Why Are American Weddings So Short? And other such musings.

posted 8 months ago in Traditions
Post # 61
7275 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2015

bellsprout :  People on Wedding Bee like to think that every wedding has to be the way they think. In truth, the US is a huge place filled with people from lots of different backgrounds. While in my circle spliting the invitation so only some people are invited to the ceremony would be totally confusing, there are lots of cultural enclaves where this is perfectly normal. And god forbid anyone mention a dollar dance here… everyone acts like it’s the worst thing ever, but it’s expected in both my culture and my husbands and our families were super pissed we didn’t do it. To them, it was rude that we wouldn’t because it’s a chance for everyone to get some one-on-one time with the couple. Even guests my age were confused why we weren’t doing it. Meanwhile, I’m not sure i’ve ever been to a wedding with a full open bar. People either just do beer & wine or it’s a cash bar. But apparently both are crazy rude? 

Post # 62
21 posts

I live in Australia and most people I know either ask for money on the invite or just don’t register. I only know one person who has had a gift registry. 

Post # 64
1309 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

MexiPino :  Same as UK. My Turkish friend had pinning of money and my Indian friend had boxes for envelopes of money. If they posted on here about that without saying anything about their background the thread would turn ugly very fast.

Post # 65
5861 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2014

victoriad :  in England it is common practice to split couples for any dinner party/formal event. The idea is to encourage people to mingle/encourage conversation, and is not sexist. 

Post # 67
1806 posts
Buzzing bee

As far as short, Catholic weddings here in the US are long. God are they long. I don’t know why parents want to bring their kids to weddings, because no kid can sit still during a Catholic Wedding Mass. I had to, because if I moved or breathed my mother would bring down the Wrath of Hell upon me afterwards. With a Catholic Wedding Mass if your ass is not asleep at the end, they will feel they did something wrong.

Post # 68
2441 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

barbie86 :  ive been in england my entire life and never once has that happened at any event, it would be the height of rudeness for everyone I know and people would leave if it did happen

invited as a couple, sit as a couple and you never meddle in anothers relationship

Post # 69
2441 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

DanaWeddingGuest :  I think thats the same everywhere… catholics just love everything to be longer (except the lord prayer lol)



Post # 70
4165 posts
Honey bee

TrinaMay13 :  in the US the open bar thing seems to be very regional. From what I’ve gathered reading the Bee the coasts seem to be more about the open bar and the middle is more cash bar. I’m in Boston and cash bars for any event is looked down on especially if the bartenders don’t warn guests when they order. The first time I encountered a cash bar I was caught without any money AFTER the drink was made and my friend covered me but she was also shocked that we had to pay since that’s not the norm here. I can only think of one other cash bar I’ve encountered since that one…

Post # 71
814 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

LilliV :  in the US, coast vs middle is also often about more wealthy and less wealthy, may be that’s also a reason 

Post # 72
119 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

Houston, TX bee here – just wanted to offer some info on open bars coming from a circle where open bars are the norm for at least beer and wine.

Price of an open bar can vary by alot depending on the venue. Most places I saw (in the city and suburbs of Houston) charged a per person price. A couple offered BYOB for a fee and price of bartender. However the 2 hotels I checked out only charged by consumption only ($8 beers $12 cocktail on average). 

Me and my fiance and both of our families are definitely drinkers especially at a party so it was important for us have an open bar. I didn’t even bother to look at the hotels once I saw my only open bar option was by consumption.

My cousin recently had an open bar and only spent $2000 for over 200 people because his venue allowed BYOB and he got to bring all the leftovers home which he had quite a bit. He also bought it from Costo and I believe was able to return the unopened bottles.  

My venue doesn’t allow BYOB but had a lot of package options starting at like $9/pp for beer and and wine to $20 for premium liquor with a couple a mid-grade liquor packages in between.

So a $2k – $3k USD is a HUGE difference from 7k GBP! If it cost that much here I don’t think we would be doing it either.



Post # 73
845 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2019

kimmybee77 :  Well, the per person cost here is usually split into different aspects.

The Majority of Scottish weddings have this 

Arrival drinks per person (day & evening guests get this)

wine with meal (day guests)

drink for the toast (day guests)

canapes (for day guests while bride and groom get pics done)

Wedding breakfast (meal) for day guests

Evening guest arrival

Buffet (for all guests)


You get a price for drinks packages, the more budget the alcohol the lower the cost, going from “fizz” to “prosecco” to “champagne” being the most expensive


and again the more choices of canapes you have the more expensive 🙂


Post # 74
541 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

whoswho :  Thanks for the breakdown! I think the key in the cash bar situation in the UK is the number of drinks that are provided with the meal itself. When there’s a cash bar in the US, typically it means that the only way you’re getting alcohol at all is by pulling out your wallet. So that’s what US bees are talking about when they’re saying a cash bar is against etiquette. The UK situation is a lot different!

I also think it’s odd when people argue against an open bar by saying that they don’t want people to get drunk on their dime. In my experience, I don’t see people in my circle using an open bar as an excuse to get completely hammered. Although if cash bars are typical in that circle I can see a single open bar in a sea of cash bars as being a temptation to go all out! Most of the weddings I’ve attended are open so I think there’s more discretion used. 

Post # 75
15 posts
  • Wedding: October 2018

UK Bride to be- I know an open bar for us would end up in one huge messy alcohol fueled party- i’m sticking to welcome/toast drinks and wine on the table!

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