Just because we speak the same language doesn’t mean we share the same customs. The way the British and the Americans do things are wildly different. The same goes to how we tie the knot. As it turns out, there are many fundamental and interesting differences between weddings in Britain and those living across the pond.
Check out the list of things that set British weddings apart from the Americans.
Speeches and toasts at an American wedding are generally sentimental and sappy. But if you attend a British wedding, you’d think they were roasting the bride and groom. If you’re giving a toast at a Brit wedding, don’t feel bad to leave the recipient utterly mortified.
WOMEN AND TOASTS
A traditional Brit wedding usually has only three sets of speeches – from the best man, father of the groom and the groom.
We’ve all seen fancy hats at the royal wedding. It’s part of the royal protocol for women of the royal family to wear hats on all official occasions. But this is no longer just a royal thing. These days almost all UK weddings feature show-stopping hats by women of all ages.
THE WEDDING CAKE
Wedding cakes in the US are available in all kinds of flavour, from pink champagne to chocolate to vanilla. As for the Brits, traditional weddings serve fruitcake.
We’ve seen sentimental, heart-touching wedding vows in American soap operas but you ain’t getting any if you attend a British wedding. This is because most of the Brits hold their weddings in the Church of England and the church uses the same script for all the weddings.
If you attend an American wedding, you will see the first dance at the start of the dinner when they are announced into the reception. As for the Brits, the meal comes first. The couples will usually have their first dance after cutting the cake.
American weddings have a lot of different components like the bachelor and bachelorette parties, rehearsal dinner, bridal shower and other activities, turning it into pretty much a weekend affair.
British weddings are shorter, with just the “stag night” (bachelor party) and “hen dos” (bachelorette party).
The Brits pay for their bridesmaids’ dresses while in America the bridesmaids pay for it themselves although the bride usually chooses what they will wear.
Besides the bridesmaids, the British brides usually pick young girls below 12 years to join the bridesmaids’ squad.
REHEARSAL DINNER AND POST-WEDDING BRUNCH
The Americans love to precede their weddings by rehearsal dinners which have now caught on to the British wedding tradition. This is the same with next-day brunches.
THE WEDDING PROCESSIONAL
If you attend a British wedding, you will see the bride lead the wedding processional with the bridesmaids following behind her. Sometimes there are young male attendants carrying the bride’s train. The Americans prefer to save the bride for the last, often accompanied by one parent or both.
Most British weddings have a cash bar, unlike their US counterparts. Unless you are attending a more selective dinner portion where you will probably serve one or two glasses of wine for free.