bride stands with mother in bright pink hat

Due to our colonial history, there are many wedding traditions we inherited from the British. Some we altered a bit (such as having the groom face the bride during her entrance rather than stand with his back turned to her), others we kept.  And some just never really caught on here in quite the same way. Here are 3 British wedding traditions we love.

British wedding guests in hats and fascinators

Hats

How great is it when you spot a group of wedding guests at a British real wedding and they are all wearing fabulous hats?  Whether a tiny feather fascinator or a gigantic milliner creation, few areas of the U.S. have hats as a part of the average dress code.  Although not everyone in the U.K. continues this tradition, we just love it when these ladies get fully dressed up for these special events.

british wedding guest plays lawn game in black hat

A hat in black or cream in a style that you favor can be used for years provided you take care of it.  Many styles can also be adapted between weddings to freshen it up, such as a bit of birdcage veil or a new silk flower.

British wedding guests in white hat with black birdcage veil

The Rest of "Something Borrowed"

You know, there is a last line to that popular wedding day saying that we leave out. It goes, "Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence in her shoe."  Of course, we don't have that particular coin here (but a penny would do), but it's such a fun ritual that we can't believe we've overlooked it.  Some bridal designers actually include a space for the sixpence, such as these Charlotte Mills heels below.

cream heels with sparkly hearts and a sixpence

Many brides don't want to place it inside of the shoe, so they are forced to get creative with a little tape or glue (below).

sixpence taped underneath bridal shoe

If you want to send your favorite bride a bit of luck on her wedding day, send her a card like the one below with an actual sixpence attached.

bridal card with sixpence attached
William and Kate's large fruitcake wedding cake

Wedding Fruitcake. Really?

For all of Americans' bemoaning about how awful fruitcake is, we actually buy a lot of it. In fact, during the holiday season, Americans buy millions of fruitcakes. So, someone must like them. And indeed, so do the British. With an old tradition of a fruitcake as the wedding dessert being resurrected in the public thanks to William and Kate (that's their lavish cake above), it's a flavor that seeing growing popularity throughout the western world.

marzipan iced fruitcake

Perhaps the best thing about British fruitcake is its texture. Totally sturdy under a thick layer of marzipan, many couples choose to hand out slices of favors at the end of the night. And what other slice of cake is going to hold up after being stuffed into your tiny clutch?

Want to modernize this sweet tradition?  Serve marzipan-iced fruitcake cupcakes instead of a larger wedding cake (below).

fruitcake cupcakes iced with marzipan

Credits:  Antony Turner   |   Laura Babb   |   Lisa Dawn Photography   |   Matt Penberthy Photography   |   Charlotte Mills Bridal   |   Jackie Wonders   |   Simply Coins   |   Fiona Cairns   |   Good to Know   |   Kitchen Heals Soul