Post # 1
In my three or so months here on weddingbee, my eyes have been opened to all sorts of traditions, customs and pieces of etiquette that I had never heard of. I’d never realised how different weddings in the US often are! So now I want to know: what do we do that is considered odd or unusual to the rest of the world?!
Post # 3
Interesting question! I’m not sure if we’ll be able to answer because most of us have never experienced a British wedding before, other than viewing Royal weddings on tv. I recently was in Ireland and I have a feeling that the weddings I saw would be more familiar to you than they were to us. I know that in the UK bridesmaids are typically younger girls, but I think this tradition may be changing??? The Irish weddings that I saw at my hotel while on holiday there had bridal parties that looked like an American version. The thing that was distinctive and unique was the little fancy hats that the guests wore to the wedding! They were so very elegant! I have to say that you may be more used to having International tourists watching your wedding parties. At my hotel, there were so many tourists watching the wedding party arrive that it was amusing because it seemed like the guests felt that this was common to their wedding experiences, but here in my part of America it would be very unusual to have anyone from another place watch a bridal party or wedding reception for any period of time. I live in Pennsylvania where the cookie table is expected, and driving past an Amish couple courting in a horse and buggy is not totally unusual! But I agree, we have quite a few traditions here!
Post # 4
@Missbliss: I guess you probably don’t see them much – what with TV/Films and now WeddingBee, I feel like I’ve got a good idea of what a “typical” US wedding would look like. The opposite is probably not true!
Bridesmaids used to be young (a younger sister/friend/cousin adult bridesmaid and a couple of children), but that seems to be changing. The only time I’ve been a bridesmaid, I was 4/5 years old, but I am being one next year which I’m very excited about!
Hats seem to be fading out of fashion too, which is a bit sad. Usually, a few women wear them, but not everyone.
We don’t tend to have a large gap between the ceremony and reception, or have a specified cocktail hour. Instead, there is usually an hour or so where the photographer takes the formal shots and the guests mill around (with a drink/canape in hand), waiting to be called for a photo.
Venues are a bit more limited, especially for legal wedding ceremonies, but people are starting to get more inventive…
Post # 5
I’m Scandinavian but marrying in England and I’ve come across a bunch of things that I personally find a little odd, here are some things I can think of off the top of my head:
-Wedding ‘breakfast’, it’s lunch or dinner but it certainly isn’t breakfast at 5pm!
-Morning suits and top hats, not something I’ve seen anywhere else
-Fruitcake for wedding cake, this is quintessentially English and very common although it doesn’t actually taste that nice
-Only three speeches, I know there are plenty of exceptions to this but there’s an expectation or tradition that speeches are made by the groom, best man and bride’s father
-Getting a slice of wedding cake in a napkin to take away
Post # 6
@The Unsuspecting Bride: I’d forgotten about the wedding “breakfast”. I wonder why it’s called that…
I think the speeches probably harks back to a time when the women wouldn’t have made speeches. I don’t think I’ve been to a single wedding where a woman has made a speech. I guess in a way that’s really sexist, but it doesn’t bother me – I wouldn’t want to make one and I’m sure none of my bridesmaids would either.
Who makes speeches in a traditional US wedding?
Post # 7
@RainStorm: I think it’s called a “wedding breakfast” because in older times a couple would fast for their wedding and break the fast after the wedding.
Post # 8
Oh i thought it was called that simply because it was the first meal as a married couple, just as breakfast is the first meal of the day. You learn something new every day hey!
Post # 9
@The Unsuspecting Bride: I’ve already told my other half that there’s no way on this planet we’re having fruit cake as I believe it to be cake in it’s most unholy form
In other words, it is indeed the cake of the devil. Fortunately he agrees with me. Yuck.
Post # 10
@RainStorm: Earlier this month I went to a cousins wedding, one of the bridesmaids made a speech, it was the first time I have seen that at a British wedding. I did think her speech was so lovely, and so nice to hear something about the Bride not only jokes at the grooms expense!!!
Post # 11
I know this is an old thread, but I think it’s interesting.
@The Unsuspecting Bride: I’m from the US and at almost every wedding I’ve been to you get to take home cake in a little napkin. Personally I think it’s really messy and a lot of the cake gets left behind for the bride and groom to deal with.
@RainStorm: In my area speeches are traditionally done by the maid of honor, best man, and occasionally the father of the bride.
Post # 12
Cutting the cake with a sword!!! hehe
yeah, I thought speeches were just father of the bride and the best man… I went to an american wedding and every bloody person got up and spoke! maybe it was personal choice rather than nationality but it was faaaaar too long!
I noticed that cocktail hour thing on four weddings, Ive never seen it here.
Post # 13
I must be the only person who likes fruit cake! Sometimes it’s dry or horrible, but mostly it’s great! Do Americans traditionally eat fruit cake at all? As well as weddings, it’s also our traditional Christmas cake and is often served at Easter and Christenings.
Post # 14
@RainStorm: I agree, a good fruit cake can be ace, I guess most people have never had a good one!!!
Post # 15
I’ve never been to an open bar wedding over here – it seems the norm in the US. Most weddings I’ve attended have a glass or two of bubbly then wine with the meal, but everything else is cash only.
Further, UK weddings dont have ‘cocktail hour’ in the same way the US weddings do. There is usually a gap with a glass or two of bubbly and maybe a couple of canapes but nothing on the scale you lot do it!
Post # 16
so that‘s what I’m having – a British wedding! Yay! Feel much better now.
(fruit cake need not apply)