He attended a British wedding in the UK and was surprised after noticing how different their wedding customs are compared to the US.
Wedding customs and traditions can vary widely from one part of the world to another. It reflects the local customs, beliefs and social practices of people in that area. When one compares customs of weddings in one country to another, it can bring out several shocking differences. Jeff Thurm—who goes on TikTok by @jeffthurm—recently went viral for speaking about the differences between British and American wedding ceremonies after he was invited by a friend to attend a British wedding in the UK.
One of the first differences Thurm noticed was the timing of the British wedding compared to what he was used to in the US. He noted, "We got to the British wedding at about 2 p.m., where I feel like we're normally getting to American weddings at four, maybe five o'clock." This timing discrepancy set the stage for further observations. The many ceremonies of the celebration appear to be spaced out differently in British weddings. "So each thing was its own kind of section as opposed to American weddings where there's the ceremony and then a cocktail hour," Thurm said.
The traditional wedding timeline in the United States includes the ceremony, followed by a swift transition to the dance floor. Thurm, on the other hand, observed that British weddings comprised a ceremony, cocktail hour, lunch, speeches and dancing. This distinct segmentation adds a new flavor to the British wedding experience. Another remarkable contrast Thurm highlighted was the speeches given during British weddings. In the US, it is common to have toasts, typically raising a glass to the newlyweds, but in the UK, the speeches take on a grander scale.
Thurm pointed out, "A lot of times, you'll have a speech from the maid of honor and the best man." He shared his enthusiasm for the extensive speeches at the event, "The British wedding had a full-on speech from the father of the bride, which I loved. Also had a speech from the groom, which I don't think I've ever seen at an American wedding, followed by a speech by the best man." One aspect that baffled Thurm and drew attention from the viewers was the British practice of inviting different guests for the daytime and evening parts of the wedding.
He shared his surprise in a follow-up video, "My friend who was having the wedding said, 'If I wanted to bring a plus one for the evening part of the wedding, I could, but it was just me invited for the day part.'" In the US, the norm is that if you are invited to the reception, you are also invited to the ceremony and vice versa. Thurm's viral video has garnered over 64K views. The comments on his video provided additional insights into this intriguing practice.
One viewer, @girleatspasta, mentioned that this distinction often stems from budgeting, stating: "It's also a budgeting thing. often the main meal is sat with the daytime guests then the evening guests arrive and there will be late-night snacks." Another viewer, @smurfmaster636, said, "Evening guests tend to be people from work or extended friend groups. We went from 50 at the ceremony to over 100 in the evening." As Thurm aptly concluded in his video, "American weddings seem much more revolved around the dance floor and the party aspect, where again, British weddings seem to be segmented."