(Closed) UK/US, social class and all that jazz

posted 6 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 3
5011 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2012

I think you’re right, to an extent. 

The true upper classes in the UK do have big weddings, but they tend to do them in a very classic way. Look at Mark Niemierko’s work; he doesn’t even look at a wedding under £50k (his services alone start at £25k). 

I agree that the big tacky weddings tend to be less educated people, but I’m having a big wedding and I think I’ve managed to avoid tack.

Post # 4
2086 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2012 - Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards

It’s about 6 AM here and I was just going to peek in at the Bee, so forgive me if this is less than eloquent…


I don’t think class is just about money or job here.  I think that like in other countries, there is a distinction between “old money” and “new money” (or nouveau riche…but fewer and fewer people here seem to recognize the French term).

Hollywood and Silicon Valley might be an examples of “new money” towns.  The industry in those areas are now old enough to have money that goes back a few generations and the wealthy people have bought their way into society…but their names probably don’t rank with the old money families in the east (Rockefeller, Vanderbuilt, Astor). 


I think Hollywood is sort of the corrupting factor in our taste levels here.  I imagine you can extrapolate from there…

Post # 5
1401 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

Interesting observations! I’m American living in the UK, and although I’ve seen the things you’re talking about, I wouldn’t paint the entire US with a single value system when it comes to social class–it’s a big country and there are a lot of different value systems. I also agree with @SpecialSundae:  that there’s a big difference between a big classy wedding (ala Preston Bailey) and a flashy Kardashian-style wedding. I think most Americans would recognize the difference between the two, and I don’t think most people would associate blatant flashiness with class… (new) money, yes; class, no. 

Not all Americans believe in flash over substance–I’m really happy with my .5 ct ring–it was actually more expensive than most of my friends’ 1 and 1.5 ct rings, but I wanted quality over quantity. 

Post # 6
1030 posts
Bumble bee

@Rachel631:  i know exactly what you mean. i’m from the UK and would consider myself lower-middle class. i have one friend in the ‘working class’ circle (she lives on a council estate and neither her or her husband have a job), but all of my other friends are lower-middle class.

i’m actually the one with the most money, which if anything, actually makes me feel bad. i’m getting a 1.25ct moissanite ring and i hate to say it, but it’s because i want to have the look and feel of a large diamond, but at the same time being able to justify to my friends that it ‘cost less’ so they ‘shouldn’t feel bad’. how ridiculous is that?!

when planning our wedding, me and my SO are trying to make sure we have amazing things, but don’t want anything too elaborate. not that i’d really want that anyway, but i’d like something in the middle – not too cheap, but not too lavish.

the more i read these boards, the more interested i become in the huge difference there is between the USA and the UK. i always used to think we were quite similar – but there’s really not THAT much that’s the same!

Post # 7
12973 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I agree to an extent.  Some people just like being bigger and better than everyone else, but some people want the bigger ring because of their taste.  I think, like everything else, it’s subjective.  I guess I’m upper middle class, my parents are more upper class, but I definitely have friends from all different socioeconomic backgrounds, from people brought up by single parents to people who got a Mercedes as their first car at 16. 

Post # 8
2084 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 1993

Hmmm. I’m a UK gal too and I’m not sure I agree with this. (Or, I could have read it wrong…)

As I see it, here, there are various types of ‘money’. I’m about to massively generalise…

1. Old money – the aristocracy, peers, ennobled, vintage money families. They’ve had a lot for generations and usually don’t need to flash it unecessarily.

2. New money – self-made millionaires, lotto winners, people who have come into money. They like to flash it to show the world how much they have.

3. Normal people – be it middle class or otherwise, people who have the money they earn and dependant on their personality and values, choose how to spend it

4. People who try too hard to impress – (think ‘new money’ but without the actual money…) – people who leave taste at the door and spend money on things that other people laugh at because they think it is a way for others to think they have more than they do. E.g., fake gucci cakes etc.

I think the ring thing can fit in here. As most people will fall into ‘normal’ category, then it all comes down to personal preferance and values. For me, the ring was a massive part, for others, not so much.

Post # 9
1030 posts
Bumble bee

@Button:  “4. People who try too hard to impress”

Chavs. lol.

Post # 10
2263 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I live in America and I have found this to be a very Western mentality (as far as I can tell). I enjoy small weddings tastefully done, it’s all how people use the money I feel that shows where their intentions lie. If you spend a larger amount but geuinely have a beautiful, comfortable wedding for your guests I’m more inclined to think the family has class (regardless of social status). I’ve been to weddings thrown by very rich people where the focus was only on the bride and the guests were made uncomfortable and expected to give up days of work just to go to their wedding and not be cared for very well throughout the event. I feel some weddings can be showy but these are usually never planned by people who have had money for a long time and know how to tastefully entertain. (just my 2 cents) 

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