Weddings in the USA vs. UK


  • Author Mariana Veloz
  • Published January 31, 2023
  • Word count 1,444

The UK and the USA are halfway around the world from each other, but their historical roots and close ties make them family. Not only was America colonised by the west in the late 1500s, but since then, the two countries have been close allies (even though they did go to war against each other). So even though the two are very similar, they have drastic differences in accent and culture, so how does this show in weddings? Today we are looking at how weddings in the USA differ from weddings in the UK.


Regarding wedding food, both countries are very similar in their traditions. For example, both love a lavish wedding cake and a banquet for guests never to go hungry, but both countries show their traditions even in these set pieces.

For example, Americans love their thanksgiving feasts with roasted turkey and pumpkin pie, which are also popular options for their weddings! On the other hand, the English love their tea served with little cakes and sandwiches for a real garden tea party if you wanted that for a wedding reception.

Check out: A Guide on Wedding Food and How to select the right cake for your wedding.


In America, you have a vast continent to explore for choices of wedding venues, from the dusty deserts of Nevada to the rich concrete jungles of New York. You’ve so many ways to get married in America! Imagine an alien wedding outside Area 51 or a wedding at Sleepy Hollow! However, Americans vastly prefer local venues and spend big on decoration, hosting and entertainment over going far.

In the UK, you have a much more restricted pallet of biomes if you want to get married locally, but with Europe close by, this isn’t hard to get over. You can get married like pagans in a stone circle or take iconic beach shots along the shores with Romans once roamed. With so much history, from castles to stone age monuments. Britons love their getaway weddings!


In terms of the top picks for wedding songs, the two countries are similar to one another. However, some differences might cause certain pieces to appear on their playlists versus others.

In America, you’re more likely to hear country songs or tunes sung in the district with American accents from New York down to Texas. These can include tunes like Rihanna and Beyoncé, through to bops from the 1960s by Dolly Parton.

On the other hand, you will hear more British accents from the Spice Girls to the Beatles at a UK wedding. But, then, with Europe just a pond away, there will be a wide range of European influences from Euro-pop, Euro-dance, and ABBA! The bottom line is that you’ll likely hear classical songs more often at their weddings than in the USA.

Check out: Picking The Perfect Wedding Music: Through the History of Love Songs!


The costs of weddings keep increasing, so where is the best place to get hitched, in the UK or USA?

The average price of a wedding in the USA is drastically higher than a UK wedding, according to Americans pay around 29,000 for a wedding, making them a third more expensive than a British wedding at just 19,000.

The reasons for this drastic difference aren’t clarified in the above source. However, most can agree that Americans love to create a large-scale wedding with a celebration that is an extensive production, with more planning and ideas thrown into the event to make it a moment no one will ever forget. On the other hand, UK weddings are classic and conservative.


The law surrounding weddings in the UK and USA are similar, but some things make doing one thing harder or impossible than the other. For example, in the UK, you can get married at 16, whilst you’d have to wait until you were between the ages of 18-21 (depending on the state).

Another law is around drinking! In the USA, you can enjoy alcohol until you’re 21, so if you get married before that age, you’ll be sipping juice at your reception. In the UK, the age stands rigid at 18, so those getting married at 16 -17 will have the same problems as those in the USA getting married young.


Wedding rings are a staple of modern marriage, so whether you get hitched in the UK or USA, there will always be a band. But how different are their wedding ring traditions?

In the UK, brides and grooms pick the classic styles of rings over big-flashy pieces. This is best seen in how they choose their diamonds, selecting smaller gems of specific cuts. In addition, they love their conservative weddings and dress, with bands representing quality and class. So if we are thinking about

On the other hand, in America, rings are seen as flashy, quirky, and larger than life. Looking at the example of diamonds again, they love big bling diamonds made from pave or princesses settings.

So in the Thorum collection, an American might favor the Medusa (shown above), and in the UK, the British might love the Victoria (shown below).


American and British brides love their classic white wedding dresses, but when they decide to be more adventurous, the differences in their weddings shine through. For instance, American brides love their large flowing ballgowns, but Europeans love their more casual cocktail dresses.

In the USA, brides spend more on wedding dresses because it's all about going big or not bothering at all. However, by contrast, UK wedding dresses are just as essential but are much more conservative in style and budget.


The game of the wedding suit isn’t as distinct between the two countries as other aspects of their weddings, such as dresses or rings. However, two elements are worth discussing: the choice of hats and what type of suit they wear.

In the UK, more men are likely to wear a top hat or flat cap as part of their suit accessories feeding into the story that British wedding love their classic and conservative traditions. Secondly, they often wear morning suits or lounge suits.

In America, grooms often forgo the hat, but if they did choose to wear one might opt to wear a fedora or cowboy hat. Moreover, they usually wear a tuxedo or a lounge suit of their choice with a modern twist, such as a fun colour or pattern.


When it comes to themed weddings, you’d have realised that the USA takes these to the most extreme. Americans love large weddings–the quirkier, the better. You are more likely to see a wedding set in a cemetery in the USA, and the same is said for wild science-fiction marriages. You can expect a momentous event at any American wedding that embraces a theme.

Whilst across the pond, the UK enjoys themed weddings, but not to the same budget-bursting scale. The UK loves their destination weddings where they go overseas to celebrate the union between couples. Popular places include Greece, Italy, and France. However, for their at-home weddings, they enjoy open dance halls, historical cathedrals, and any traditional venue you can conceive. These might be themed around druids, castles, or even a classic Victorian wedding.


When it comes to wedding decorations, the USA holds a similar pattern to other trends showcased on this list; they often go all-out with quirky and grand plans. So you can also expect large venues, flashy lights, a lot of entertainment, and so much to see you can’t possibly hope to see it all as a guest alone.

In the UK, you will see classic banquet halls with minimal decoration or themes. Instead, they love their flowers, candles, and other quaint symbols to enhance the beauty of the setting. So, often they may pick a venue that requires little work to transform into an environment like those described in Victorian romances.


Weddings in the USA or the UK, in their primary forms, are similar as they draw from the same cultural lineages of the past. However, as we’ve shown, they each have their defining features, which makes them unique in their ways, whether they strive for extravagance or the classic. But neither is better than the other, just unique, and that's what makes the world extraordinary.

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