7 Steal-Worthy British Wedding Traditions

Great Britain is famous for its culture and timeless traditions. But what about weddings?  From good luck charms to over the top fashions, we’ve rounded up some of the sweetest British wedding traditions you should totally consider borrowing:

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1. Have a “hen do.”
While bridal showers and rehearsal dinners are pretty unheard of in the UK, most brides have a “hen do” or “hen party” (while grooms have a “stag do” or “stag party,” instead). It’s very similar to an American bachelorette party, although keeping the destination (and sometimes even the date) is often key. Apparently, Pippa planned a pop music-themed hen night for Kate before her big day.

2. Opt for mini ‘maids.
In England, brides typically pick a group of younger girls between the ages of 10 to 12 to serve as bridesmaids. In fact, Kate Middleton broke tradition by giving the title of maid of honor to her sister, who was 27 at the time! The pint-sized bridal party typically wears gowns similar to the bride to “ward off evil spirits.”

3. Put a penny in your shoe.
Everyone knows the traditional English rhyme, “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue,” but the last line that is often forgotten reads, “a sixpence in your shoe.” The sixpence in the shoe signifies good fortune, prosperity, and health and is often placed in the bride’s left shoe.

4. Bring on the pageboys.
It is a British tradition for the bride to walk down the aisle to the right of her father, leading the procession of bridesmaids and pageboys—young male attendants who carry the train of the bride’s dress. How cute is that?

5. Be an early bird.
Traditionally, English weddings begin at noon and the meal following the ceremony is known as the wedding breakfast. It’s pretty much a brunch, but with hors d’oeuvres and drinks.

6. Encourage hats.
From birdcage veils to big feather hats, the British have sure kept up this fashionable tradition. Headpieces are still donned by many at weddings in the UK and really, it’s a fun way for the ladies to get dolled up for the big day!

7. Forget the fondant.
No dazzling four-tiered wedding cakes in English weddings! The British traditionally celebrate with a fruit cake covered in marzipan, sliced and handed out to guests in napkins.

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