Monday, August 6, 2012

Transatlantic Wedding Traditions

I've done these posts in the wrong order I know. But before the Olympics, and before the honeymoon, there was, of course, the wedding. In a true reflection of our union, we aimed to marry the best of American and British wedding traditions.

Holding up the American end was an army of 'groomsmen'. Or ushers, as I and my British crew insisted on calling them. As these pics from Style Me Pretty demonstrate, American weddings tend to feature large wedding parties.

Love the weird crouching poses on this shot
I promise, I picked these pictures at random and they are not unusual. I think in the States if you have fewer than 7 groomsmen, and a matching number of bridesmaids, you look like a bit of a loser. Presumably this is why in American weddings the groomsmen / bridesmaids have to buy their own outfits... Determined not to look like a loser, and blessed as he is with a surfeit of good mates, TLOML had about 25 6 ushers.

In another nod to a brilliant American wedding tradition, we did rehearsal drinks the night before the wedding. This is a genius idea and I think more weddings should include some night-before drinking. Yes, it almost doubles your catering bill, and the number of cute dresses your guests are obliged to wear. But the benefits are huge. It was soooo nice to be able to catch up with people before the wedding, and took lots of pressure off the day itself. On the wedding day no-one wants to bother you with chitchat, as they assume you are too busy tending to your guests/ being bridal. But at the rehearsal drinks everyone has time to chat, and you can hug them without worrying about smudging your full face of 'it'll-look-good-for-the-photos' make up on their best clobber.

And the English traditions? Well, first of all, I had an English number of attendants: 2 grown up ladies, and 2 flower girls. They didn't quite match the usher numbers so we couldn't play any team sports or walk in two-by-two. But they were plenty, in my opinion. We also served an excellent, traditional fruit wedding cake (courtesy of my very talented mother) - none of your fancy modern cupcakes or chocolate fountains for us - and a mountain of stilton.

We also dodged an American bullet by limiting our speeches. I understand it's not uncommon at US weddings to have an open mike policy on speeches. Whilst I'm sure that can bring to light some hilarious anecdotes and charming insights from guests, I hear it can also open the floodgates to a wave of 'We love you guys!', which I suspect gets tedious fast. So we kept our speeches tightly reined in by British etiquette: as they sipped their port (naturally), our guests enjoyed (we hope) brief and amusing speeches from the Father of the Bride, the Groom and the Best Man. 'Nuff said.

We included one other important British wedding tradition. It rained most of the day.

So all in all, I think we had the best of both worlds. And a jolly good time was had by all.

1 comment:

  1. It didn't rain for the ceremony or the Pimm's on the lawn, though. Which was amazing. Miss you and love you, Elyse