U.S. & British Wedding Traditions

Photo from The Wedding Lens!

Over the holidays, I went to the UK to visit family – including my niece, who aspires to be a wedding planner. She was telling me some of the traditions that take place in the UK that are so very different from the US traditions that I know so well. I thought it would be interesting to discuss – and bring in some of our UK friends to help us out!

1. Walking down the aisle. In the United States, it is traditional for the wedding party (bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girl, ring bearer) to walk down the aisle before the bride. In Britain, it’s the opposite: Brides are the first to walk down the aisle. The bride is the first to be seen so as to emphasize her importance and ensure full attention is on her.

Also, in the U.S. it is common for bridemaids and groomsmen to walk down the aisle arm-in-arm. This NEVER happens in the U.K. Interesting, right?

2. Bridesmaids. In the U.S., bridesmaids are usually friends or family of the bride or groom — around the same age. In the U.K., there are older bridesmaids (who are the brides/grooms age, roughly) and younger bridesmaids (who are around 10-12 years old). And the younger bridesmaids (it seems to me) wear something that parallels what the bride wears – a white dress, usually, that might have a colorful sash.

3. Hats. In the U.S., no one wears hats to a wedding. In the U.K, women wear hats — big ones too! And, if not hats, then something on the head (which, aside from the bride’s veil) just wouldn’t happen in the US. Check out these ban.do from our UK friends!

Obviously this is just a quick list to get us started. If you know of other traditions that are different between the US & UK, share em!

~ Natasha

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