Differences between holding a wedding in UK and US


If you think there is no major cultural difference between US and UK, you are in for great surprise. In spite of having many similarities, these two countries differ widely in social system and culture. Such differences also influence their wedding ceremonies. At present many people are traveling form UK to US for studies, business etc and transatlantic marriages are very common. Here are some of major differences between the weddings held in UK and US.

1. Pre-wedding Celebrations

pink bridesmaid dresses

UK: There is no tradition of “Bridal Shower”. The bridesmaids organize a ‘Hen Night’ or ‘Hen do’ for the Bride and also hold a ‘Stag Night’ or ‘Stag Do’ for the Groom and his friends

USA: The close female friends and the bridesmaids organize a “Bridal Shower” during the engagement period of the Bride. And as the date of wedding approaches another party called a ‘Bachelorette Party’ is also organized to celebrate the Brides last single night out and for the Groom and his friends a bachelor party is arranged.

2. The Rehearsal Dinner

UK: In fact, wedding rehearsal is not given much importance in UK and ‘Rehearsal Dinner’ was also never offered. If asked, The Brits reply that they love to have everything in one shot.

USA: The family of the Groom hosts a ‘Rehearsal Dinner’ to the Bride wearing A-line wedding dresses. These dinners are meant for making acquaintances.

3. The Reception Venue

UK: English wedding receptions are held at traditional venues and sometimes holding the wedding at a venue that has been around for hundreds of years. They are crazy to follow traditions and are reluctant to change.

USA: The US wedding receptions are very flexible with many great themes. These can be held at different venues matching the theme of the wedding.

4. The Wedding Party and Titles

UK: Weddings in UK are never blown out and usually have smaller parties. The Bride and the Groom have few friends in the party and the wedding party attends the ceremony sitting with the congregation. In UK a Chief Bridesmaid chosen amongst the bridesmaids for playing supportive roles and when a Bridesmaid is married, she is called ‘Matron of Honor’ and wear Pink bridesmaid dresses. The male attendant to the groom is called usher.

USA: Large wedding parties are a common feature of USA wedding and the Bride and the Groom may have many friends invited to the party. The Wedding party attends the ceremony standing with the Bride and the Groom. A chosen Bridesmaid, usually the sister or best friend of the Bride, is called ‘Maid of Honor’ who wears Pink bridesmaid dressesand help in preparations. Unlike UK, the male attendant to the Groom is called Groomsman.

5. The Procession

UK: Traditional UK weddings have no flower girls. The Bride leads the procession walking down the aisle of the church first. She is followed by her bridesmaids. The Groom puts his back to the congregation. The guests only wave their hands welcoming the Bride.

USA: After the flower girl enters scattering flowers the Bridesmaids walk down the aisle of the church followed by the Bride in her A-line wedding dresses. And the Groom faces the congregation to watch Bride coming down the aisle. There is always a loud cheering from the guests as the Bride enters.

6. The Vows

UK: Couples are not allowed to write their own vows. They have to follow a set of scripts that does not include ‘You may now kiss the bride’ and can never be altered.

USA: Couples are allowed to write their own vows.

7. The speeches

UK: The wedding speeches follow a definite style and format. The father of the bride speaks first followed by the Groom, and the best man speaks last.

USA: The wedding speeches are called Toasts. It is raised first by the father of the bride, then by the maid of honor and lastly by the best man.

8. Invitation

UK: In UK two lists are made for different purposes. While the invitees on the ‘A’ list attends everything from wedding to the dinner, the invitees on the ‘B’ list joins later in the evening for drinks and dancing.


UK: All invitees can attend the wedding ceremony and reception.