- 7 years ago
- Wedding: November 2011
Okay, so with all the posts coming up about etiquette no-nos, I feel like I need to come clean about all the gasp-worthy things we’re doing at our wedding! As a bride who is balancing two cultures for her wedding (US and UK), I sometimes feel like I can’t tell the whole truth about how we’re doing our wedding because what’s rude in one culture is expected in the other, and vice versa–I feel like I can’t win anywhere! SO… here is my list of things that are horribly rude in one culture or the other:
1. We’re having a partial cash bar. Full booze for cocktails and dinner, a champagne toast, and a post-dinner/during-dancing drink are on us. After that, guests are on their own. Everyone in the UK assures me this is totally expected and normal. Most British girls I’ve talked to say they’ve never been to an open bar wedding. Hoping they’re right.
2. We are only having family and close friends to the dinner–local guests come to the ceremony and then are invited to a separate evening reception. Horribly rude in the US, totally normal in the UK. The thing that’s generally considered rude in the UK, however, is inviting someone to the ceremony as well as the reception–apparently it’s more hassle. I’m told that only Christians invite people to both the ceremony and the evening party since they put more emphasis on the importance of the ceremony. Can’t win here. I would never do a tiered reception in the US as I know it’s a major faux pas here, but FI has tons of local guests who are fully expecting to be invited just to the ceremony and an evening reception. FI says he sees the full dinner as a way to honor the really special people in your lives. I am still dubious, but then, I’m a newcomer to the culture.
3. I am not sending my adult cousins their own invitations. I do not particularly like them, have never been close to them, and was not invited to their weddings, so don’t feel I should have to invite them to mine. I am putting “and family” on invites to be diplomatic, but as they have all already said they are not coming anyway (verbally), I’m not sending them their own invites. This is my own personal faux-pas choice, no culture involved.
4. My bridal shower was an “internet” shower. This was not my idea (host did the party-throwing, i just gave the guest list), and although I’m sure it was poor etiquette, it worked out well. As I am moving to London and only have room to take one suitcase of stuff with me, my host’s invites requested that instead of bringing the physical gift, guests bring a picture of the gift they got instead. I think it worked out okay, and all the guests gave rave reviews about the “genius” of it. Still… I cringe because I wondered if it looked gift-grabby as there were only pictures of stuff that had been sent to FI’s flat, not actual physical gifts.
SO… phew! I feel glad for getting that off my chest! Love me or hate me, this is what we’re doing with our wedding, and now I feel like I can relate to you bees with a clear conscience. Thanks for listening, and I hope nobody is too offended…