Post # 1
UK Bee here – Since joining this forum I’ve been fascinated reading about weddings in different countries and different cultures; I think I always assumed that our weddings in the UK were pretty standard slightly scaled down versions of what you guys have in the US. It’s funny sometimes to read the full blown arguments it causes and the differences in etticate etc, i.e that you could put a down payment on a house for what it would cost you to have an open bar at a UK wedding (100 people drinking £7 beer and wine and ordering jaeger shots for 12+ hours would ruin anyone in more ways than one) but the US seem to have to deal with feeding guests for Rehearsal Dinners (practice wedding?) and it seems fairly often feeding guests breakfast the morning after (why isn’t everyone hung over and asleep till noon?!) 300+ guests doesn’t seem out of place but everyone is there for the whole day? Not nearest and dearest at the ceremony and then everyone from work, all the neighbors and distant Aunty Nell and her new BF for the rest of the evening?
There is also the touchy subject of asking for any gifts to be given in cash – It seems like SUCH a taboo thing (it’s like reading an OTT soap opera) but here…Most couples physically don’t have the room for a pile of gifts and most guests would only know what a gift registry is if they’ve been watching too much American TV.
I’m fascinated to find out why some of the US weddings are structured they way they are, how they came to be and what people would change if they were able or if it weren’t considered rude. Weddingbee sure has been an eye-opener!
Post # 2
bellsprout : oh I know, I’ve legit made a face at the cost of some of them for the amount they get, I’d be horrified.
no way is great aunt nelly coming to the ceremony she smells like lavender and wears curtains so she’s an evening guest!!
glad I’m not alone (I don’t have a great aunt nelly either)
if we had an open bar at a Scottish wedding I’d need to remortgage my future house x3 and sell a kidney of five
Post # 3
bellsprout : In my area (not sure if it’s only my city because it’s a city regulation or what), outdoor wedding receptions should finish around 10pm due to music. And nearly all indoor receptions finish at midnight and generally begin around 7pm. I believe you can extend it but it’s quite expensive per hour and I have never been to a wedding that lasted beyond midnight but then again these are rented venues and not private homes/properties. Perhaps the cost?
I am not offended if an invitation states “cash gifts preferred”. All wedding invites I have received has a gift registry store info. I don’t see the difference between the two. I’d like to know what they want/need.
Cash bar is common practice in my area as well.
A hosted rehearsal dinner is quite common too. However, I have never seen anyone host a next day brunch.
What I find interesting is that UK bees have a divided list of day and evening guests. I was not aware of this until the weddingbees. Aren’t the brides feeding the daytime guests twice then in total for breakfast (which is actually lunch) and dinner?
Post # 4
socalgirl1689 : Yes! We generally do the typical 3 course dinner around 4pm after the ceremony for day guests and then an evening buffet or similar for all day and evening guests much later in the evening.
I asked my venue how much it would be for an open bar. It was £7k minimum, rising depending on number of guests. Thats just crazy money! My whole wedding was £12k, im not paying over half again just for alcohol! The venue said only 1 person had ever had an open bar, everyone else had a cash bar.
Post # 5
socalgirl1689 : Reception outside….? Outside where the rain lives?
LOL we tend not to risk it… Can’t trust the weather here.
yes we have to feed all day guests twice… Three times if you count the canapes / hors d’oeuvre or whatever, which are an additional cost and not part of the main meal (though I dont know of thats the same in other places.) Need a lot of food to get people though the whole day (and soak up all the alcohol both we and they are paying for!)
People’s suprise (and sometimes very entertaining horror) at the mention of an ‘evening guest list’ (no it’s not a ‘B list’) always raises my eyebrows. Surely it makes sense for the ceremoney and the dinner (lets face it, the expensive bits!) to be for your nearest and dearest and then to have a bigger party in the evening where everyone from work can drop by for some cake and a few beers 🙂
Post # 6
American bee here. We didn’t do a rehearsal dinner we did a rehearsal breakfast that was really just the wedding party and we just got bagels and juice etc. And my great aunt made a big thing of biscuits and gravy and breakfast burritos and we just did a quick run through with music etc to be sure everyone knew where to stand. We did a buffet style dinner and had and open bar from 6:00pm to 11:00pm but we had a Sunday wedding so those tend to wrap up sooner than ones on Fridays or Saturdays. Our ceremony was very short though and I wrote it. I don’t like being emotional in front of people though. haha I think all total ours was probably about $12,000 for roughly 200 people.
