fbpx

British Wedding

British Wedding Etiquette

A wedding ceremony has much value in a person's life. It is the ceremony after which a man and a woman officially become husband and wife, and they start living together under the same roof. There are many wedding traditions from around the world. If you are planning for a wedding, it's good to choose a culture that can make your wedding memorable.

Sometimes you may have limited choices, especially if your partner insists on hosting a wedding ceremony according to their traditional background. In that case, if you have a partner from Great Britain, you need not worry. The wedding tradition in Great Britain is rich with fascinating rituals.  

Before the Wedding

In Great Britain, the marriage process begins with a proposal from a man to the woman he wants to marry. The proposal itself has some rituals involved. The man usually goes down on one knee, presents a ring to the woman then asks is the woman would agree to marry him. If the woman accepts the ring (proposal), then the couple automatically becomes engaged. The woman wears the ring on her ring finger. It is a tradition in the UK that a woman can only propose to a man on the 29th of February, which only comes in a leap year.

A couple only gets married after being engaged for an agreed period. This is because an engagement acts as a promise or an agreement to marry. The man becomes a fiancé of the woman, while the woman becomes a fiancée of the man. The couple then sets their wedding date, and the announcement of banns takes place in a registry office or a local parish. The banns announce the intended marriage so that anyone with an objection to the union can come forward and stop it. The common reasons for complaints may include:

  • One of the partners had been married elsewhere
  • One of the partners had taken a vow of celibacy
  • One of the partners never consented to the marriage
  • The couple may be closely related

The People Involved in the Wedding Ceremony

Apart from the groom and the bride, the wedding ceremony involves many other people. These are mostly the close friends of the couple. Some of the people involved in the wedding ceremony include:

Ushers: Usually men helpers, they assist with organizing the wedding

Ringbearer: A young boy whose duty is to carry the rings

Groomsmen: Male attendants; they support the groom.

Best man: Can be a relative or a very close friend of the groom. He always walks close to the groom.

Bridesmaids: Female attendants; they support the bride.

Maid of honor or matron of honor: Can be a relative or a very close friend of the bride. She always walks closer to the bride

Bride’s father: The father of the bride or her guardian; someone to "give her away" to the groom

Junior Bridesmaids: Chosen by the bride to assist but is older than a flower girl

Flower girl: She scatters flowers; usually a young girl

Wedding guests: All those invited to attend the wedding ceremony.

The Best Day for a Wedding Ceremony

Traditionally, Wednesday was the most suitable day for a wedding ceremony. However, many weddings in the UK today take place on Saturdays.

The Wedding Ceremony

In Great Britain, there’s no rehearsal dinner. Usually, the brides have a “hen party” while the grooms have a “stag party.” these parties are held the night before the wedding day.

The wedding day is the most stressful in the life of the groom and the bride. They have lots of anxieties as to whether the day will be successful and about their future together, from that day henceforth. There are lots of things involved on that day, and as you try to please everyone, you may end up getting involved in family rows. It provides a good test for your endurance.

As the guests arrive, ushers will guide them on what to do and hand them flowers, books, and anything that shows them the order of service. Ushers also lead them to their rightful sitting places. The side where a guest sits depends on whether the guest is from the groom’s or the bride’s side. The front row is usually for the families of the couple and their close friends.

The bridal party has individual seats reserved for them. However, in many cases, the bridal party may end up standing at the altar throughout the ceremony. They can stand together with the groom and the bride.

The groom and his team will arrive first to the church and wait for the bride’s squad. The bride's team usually comes in coaches or cars, elegantly decorated for the occasion. The team comprises of the bride, her father/guardian, flower girls, maid of honor, bridesmaids, etc. All of them get guided to their reserved seats.

Taking the Vows

The bride and the groom are guided by the priest/vicar/registrar to make marriage vows with elements of affection, faithfulness, unconditionality, and permanence. Most of those who conducted the wedding ceremonies derived the promises from other religious traditions.

However, today, many couples use lyrics from love songs or some love poems as their vows. Some also choose to write the marriage vows by themselves. After exchanging the pledge, the couple also exchange rings, after which the officiant, two witnesses, groom, and the bride go aside to sign the register and then get the wedding certificate. 

After this, the guests are supposed to throw rice, birdseed, confetti, petals, and flower petals over the couple as a sign of wishing them good luck. The bride then stands facing away from the guests and throws the bouquet to the congregation over her head.

Whoever manages to catch the banquet is believed to be next in the line of marriage. A photo session follows as the newlyweds leave the church. There are many group photos taken, and everyone tries to appear in one with the couple.

The Attire

In Great Britain, brides wear white dresses that symbolize purity. The bride wears a veil to confuse evils spirits that might be against the couple. Often, the bride will have an heirloom, or carry a prayer book/family Bible. It is the norm for the bride to have something blue, something borrowed, something new, and something old. It was a tradition for the bride and the bridesmaids to wear similar attire. This was believed to confuse the evil spirits who might have wanted to harm the bride.

In the Middle Ages, the brides sew some charms onto their dresses’ hems to provide them with good luck. A lucky charm could be a silver horseshoe or anything else prescribed by the elders. The bride could also combine a horseshoe with her bouquet to add more good luck. Furthermore, a chimneysweep kissing the bride as she leaves the church was considered a sign of good luck.

