(Closed) question for UK brides

posted 8 years ago in United Kingdom
Post # 4
24 posts
  • Wedding: April 2010

Things my US relatives have told us they are excited about are: wedding hats (http://blog.danjohnsonphoto.co.uk/category/hats/), morning suits (http://www.moss.co.uk/pws/hire/weddings/morning_suits.html) and the red Routemasters we are having to bring people from the church to the reception.  The music at many English weddings is also heavy on the 80s cheese like Take That, New Order and Wham! compared to the American weddings I’ve been to.  We’re also having a wedding cake of 7 artisanal West country cheeses which is absolutely normal here – the traditional UK wedding cake is fruitcake that is like lead and covered in fondant or marzipan so many, many people have cheese instead.  Finally, there’s a LOT more drinking at UK weddings than I’ve seen at US ones.

Because in the UK you have to get married indoors at a licensed venue during daylight hours, some weddings have a different structure compared to an American one, where you turn up at the church or venue for the civil ceremony around lunchtime for the marriage, then some people go on to the “wedding breakfast” (a sit down meal for a smaller number of people), then everyone goes home and back again in the evening for the “evening do” where a lot more people are invited.  This is more similar to the US wedding reception where there’s drinking, dancing etc but instead of a sit-down dinner there’s a buffet.  This can lead to enormous angst about “day guests” (invited to the whole day’s events) and the “evening guests” (only invited to the evening do) – needless to say we dispensed with this and are getting married at the last possible minute – 4pm – and then straight on to the reception, more like an American wedding.

You can also watch this which will give you a frighteningly accurate flavour of some English weddings – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CA0q_vkeoDA 😉

Post # 5
45 posts
  • Wedding: July 2010

From what I can see, lots of the American wedding traditions come from or are very similar to UK traditions – but you could think about paper confetti being thrown (lots of venues here ban it though because it makes a bit of a mess)

I also agree on the hats – you could encourage women to wear them in the invites? that’s fun, and also top hats for the men with the morning suits, like tyelperion said. 

there are some things like lucky horseshoes, or wooden spoons being given at the wedding to the bride (i seem to remember these anyway)

also, you could have a hen and stag party rather than a bachelorette and bachelor party? 

hope that gives you some ideas? good luck!

Post # 6
75 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

We often save the top tier of a fruit-cake wedding cake and eat it at a child’s baptism or on the first anniversary- not sure if that happens in the US too but it’s fairly traditional over here (less so now that alternative flavoured cakes/cupcakes towers etc have arrived!!) You could always have a full english breakfast on the morning of your wedding (if you can face it! I think I’ll be going for boiled egg and soldiers!) Do you have horseshoes for luck at weddings in the US? If not maybe incorperate one as they are pretty common here! Watch 4 weddings and a funeral if you’re stuck; it’s old fashioned but sums up british weddings amazingly!!

Post # 7
61 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

@tyelperion: I would say I disagree with part of this! I’ve never been to a (UK) wedding where people go home and come back before the evening reception. Usually the wedding breakfast just leads onto a bit of drinking and hanging about before the evening invites turn up, thus leading to all the day guests being absolutely wasted by the time everyone else arrives!

Post # 8
61 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Also, it is not traditional in UK to have a rehearsal dinner, or a bridal shower, it’s pretty much all about the day itself.

Post # 9
899 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@ninadoggy: And actually, not that many weddings do the separate evening invitation business. I know some that have, and have been an evening guest a couple of times, but usually all guests come for all.

Post # 10
42 posts

@ninadoggy: A agree, maybe @tyelperion: was meaning there is sometimes more of a gap at a British wedding than at an American one. Though I have never heard of people going home! 

I think the main British traditions are those already mentioned; hats, morning suits (or kilts), fruit cake (keeping the top teir), drinking, confetti outside the church. 

To add, in Britain the Bride and her father usually enter the church first followed by bridesmaids and flower girls. Britsh couples traditionally have much smaller wedding parties (though this is changing) usually the Bride have 2/3 Bridesmaids and the Groom 1 Best-man.

Post # 11
1690 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2012


i have just started a thread about the ‘indoors’,   there has been a change in the rules now and you CAN actually get married outside now…..such as in a gazebo…as long as the dwelling has a roof. 

another custom we have is that the groom is the last person to see the bride.  he should not even turn to watch her walk up the aisle.  the first time he sets eyes on her is when she joins him at the alter….in US  they often do a ‘first look’ and i personally dont like that tradition at all. 

anothe US  thing i dont care for is that the bride chooses the bridesmaids, then those bridesmaids HAVE to buy there own dresses.  here in UK we buy them and i think that that is how it should be.  why should it cost them £XYZ  amount of money to look nice on YOUR wedding day? 

if the bridesmaids OFFER  to pay then fine,  but i chose my bridesmaids with full knowledge that i will pay for dresses, bouquets, shoes and jewellery.  AND i have bought them a gift too to say ‘thank you’ for being part of our wedding. 

I read on here all the time,  US brides stressing about the bridesmaids havent paid yet  etc……i think its a bit of a cheek actually to ask them to be a bridesmaid then tell them they have to pay…….just my opinion of course. 

another custom i spoke about in another thread,  and a couple of US  Bees hadnt heard of it but thought it was cute,  that at the reception,  the bridesmaids go around the tables at the reception  handing out the slices of wedding cake. 

And another US  thing is the bride has bridal portraits a week or so before the wedding……i think that is a nice idea,  and as a wedding photographer myself and so is my H2B  AND my son,  i think i might get my son to take some for me,  i am having a brooch bouquet so that will be fine,  but if i wasnt i wouldnt do it because i wouldnt waste money on a bouquet just for a portrait shoot. 

On TV  i have seen that bridal shoot then become really large photos to be displayed at the wedding…..but WHY?    its not just the brides day is it?   there are no grooms pics.    this is something i wont be doing.  but i will put the pre-wedding portraits into an album and that will just be for my Husband to see. 


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