Post # 7
whoswho : I raise you an open bar at a Scotish Wedding with an open bar at a London wedding:
I would LOVE a cocktail hour but it’s no wonder it isn’t a thing here when ‘2 cocktails for £20’ is considered a bargain XD
Post # 8
bellsprout : Southern California weather is predictable for the most part. We have Mediterranean climate so short cool, wet winters and longer, dry warm summers. It is quite rare to have rain here from April to November. But rain is expected in the months of Jan, Feb, and March. Your best chances of warm and sunny weather here are second half of July, Aug, Sept (the hottest) and Oct. May and June are very cloudy months but usually no rain.
Post # 9
- Wedding: Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception/The Gallery
Hmm. The differences are interesting for sure. We did kind of a wedding weekend so while the day was “shorter”, we had welcome drinks/apps at a restaurant on Thursday night, Rehearsal Dinner at a restaurant with a jazz club both up and downstairs for afterward (and, what turned in to an after-party at the hotel most guests were staying at), then, on wedding day, we had a full mass (so one hour ceremony) at 6pm, cocktail hour at 7:15, dinner, dancing, entertainment, and then an after-party at a nice bar near the reception venue. We also hosted a day-after brunch for family, bridal party, and out-of-town guests. So we really packed it in that weekend!
Oh, and FWIW, even though September is easily one of the nicest months weather-wise here in the midwest, we didn’t risk it and planned all indoor events (without cocktail space). Weather is far too unpredictable in Kansas City!
Post # 10
bellsprout : oh sack that, I’ve seen the house prices in london, who needs to think about having a family eh?
For reference for US bees our wedding we have the venue from 9am, we plan to get married at 1:30, 30 mins for ceremony and then dinner at 4. Allows picture taking, chatting, mingling. Then evening reception at 8pm.
we have asked to end our event at midnight and we are allowed it till 1am, but I thought that was a little excessive
Post # 11
what amazes me about american weddings is how it cost so much for the people NOT getting married
basically bridesmaids have to buy what the bride says, parents seem expected to pay for stuff, people seem to ask tonnes of favors of friends and family (aka. slave labor) then at least some guest often have to FLY what anywhere else would be the distance of several countries and book hotels, transport etc… and dont forget they MUST give a gift (preferably of the list provided) less they be shamed forever on sites like weddingbee for being cheap and then after all that the wedding only lasts a few hours 4-5 being avarge apparently (how do you even have a ceremony, cocktail hour, meal and reception in FOUR hours? honestly asking because I cant figure that out, surely the meal alone could take that long with 100s of guests)
I would feel so cheated, like wheres the rest of it? you mean I took several days of work, bought gifts and new outfits and FLEW 3 states costing $1000s for that?
obviously not all weddings fit this though as america is huge and diverse but thats the standard america wedding as projected through american wedding sites
Post # 12
btob17 : I think some of them do passed appetisers, so not a sit down meal?
Post # 13
Because we’re CRAZY that’s why!
In southern CA we’re doing a garden ceremony with indoor receptions patios available for 100 guests. A lot are going to be out of town and I was trying to figure out: should we have rehearsal? Rehearsal dinner? Next day brunch?
We are having a Thursday wedding (gasp!) and after explaining how the savings are significant, one of my siblings was still pushing for a Saturday. After repeated attempts I finally said hey if you’d like to contribute the difference in savings I’d LOVE to have a weekend event! SILENCE. I know that was a faux pas but sometimes subtle words don’t work. From our perspective it was a win win: our guest list would shrink on its own, and we’d save $$ .
after seeing this post I just scratched brunch; I’ll just do that with my to be hubby and step daughter. And maybe we’ll do a rehearsal light lunch instead.
Post # 14
btob17 : My SO is European and I have attended many of his friends’ weddings in Europe. Ceremonies begin around 2pm and receptions do last until 4-5am. We are having our civil wedding in the US (my home city) and church wedding in his home city. He has bout 10 people coming but I told him to warn them already about the wedding reception here ending early as I already know this will be odd for them. There’s a 30 minute outdoor civil ceremony by a judge around 4pm. Pictures in between. Then we will have a dinner & dancing reception from 7pm to 12am indoors. All venues I have looked at (about 9 or so) have an end time of midnight. I don’t know why. Clubs and bars here in California too serve their last alcohol at 1:30am and close at 2am. Many people I know from out of state are shocked how early these places close but I think there is a law about the times alcohol is served in an establishment. Just not sure about the wedding venues though. They could be at least open til 2am too.
Post # 15
It blows my mind that US weddings only last a few hours – it seems such a waste of money and all the planning!
Our wedding will be 1pm until midnight so 11 hours and I’m sad it’s not long enough haha!
On weddingbee it seems to be a huge crime and disgusting behaviour if you don’t have an open bar. I’ve never been to a wedding WITH an open bar! After providing several welcome drinks, bottles of wine on the table during the meal and a glass of Prosecco/champagne to toast people can buy their own drinks and would expect to (at least in the UK)
I’ve also never been to a wedding where the bride and groom wanted gifts instead of cash.