The Reception

The reception follows the wedding ceremony. It is usually at the reception that the newlyweds, their parents, and their entourage greet the guests. A lot of food and drinks get served at the dinner, and there are speeches and toasts in honor of the newlyweds.

There’s always some music, and the groom and the bride open the dance floor. This dance is usually known as the "Bridal Waltz." The couple had an opportunity to choose their favorite song or piece of music. The father of the bride can also dance with her. The groom cuts this dance halfway to symbolize that the father has to hand over the bride to him (the groom).

In the course of the celebration, the couple may get subjected to some pranks. For example, the pranksters can tie some tin cans to the bumper of the couple's car, or their window can get sprayed with shaving cream. Some of the popular songs played at UK weddings include:

  • Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran
  • At Last by Etta James
  • All of Me by John Legend
  • Amazed by Lonestar
  • Better Together by Jack Johnson
  • Let's Stay Together by Al Green
  • A Thousand Years by Christina Perri
  • Make You Feel My Love by Adele

The Wedding Cake

A tiered and elaborate fruit cake is served at the reception. There are often images of the couple on the cake in their wedding attire. The couple cuts the cake together to symbolize how they’ll work together in their marriage. The couple stores the tier so they can eat it on their wedding anniversary or when their first child gets christened. At the end of it all, the newlyweds will drive off to enjoy their honeymoon.

Today, it may not be possible to follow strictly Great Britain’s traditional wedding norms. Many couples often choose the easy way out, omitting some customs they no longer consider as necessary. Some couples also do so to save costs. The fact is, no two weddings can ever be the same. You can choose whatever suits your situation. However, the more traditional elements you include, the more memorable your wedding will be.

New Articles

Afghan Wedding

Afghan Wedding

Cultural Weddings
Hawaiian Wedding

Hawaiian Wedding

Cultural Weddings
French Wedding

French Wedding

Cultural Weddings

EventDone LLC
4391 Ridgewood Center Drive
Suite H 
Woodbridge, VA 22192, USA


Contact
Privacy Policy
Legal Terms
Careers

Contact


Telephone: +1 (703) 239 - 6410

Fax: +1 (703) 574 - 8320

Information: info@eventdone.com

Support: support@eventdone.com

Privacy Notice

This privacy notice discloses the privacy practices for eventdone.com. This privacy notice applies solely to information collected by this website. It will notify you of the following: What personally identifiable information is collected from you through the website, how it is used and with whom it may be shared. What choices are available to you regarding the use of your data. The security procedures in place to protect the misuse of your information. How you can correct any inaccuracies in the information. Information Collection, Use, and Sharing We are the sole owners of the information collected on this site. We only have access to/collect information that you voluntarily give us via email or other direct contact from you. We will not sell or rent this information to anyone. We will use your information to respond to you, regarding the reason you contacted us. We will not share your information with any third party outside of our organization, other than as necessary to fulfill your request, e.g. to ship an order. Unless you ask us not to, we may contact you via email in the future to tell you about specials, new products or services, or changes to this privacy policy. Your Access to and Control Over Information You may opt out of any future contacts from us at any time. You can do the following at any time by contacting us via the email address or phone number given on our website: See what data we have about you, if any. Change/correct any data we have about you. Have us delete any data we have about you. Express any concern you have about our use of your data. Security We take precautions to protect your information. When you submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected both online and offline. Wherever we collect sensitive information (such as credit card data), that information is encrypted and transmitted to us in a secure way. You can verify this by looking for a lock icon in the address bar and looking for "https" at the beginning of the address of the Web page. While we use encryption to protect sensitive information transmitted online, we also protect your information offline. Only employees who need the information to perform a specific job (for example, billing or customer service) are granted access to personally identifiable information. The computers/servers in which we store personally identifiable information are kept in a secure environment. If you feel that we are not abiding by this privacy policy, you should contact us immediately via telephone at (703) 239-6410 or via email found in our contacts page.

Legal Terms: Last Updated 4/19/2019

Please read these Terms and Conditions ("Terms", "Terms and Conditions") carefully before using the http://www.eventdone.com (change this) website and the EventDone mobile application (the "Service") operated EventDone. Your access to and use of the Service is conditioned on your acceptance of and compliance with these Terms. These Terms apply to all visitors, users and others who access or use the Service. By accessing or using the Service you agree to be bound by these Terms. If you disagree with any part of the terms then you may not access the Service. Links To Other Web Sites Our Service may contain links to third-party web sites or services that are not owned or controlled by EventDone LLC. EventDone has no control over, and assumes no responsibility for, the content, privacy policies, or practices of any third party web sites or services. You further acknowledge and agree that EventDone shall not be responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with use of or reliance on any such content, goods or services available on or through any such web sites or services. Changes We reserve the right, at our sole discretion, to modify or replace these Terms at any time. If a revision is material, we notify you through a usage dialogue of any new terms taking effect. What constitutes a material change will be determined at our sole discretion. Contact Us If you have any questions about these Terms, please contact us.

Careers

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Copyright © 2018 - 2020 EventDone LLC. All rights reserved.