweets table, pastries are typically small, like mini cupcakes and cake pops. For a Viennese Hour, the table is more about showing opulence. This means the table is filled with every dessert item you can think of and is not expected to run out while the guests still enjoy themselves.
Should I have a Viennese hour?
It has been established that the Viennese Hour is a fantastic wedding tradition, but on what basis would you decide to have one at your wedding?
The most important factor is your budget. Viennese Hour is designed to be lavish. If you decide to hold one, remember you can't hold back or do it on a budget. You have to go all-in or don't go in at all. If the cost is not included in your initial budget, you might want to be prepared to spend as much as an extra $1,000. Of course, this depends on the number of guests present.
Secondly, the Viennese Hour is held after dinner. If the rent you paid allows you to party into the night, then having a Viennese Hour is OK. If not, you could face the possibility of overstaying and incurring a fine. It would help if you verified this before including a Viennese Hour in your plans.
How can I plan my Viennese Hour?
If you and your partner have decided to have a Viennese Hour at your wedding, you'll need some ideas on how to plan and execute this elegant tradition.
Budget: First, decide what you want on the Viennese Hour tables, then estimate the total cost per serving. Next, multiply the result by the number of guests expected at your wedding. There, you have your budget. You can cut costs by having a friend or family member help with the preparation instead of adding it to the caterer's workload for more money.
Table Arrangements: Decide beforehand how you want your tables to be arranged. You can do this with your decorator, so the tables don't ruin the already agreed-upon aesthetic arrangement.
Find A Safe Place: Unlike sweets tables which are usually displayed from start to finish, Viennese tables aren't unveiled until it's time to indulge. That is, typically after dinner and cutting of the cake. Discuss with your wedding planner to find a place around the venue where you can keep the tables safe. If it's an indoor wedding, you can keep them in a separate room. For an outdoor event, you can either keep them somewhere out of reach or begin to assemble the table when it's nearly time.
Mitigate Against Wastage: The Viennese Hour is held at a time when most people are filled, and this could spell doom sometimes. To overcome this obstacle, you can provide paper bags for each guest to pack their share instead of letting them go to waste.
The Viennese Hour might seem like nothing more than a moment of decadence, but it can help create memorable experiences for you, your partner, and your guests.