British wedding traditions you should know before the royal wedding

first_img Related Chris Jackson/Getty Images(LONDON) — Every culture has its own unique set of traditions for the big day — and the Brits are no exception.Britain’s royal family exemplifies tradition, and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s May 19 wedding will be the wedding of the year, filled with some well-known and some not-so-well-known British customs.Here are a few aspects of a traditional British wedding experience that differ from standard practice in the U.S.Bachelor and bachelorette parties have different namesIn the U.K., a bachelor party is known as a “stag do,” and a bachelorette party is called a “hen do” or hen party. Both are usually held over an entire weekend, sometimes even longer. Kate Middleton’s hen do was top-secret, but for her sister Pippa Middleton’s hen do, the duchess of Cambridge reportedly took part in a weekend of skiing in the Alps.Wedding breakfastsInstead of a Saturday-night formal affair, many British weddings are usually held in the morning. Breakfast receptions after the ceremony are common.Prince Harry and Markle’s wedding will begin at noon local time, or 7 a.m. ET, at St. George’s Chapel on the grounds of Windsor Castle. After the carriage procession, the newlyweds will attend a reception where they will rejoin their wedding guests. Harry and Markle are expected to continue celebrating their marriage at an evening reception hosted by Harry’s father, Prince Charles, for close friends and family, which is not open to the public.Hats for the ladiesBritish women have serious hat game. (Remember Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie’s eye-popping hats at Will and Kate’s royal wedding in 2011?)It’s common tradition for all women attending a British wedding to accessorize their dress with a hat or a fascinator, a decorative headdress in place of a hat. They’ll be worn throughout the entire ceremony and usually for an afternoon reception, but will be taken off during dinner or in the evenings.Morning suits for the gentsIn many British weddings, the men traditionally sport morning suits instead of a tuxedo. A morning suit is traditional British daytime formal dress consisting of a three-piece suit, including a morning coat with tails, a waistcoat and trousers.Only men tend to make speeches at dinnerThe father of the bride, the best man and the groom are typically the ones to give speeches at a British wedding, not the maid of honor. The whole point of the speeches is usually to embarrass the newlyweds as much as possible.Here comes the bride — firstThe big reveal you often see in Hollywood films where the bride finally emerges last in the procession doesn’t happen in the U.K. The bride typically walks down the aisle first — and her bridesmaids will walk behind her, usually to hold the train of the dress.Pippa Middleton turned heads at her older sister’s 2011 royal wedding when she trailed her sister in a sleek white dress.Royal family wedding traditionsThere is always myrtle in the bride’s bouquet — a tradition dating back to Queen Victoria. It’s believed that a spring of myrtle in all royal bridal bouquets are cut from the same myrtle shrub that grows in Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, a favorite retreat of Queen Victoria’s.Wedding bands contain Welsh goldAll royal wedding bands typically contain Welsh gold — a tradition beginning in 1923 with the Queen Mother. Welsh gold is so rare that it can be valued up to 30 times more than standard gold. Welsh gold has a history of more than 2,000 years since the time of the Romans.The wedding cake is typically made of fruitWhile there are no hard and fast rules on the wedding cake, most British weddings have fruitcake. Prince William and Princess Kate served two cakes on their wedding day in 2011 — a traditional eight-tier fruit cake created by chef Fiona Cairns and a chocolate biscuit cake from a Buckingham Palace recipe that was a favorite of William’s as a child and also enjoyed by Queen Elizabeth.Some couples even opt for pork pie wedding cakes.Harry, 33, and Markle, 36, have broken with tradition in this regard, commissioning pastry chef Claire Ptak of London’s Violet Bakery to create a lemon elderflower cake with buttercream icing and fresh flowers as decorations, according to Kensington Palace.The Royal Marriages Act 1772 is repealed — but there are still rulesThe British government repealed legislation that previously dictated certain terms over royal marriages. With the Succession of the Crown Act of 2013, certain restrictions were changed, such as not allowing gender to decide the hierarchy of the throne. (Princess Charlotte, for example, will not be pushed further down the line of succession if Kate’s next child is a boy.)Some rules, however, remain. According to the Succession to the Crown Act of 2013, the first six people in line to the throne must obtain the consent of the queen before marrying.The queen gave her consent for Harry and Markle’s marriage on March 14. The consent is announced and marked with a letter to the Privy Council, the group of advisers to the Sovereign. Heirs to the throne may also marry a Roman Catholic — something previously not allowed. However, Roman Catholics currently cannot ascend to the throne themselves, as the monarch is the head of the Church of England.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.Powered by WPeMaticolast_img

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