Wedding Customs & Traditions Forum

English Wedding traditions

Hey Knotties,
My fiance was born in England and my future MIL has hinted that she would really like to incorporate their culture into our wedding...being California born and raised I haven't a clue how to do this... She has mentioned that traditional english cakes are fruitcakes (which neither my FI or I like) so to incorporate that we're having one tier of our six tier cake be fruitcake (we have nearly 25 relatives coming from england to celebrate with us). She has mentioned in passing that she'd like to incorporate more traditions but hasn't elaborated. Are there any English brides on here that could fill me in on some english traditions? I'd really love to incorporate them in to honor their heritage.

Re: English Wedding traditions

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    It's hard to answer this question. Why don't you ask his family what specific English wedding traditions they follow? Not all families follow all, so there's no point in including things that are not special to his family.
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    Page BecW2Be tomorrow on the Etiquette board.  Her husband is Brittish and they had lots of Brittish guests.  I know they had a fruitcake decorated just like a traditional wedding cake, but she probably knows of some other traditions as well.
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    My husband is English/Scottish. I just asked his parents what they wanted to include and what they didn't care about. It made life a lot easier.

    Andplusalso... google is your friend :)
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    My mom immigrated over here when she was 16 from England.  My grandmother is getting me a horseshoe to carry around my wrist during the ceremony.  Apparently it's good luck. 

    She also told me a couple others, but I don't remember them.

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    I live in England and my fiance is British. I have been to weddings in both countries and there are a  lot of differences, but not many uniquely British traditions that we don't also do in the US.

    A lot of brides do carry a horseshoe so that is a good one to do, but actually the fruitcake is dying out- a lot of people do British sponge cakes now instead- they are basically plain white cakes with raspberry jam filling. 

    There are a lot of minor differences in how things are done- for example the bride comes first in the processional, the head table arrangement is different (but I can't remember the exact details), and the order of events is different- toasts are done at the end of the meal rather than the beginning, the first dance is always after dinner, never before, the cake is cut after dinner and served with coffee while guests are still seated... those are just things they do differently rather than any unique traditions you could add on but if you would prefer to do any of that, it could be one way to make things more English. 

    Other than that, I can't think of any unique activities that they do at UK weddings. There are actually a lot of US traditions that they don't do here- sometimes they have bouquet tosses but never the garter toss, they don't do parent, bridal party or dollar dances... there is generally a lot less going on in terms of organised activity, just a lot of eating and drinking!

    Another thing is that UK receptions go on for a lot longer. They usually have about 3 hours for the sit down meal (which is called the wedding breakfast- but don't be fooled, it is a dinner, not breakfast food!) which will be 3 courses followed by coffee/cake and then all the speeches, and then there is another 4-5 hours of dancing with late night snacks served at some point. When I told our friends here that most receptions in the states are 4-5 hours including the cocktail hour and meal, I got a lot of "WTF?"s and disappointed looks... so I have booked an extra 2 hours.

    I hope this helps a little bit- good luck!
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