By Riley & Grey||February 23, 2024

Weddings Unveiled: Differences Between US and UK Wedding Traditions

Image by Lewis Ashton

Planning your dream wedding? Whether you're picturing a fairytale castle in England or a rustic barn bash in the countryside, cultural nuances can add a delightful touch (or a dash of confusion!). With wedding website company Riley & Grey, any tradition or title can be incorporated with completely customizable wedding websites that reflect your personal style and story. So, if you're considering a US-UK wedding fusion or simply curious about the differences, let's dive into the fascinating world of wedding traditions across the Atlantic.

Ceremony & Reception

  • Timing is everything: US ceremonies typically occur mid-afternoon, followed by a reception. UK weddings start earlier (noon or 1 pm) and stretch into the wee hours (think 2 am!).
  • Tiers of celebration: The UK often has a tiered guest system. Close family and friends witness the ceremony and partake in a sit-down meal, while the evening reception opens up to a wider circle. US weddings usually include everyone for the entire event.
  • Down the aisle: Traditionally, UK brides enter solo, followed by bridesmaids. US brides often have bridesmaids lead the way. Today, both traditions are seen in both countries.

The Bridal Party

  • Groomsmen & Ushers: US weddings might have groomsmen alongside a best man and ushers. In the UK, it's usually just a best man and ushers.
  • Speech time: US weddings often feature speeches from both the maid of honor and best man. UK weddings traditionally have just the best man and father of the bride speak, with a more humorous tone.
  • Standing strong: In US weddings, the bridal party usually stands with the couple during the ceremony. In the UK, they sit with the guests.

Food & Fun

  • Open bar vs. cash bar: US weddings often have an open bar, while UK weddings may opt for a cash bar or a limited selection of complimentary drinks.
  • Confetti chaos: Throwing confetti as the newlyweds exit is a cherished UK tradition, rarely seen in the US.
  • Wedding cake traditions: Both countries share the cake-cutting ritual, but the US might have a groom's cake too. UK weddings sometimes incorporate a "cutting the fruitcake" tradition with a wish for longevity.

Remember: These are just general trends, and individual weddings can vary greatly! The most important thing is to create a celebration that reflects your unique love story and cultural heritage.

Bonus tips

  • Research regional variations within each country for even more depth.
  • Respect the customs of both families involved.
  • Be mindful of potential dietary restrictions or allergies for guests.
  • Above all, have fun and celebrate your love!

Love is universal, but we’re aware that weddings carry a variety of traditions and customs across countries and cultures. That’s why Riley & Grey wedding websites and editing features reflect and respect these special differences. We built a platform that can embrace all backgrounds and cultures for flexibility and inclusivity, whether you want to easily remove any references to American rehearsal dinners, add in those wedding breakfasts, or change groomsmen to ushers on your website and invitations.