Each culture is proud of its traditions. That’s why a wedding in Bangalore has almost nothing in common with that in Paris. And what about the USA? Well, let’s find out what an average wedding in the States looks like.
Despite the variety of customs, all weddings begin the same. A man proposes to his one and only, taking the relationship to the new level – engagement. Only after that, the couple can officially be called the bride and groom.
In the United States, as in many other western countries, weddings are a business. Some future newlyweds practically do a little more than nothing to prepare for the celebration. All pre-wedding efforts lie on the restless shoulders of wedding agencies. Those who want to plan everything on their own subscribe to specialized magazines or search for info on wedding websites.
It usually takes couples from six months to two years to prepare everything for the ceremony. Future newlyweds book a banquet hall, deal with a priest or presbyter, pick the place and time of their honeymoon, and begin to look for a place to live together if they don’t have one yet.
Six months before the wedding, the bride and groom begin to send out invitations. These are not just postcards with the time and place but rather information booklets telling the time and place of the celebration, accommodation options for guests, as well as a list of gifts a couple would love to get. Yes, instead of choosing a gift yourself, you can pick one from the list and order it. Each invitation comes with a card and an envelope which guests must return to senders, informing the couple about whether they will attend the wedding or not. Today, many couples prefer to send email invitations.
About a month before the event, the two throw a bachelor and bachelorette parties. There’s no point in describing them since they’re always different, mostly without huge cakes and strippers. Bridesmaids come to a bachelorette party with gifts. This is an old tradition, originating from the first settlers.
Usually, just bridesmaids, friends of the groom, a few couples, parents, and their godparents take part in the rehearsal.
The wedding ceremony itself takes place very solemnly and beautifully, and it’s not much different from what you might’ve seen in movies. The groom stands at the altar and waits for the bride who walks along the red carpet, holding her father’s arm, and a little girl carpets the road with rose petals before her. During the wedding itself, the newlyweds swear oaths of love and loyalty to each other, put rings on each other’s fingers, and the priest declares them husband and wife.
At the entrance to the beautifully decorated hall, where the celebration takes place, guests can find cards with their names and the numbers of tables they sit at. There’s also a special table for gifts.
There’s usually not much food at the banquet. Tables are served with cheese, olives, and other various snacks for wine or beer, as well as salads and hot dishes. The main detail of the banquet is a multi-tiered cake which newlyweds cut. At the end of the evening, the groom removes the garter from the bride’s leg and throws it to his unmarried friends. The bride, in turn, throws her bouquet to all the single girls in the hall. After the wedding, the newlyweds go on a honeymoon trip.
Of course, a wedding in the USA isn’t just a solemn ceremony in a church. There’s a civil ceremony too. It’s held a few days before the wedding. The bride and groom come to the registry office where their marriage is made official. Typically, wedding certificates in the US are sent by mail.