Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Guest Post: Wedding Wednesdays with Across the Pond

If you read this blog, you probably read Across the Pond.  After all, Megan's just like me - except that, you know, she studied neuroscience and was a model and has a fiancé who calls her "pet" and lives in Scotland.  None of those things are true for me.  But otherwise we're basically twins.  So, when it came to finding the perfect expat guest blogger for Wedding Wednesdays, I knew that Megan would hearken to the call.  Thanks, lovely!

p.s. She's 100% right about the hats...


Hi Everyone!
I am Megan from Across The Pond

That would be me, and my Northern Irish Man candy of a fiancé.

I am from Los Angeles, California,
currently living the expat life in Scotland,
and getting married next year in Northern Ireland to that accented stud.

Basically Betsy and I are in the same boat...
planning a wedding in a foreign country because we fell hard for the accents,
and wanted our guests to wear hats.

I get asked a lot about some of the differences I've noted in regards to weddings in the USA and UK,
and after attending a few weddings here,
and going through the process of planning mine, 
here are some of the differences that have caught my attention.
(Some of these differences apply strictly to more small town places of Northern Ireland, Scotland, England, and Wales...London is in a different league I think)

My top 10 UK wedding traditions that differ from the US:

1. Less is more with bridesmaids. People will give you the side eye if you have more than four bridesmaids in the UK. They don't get it. I have showed S pictures of weddings in the US where girls have 7-10 bridesmaids. He thinks it ridiculous, i think it is normal.

2. Bridesmaids traditionally walk BEHIND the bride when entering the church and the Maid of Honor (chief bridesmaid) goes last instead of first.

3. You cannot have your brother, friend, cousin, relative, guy on the street corner marry you. There are one of two options to be wed in the can try and have a church wedding, but be prepared to jump through hoops if you are not a member of that church, or your parents are not members. You have to go through counseling sessions, meetings, and be approved to get married in the church by a minister. If you are not church people, then your only other option is to be married by a registrar. If you are church people but cant find a church to marry you, then you get married by a registrar (not in a church building) and then can have a minister perform a blessing in the church. Ministers do not perform weddings outside of the church.

4. Wedding planners, rental companies, wedding stylists= almost non existent in certain countries/areas. They are trying to build more of a market for these services, but they are hard to find. 
Currently finding linens is showing to be a nightmare.
Little details that you see in American weddings is not typically incorporated into weddings in the UK.

5. Florists cost 3x as much.

6.   Women do not give speeches. Speeches are done by the father of the bride, father of the groom, groom, and best man. In that order. Only.

7. The flowers in the church are given as gifts to the mothers and grandmothers of the bride and groom during the dinner reception. I think this is so sweet. 

8. cocktail hour=drinks reception; reception dinner is called the wedding breakfast, even though it is actually dinner.

9. In the church we are getting married in, and a few others, the wedding kiss is not done at the end of the service.

10. You have a signing of the registry in the middle of the wedding is incorporated and considered the most important part of the ceremony.

mind blown huh?

If you want to read more about my wedding planning journey, or just other life randoms, you can visit me here


  1. Wedding Breakfast - I was so confused every time my friends from the UK would say that?! So weird!

  2. Neat! I just attended a wedding in London and was so confused why no women gave speeches (I thought perhaps they were shy?) Now I get it :) And I quite like 1 & 2.

  3. Neat! I just attended a wedding in London and was quite confused why no women gave speeches (I thought perhaps they were shy?) Now I get it :) And I quite like 1 & 2!

  4. Congrats on your upcoming wedding! As a wedding planner, it was interesting to read how English weddings differ from those here in the states! Best of luck to you! xoxo

  5. I married my American but we did it in London so I knew what I was doing, AND I gave a speech, which went down very well even before I'd opened my mouth. I would say, unless your groom is adamant, any female family member who wants to make a speech will probably bring the house down.
    Also don't forget, there's no rehearsal dinner (although we had one) and the bridesmaids aren't usually expected to pay for their dresses. I could go on, but there's a whole chapter about it in my book!

  6. Megan @Across The pondSeptember 19, 2012 at 10:51 AM

    The men are pretty adament about no women speaking where S is from. Which im fine And oh gosh, if i listed every difference this would have been the longest guest post ever!

  7. Megan @ Across The PondSeptember 19, 2012 at 10:52 AM

    I know! lol

  8. I had no idea about the differences! It's definitely a different experience, that's for sure. Especially for me, who is all about the non-traditional wedding. I guess that doesn't really happen in the UK...

    It sounds like I need to move there and start a few different wedding businesses...the market definitely sounds a lot less saturated than California, which is a good thing!

  9. I am US and married an Indian, tell you what. they are the coolest and he always understands me in every situation. Thanks for the wonderful post! Wedding Messages

  10. Mark and I had proper arguments about our wedding plans, not realizing that there are cultural differences between US and UK weddings. Having said that, you can do whatever you want, and that's what we ended up with : A beautiful mishmash of a wedding.

  11. gotta say, I'm relieved that the girls don't have to speak if they don't want to! but you're right - a mishmash is ideal :)

  12. SO LESS SATURATED! they need people like you over there! maybe you can have a satellite office in London :P

  13. I didn't know about the rehearsal dinner... no wonder my F.M.I.L, who offered to host one, is asking so many questions about it!


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