Princess Eugenie’s Wedding Revealed Big Differences In British & American Traditions

Photo: Pool/Samir Hussein/Getty Images.
What with all of our favorite celebrities getting hitched in secret ceremonies, it's no wonder that those of us who love weddings get a big kick out of the ones involving royals. It's an ideal chance to see every meticulous detail of what's typically a truly extravagant affair. Princess Eugenie's wedding to Jack Brooksbank also served to reminded us of some interesting differences between weddings across the pond and the traditional American ceremonies we're more familiar with.
They Keep It In The Family
While American brides and grooms typically choose close friends and adult relatives to make up their wedding party — with the option of including a couple of kids as flower girls and ring bearers — the Brits go the opposite route. Eugenie's sister, Princess Beatrice, was her maid of honor, and Brooksbank's brother, Thomas, was his best man. The bridesmaids, though, were all much younger: Princess Charlotte, Robbie Williams' daughter Theodora, cousin Zara Tindall's daughter Mia, cousin Peter Phillip's daughters Savannah and Isla, Eugenie's goddaughter Maud Windsor, according to the Telegraph. The pageboys were Prince George and Louis de Givenchy, son of a JP Morgan banking exec. Eugenie also had her youngest first cousins Louise Mountbatten-Windsor, who is 14, and James, Viscount Severn, 10, as attendants.
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Another British tradition is that the bride and groom pay for the bridesmaid's dresses. That's one we can definitely get behind.
It's Okay To Wear White
While in most traditional American weddings it's considered gauche for anyone else to be dressed in white, the Brits love to put all those cute littles in white gowns and suits, making the wedding party look like a flock of mischievous angels. Eugenie's bridal party had the stylish addition of colorful belts.
There are also, of course, the hats. With complete disregard for the plight of every short guest in attendance, women are highly encouraged to wear elaborate headgear at these weddings.
The Bride Walks First
Rather than bringing up the rear in a grand finale, the bride and her father (or in the case of Meghan Markle, the groom's father) go first in a British processional. (Maybe this makes sense, given how young and distractible the wedding party is.) Also of note is the fact that the best man and maid of honor simply walk in with the rest of the guests, rather than proceeding down the aisle.
While it is traditional for British grooms to face the altar as their brides walk down the aisle, Brooksbank couldn't wait that long to see Eugenie and watched her arrive — just like a Yank!
You Might Have To Pay For Your Own Booze
We don't yet know what's going down at this royal reception, which is going to last well into the evening and have a sequel on Saturday. But we do know some of what typically goes down at these kinds of events. For one thing, there's a cash bar (!), which is maybe because the receptions go on for many more hours than most American weddings. Somehow we doubt the royals will go this route, however.
The wedding toasts are more in the roasting tradition than the moving kind. So far, we know that Eugenie's father, Andrew, the Duke of York, gave a speech about how he once yelled at his dog Jack to get off a chair and instead his son-in-law jumped to his feet. We'll take that as a good sign these newlyweds are getting off to a good, fun-loving start.
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