Soon after our arrival back in Wisconsin, one of my cousins happened to be getting married. We thought in addition to taking it as an opportunity to catch up with some of my relatives, we would see if it was a potential minor differences special. I’m not sure it ended up being a full on minor differences event, but I actually don’t know that much about UK weddings as I’ve only been to two weddings there. One was my own and one was actually British Pakistani, and therefore, probably quite different.
Like many men, Chris hadn’t been ultra attentive at past weddings, but he was still able to notice a few differences that we discuss below.
Here’s the video:
A few notable differences that I think are cultural rather than about personality or individual taste is that the bride is more likely to cry at an American wedding. I did this at my British one and I think people thought I was oddly emotional, when I thought that was just what a lot of women do at their weddings. Americans are often more openly emotional, so I think this fits into a more general pattern of the British being more reserved in many types of situations.
American weddings often have something called a unity candle, the lighting of which is intended to unite the two families. Chris had never seen this in the UK.
Another difference, something I prefer about American weddings, is that chocolate cake is way more common than fruit cake, whereas fruit cake is still traditional in the UK. Fortunately my cousin, being a fairly normal American, opted for both chocolate and red velvet cake. Kudos to her and her new husband for their fabulous choices.
Something that the British may find odd pertaining to cake at American weddings is you have to feed each other the first piece of cake. Many grooms have taken the chance to smash this piece of cake in their new brides carefully made up faces. Chris and I did none of this at ours. My cousin and her new husband did feed each other cake, but her husband was very classy and abstained from ruining her lovely makeup.
Another difference that takes place at the reception is the clinking of glasses indicates that the crowd wants the couple to kiss. Chris had never seen this before at a British wedding.
I actually know almost nothing about British receptions, as ours did not involve a dance, but was rather just lunch at a (nice) curry house due to short time because of the 6 month requirement to go from my fiancée visa to my spousal visa and just due to us not really being into dancing.
One notable thing though is that there are more speeches in American weddings. I remember my maid of honor being chuffed that she didn’t need to write a speech as it’s not typical there (and I was already plenty happy she was willing to fly that far to be in my wedding), whereas this American wedding had speeches by both fathers, the groom and both the maid of honor and the best man.