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English Weddings

We're traveling to the English countryside to attend a wedding (Church of England). Having never met the bride, I don't want to ask her to many questions. I'd like to be prepared. Are services long ? Are they very dressy events ? Do they dance a lot at the reception ? Do the English do corny dances (like the "Chicken") like they do in the US? Things like that.

Posted by
2664 posts

Hi Sierra, maybe since the wedding is in the afternoon and very small you could get away with out wearing a hat. Once you get there and if you find out that all the women will be wearing hats, you could go to a charity shop and get one. Things in charity shops have been cleaned, so you wouldn't have to worry about it being dirty. You could always donate it back to a charity shop.

Posted by
410 posts

If you are travelling to UK from USA to attend the wedding surely you or your partner know someone in the family you could perhaps ask. English weddings will vary considerably as they do in any country - from the very casual to the very posh and formal. The time of day could give you a clue - the later the more formal - although this is not necessarily the case. The fact it is a church wedding could mean it is more formal than (say) a registry office. Is there a reception at a reception house? You could google that and see how flash it looks. I would dress very smartly without going over the top. The church service will not be overly long -maybe 30 mins. Dancing - if it is in a reception house you can probably assume some dancing which will be started by the bride and groom. Dancing is (generally) not compulsory and I don't think silly dances are too common.

Posted by
2664 posts

No matter what time of day the wedding is, women wear hats. I think if you wear a nice dress/suit and a hat that you will be fine.

Posted by
36 posts

Thanks for your replies.
The wedding is at 2pm. We're related to the groom, but haven't seen him in years. The bride's family is making the arrangements as he is also from the US and flying in for the wedding. He didn't seem to know too much except to say it was a small wedding (maybe 50 or so people). I googled the reception hall and the name ends with Pub.

We're not just going for the wedding.
While in Europe, we'll be touring with a tour group and gone for 3 weeks. We're trying to pack light and wasn't planning on bringing that type of hat or very dressy clothes.
I heard that they wear hats to weddings.

Posted by
3428 posts

Why not pack that female favorite the "little black dress" in a knit that travels well. Also pack a light jacket or large scarf that can serve as a shawl. Then if you find you need a hat, buy it there! The dress and jacket will serve you well for several things- theatre, dinner out at a NICE place, etc. Other option would be to pack a suit (again black works well) that has both pants and skirt, this would be VERY flexible for events other than the wedding. Again a scarf would help to add color and dress it up a bit. And I would wear a bright tank or shell top under the suit jacket.