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UK vs Us Weddings- American traditions you should consider and the ones you can do without

There’s lots of things we have in common with our friends from across the Atlantic however weddings aren’t necessarily one of them. Although at first glance they may seem pretty similar, you’d be surprised at the number of things we do differently.

With a fair bit of help from my American wife, I’ll take you through some of the American traditions you should think about including in your wedding, as well as the ones you can manage without.  


Personal Vows

I started with personal vows, as in my opinion I’m shocked this hasn’t caught on over here. During a ceremony in the UK, you’d probably expect the vows to go something like this;

‘I [Name] take you [Name] to be my wife/husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part’

Inject a bit more individuality into your ceremony with some personal vows, your guests will love the added romance and it also gives some really nice audio for your wedding film.



Father of the bride terrified of public speaking? Maybe it’s you who's terrified of the best man giving a speech?

Escape the rigid rules of only allowing the three men to give speeches and offer the invitation to others. Just make sure things don’t get too out of hand and limit your speech givers to five so the rest of your guests don’t get bored.

Bonus Tip: Give the speech givers a time limit half of how long you want them to speak for, they almost always go over anyway!


Rehearsal Dinner

Rarely seen in the UK, rehearsal dinners give an opportunity for relatives and close friends to meet the evening before the wedding, normally including toasts and gift giving. In the UK, we tend to save the gift giving till the wedding day itself and for good reason too. Although having a small get together the night before can be nice, save yourself the hassle of planning a formal rehearsal dinner and go without.


The First Look

The first look is very different in the US compared to over here, instead of waiting until the ceremony for the groom to see the bride for the first time, this moment is organised beforehand where the groom will often be waiting for a tap on the shoulder from his bride.

In the UK, it’s so lovely being able to see your partner for the first time whilst walking down the aisle but you have so much rushing through your head at the time, it can be hard to take everything in. 

Pull this moment forward a tad and be able to really enjoy it together. If the weather is nice, it’s also great to do outside under the backdrop of your venue which can lead to some lovely video/photos.


Whether you end up using all of these traditions or none of them all, just make sure to do whatever feels right for you and your partner and you’ll be sure to have an amazing day.

Any other big differences between UK and US weddings? Feel free to leave a comment below as well as dropping us a like and a follow on our social pages.

If you're interested in seeing some of my videography work, head over to the portfolio page and feel free to drop me a message to see if I’m free on your date.


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