Monday, 7 May 2018

Royal wedding: The main differences between American and British ceremonies

Will Prince Harry and Meghan Markle incorporate any American traditions into their big day?

Weddings are embedded in tradition, from the bride throwing the bouquet into a frenzied crowd to the happy couple driving off into the sunset with cans on strings in tow.

We may have many things in common with our pals across the pond, but when it comes to weddings, American and British ceremonies can differ greatly.

With the royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle just a little over two weeks away, some are speculating over how the couple will incorporate American culture into the ceremony considering the fact that Markle grew up in California.

From personalised vows to a food-filled afterparty, here are the main differences between American and British weddings.

Personalised vows
While many of us have watched countless weddings on film and TV where individuals getting married have exchanged beautiful, heartfelt vows, it’s apparently less common for Brits to personalise their vows during the ceremony.

According to Inside Weddings, many British couples will recite the vows outlined by the Church of England.

The royal family is no different, although slight alterations have been made to the vows in recent times

In the traditional vows that the Queen repeated during her 1947 wedding to Prince Phillip, he stated that he would “love and cherish till death do us part”, while she said that she would “love, cherish and obey.”

Princess Diana decided to omit the word “obey” when marrying Prince Charles in 1981, with the Duchess of Cambridge following suit in 2011.

The Common Worship book of the Church of England, which was introduced in 2000, didn’t include the word “obey” in the updated wedding vows.

Some have speculated that Prince Harry and Markle will write their own vows in keeping with American tradition, in addition to the traditional vows of the church.

In the UK, it’s supposedly very common for brides to pay for the dresses of their bridesmaids, according to BBC America.

However, this differs in America, where bridesmaids will often have to foot the bill for their attire.

While many brides in the UK may choose a selection of friends and family to take on the role of bridesmaids, royal weddings are of course a slightly different story.

The bridesmaids at royal weddings usually consist of children, with the maid of honour and best man the only adult members of the wedding party.

However, with Markle hailing from California, rumours are rife about the friends that she may have chosen to be her bridesmaids on the day.

While close friend Priyanka Chopra, who wrote an excerpt about Markle for Time 100's list of most influential individuals of 2018, has confirmed that she won’t be a bridesmaid and the Daily Express has stated that Kate Middleton is unlikely to be one as well, some believe that TV producer and author Lindsay Roth may be named maid of honour for the bride-to-be.

Roth and Markle met during their first year at Northwestern University, with Markle taking on the role of maid of honour for Roth’s wedding in 2016.

Wedding toasts
One of the biggest differences between American and British weddings is the toasts given during the meal, according to Vogue fashion news editor Emma Elwick-Bates.

“Americans always give such emotional and touching speeches, but in Britain, the best man - or woman - generally sets out to mortify the groom with much hilarity,” she explained.

Prince Harry reportedly decided to go easy on his brother when giving his best man speech at Prince William and Kate’s evening wedding reception, telling him that he was the perfect brother.

However, in true Prince Harry style, he used his good sense of humour to take the mick out of the newlyweds, doing impersonations of both the bride and groom much to the delight of their guests.

Wedding cakes are incredibly extravagant creations, although they may not always taste as good as they look.

While some may be a fan of fruit cake, those who prefer slightly more indulgent flavours will probably not be too drawn to the traditional British wedding cake, which Inside Weddings states is typically fruit cake.

On the other hand, wedding cakes in America display more variety with their choice of flavours.

In March, Kensington Palace revealed that Prince Harry and Markle had chosen Claire Ptak, a pastry chef from east London, to make their wedding cake.

The couple opted to divert from the traditional fruit cake of British weddings. Their lemon and elderflower wedding cake will be inspired by spring, covered in buttercream and decorated with fresh flowers.

Prince Harry took his role of best man at his brother’s wedding to heart by appointing himself as “master of ceremonies”, which involved organising for the guests to enjoy a delicious breakfast at 6am following the night of festivities.

The culture of enjoying early morning food following a night of frivolity is more common in America than in the UK.

However, this could be something that Markle will be keen to include during her wedding.

According to Hayley Bloomingdale, communications director at Moda Operandi, Markle will want to stay true to her American roots with her choice of afterparty nourishment.

“She needs to get this right. People don’t want posh food on silver platters at 1am,” Bloomingdale told The Sunday Times.

“They want grilled cheese, hot dogs, hamburgers, a taco truck, a doughnut wall, something lowbrow. That’s very American."

(Source: Independent)

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