With Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s nuptials this weekend, the Aisle Society editors have royal wedding fever – we can’t wait see every detail unfold! But beyond the palace walls, you may wonder what a typical UK wedding entails. The answer is a lovely mixture of traditional and whimsical – the best British weddings are classic without being too old fashioned, and have a sense of tradition without being stuffy!
Picture it: a grand old country house in the British countryside, rambling roses, Pimms and croquet on the lawn. A bride in lace, flanked by a gaggle of flower girls, with the dashing groom in a morning suit or kilt. Tables laid with fine English china, and overflowing with flowers. Dreamy, isn’t it? Whether you’re planning a destination wedding in a Welsh castle or an English manor house, or simply want to add a regal air to your big day, here are ten ways to steal the best of British wedding style!
One of the things we love about British weddings is the florals! While roses are a perpetual favorite, many couples are opting for seasonal, homegrown florals to get that ‘just picked from the garden’ look, and having them arranged into organic, loose arrangements, in keeping with the fine art look which is very much on-trend in the UK right now.
Marquees & Country Houses
Nothing quite beats a rural wedding in a grand old country house set in acres of beautiful countryside – no wonder they’re a firm favorite amongst British brides and grooms! The historical architecture lends a royal air to proceedings, and makes for stunning wedding photographs. Marquees are another super popular option, either in manor grounds, or in the fragrant gardens of a friend or family member. It’s the perfect way to enjoy a summer’s day!
Photography: Wedding Belles | Styling: Louise Beukes Styling | Wedding Dress: Chaviano Couture | Bridal Salon: Heart A Flutter Bridal | Hair & Makeup: Clare Bryce | Venue: Barnsley House | As seen on: BLOVED via Aisle Society
Timeless Bridal Style
The British bridal look is very much about classic, timeless elegance. Contemporary bridal designers like Suzanne Neville, Jenny Packham, or Alice Temperley, emphasize romantic, feminine style, made from the finest tulles, silks and laces. It’s about beautiful craftsmanship rather than showy bling for the English rose bride, finished off with natural makeup and a traditional veil.
Photography: Kitty Wheeler Shaw | Planning & Styling: Cassandra June Events & Planning | Wedding Dress: Katya Katya Shehurina Wedding Gowns | Floral: Gill Pike Florist | Hair & Makeup: Kylie McMichael Make Up Artist and Hair Stylist | Headpiece: Olivier Laudus Headpieces | Veil: Heart Aflutter | As seen on: Bridal Musings via Aisle Society
A Sense of Occasion
The British are famed for their love of pomp and ceremony, and it’s not just reserved for royal weddings! From invitations to food to attire, everything at a classic British wedding has a sense of occasion. Expect to see gents in tails and female guests in hats and fascinators, and to enjoy a sit-down meal (called a ‘wedding breakfast’, no matter what time of day it is served) with a top table and speeches.
UK brides and grooms were traditionally married in one of the pretty country churches you seem to find in every village, and while many modern couples now opt for a non-religious ceremony, it still makes up part of that ‘classic British wedding’ picture!
Photography: Anne Paar Photography | Ceremony Venue: St Mary’s Church, Orchardleigh | Floral Design: Lucy Anna Flowers | Hair & Makeup: Vicky Waghorn | Wedding Dress: Allure Bridals | Bridal Salon: Paverly Bridal | Groom’s Attire: Cavani & Original Penguin | As seen on: Chic Vintage Brides via Aisle Society
Reflecting the look of a classic English garden, most British couples choose a palette of muted spring pastels or soft neutrals. Blush is, of course, the all-time favorite!
Local is Lovely
Local is definitely lovely for British couples! Couples want to know who they’re working with and where they’re from, and that means artisan details, homegrown florals (see above), and serving a classic British menu made with locally-sourced produce. Think summer pudding or apple crumble with clotted cream, roast beef, and elderflower cocktails.
Photography: Plenty To Declare Photography | Planning & Design: Vanilla Rose Weddings | Floral: Green & Gorgeous | Chairs & Vintage Rentals: The Little Lending Company | As seen on: Burnett’s Boards via Aisle Society
No British wedding table would be complete without beautiful antique tableware and/or vintage tea cups. Pinkies up!
Photography: WOOKIE Photography | Creative Direction: Coco Wedding Venues | Shoot Management: Katrina Otter Weddings | Floral: Emma Vowles | Tablescape Styling: Prezola | Cutlery: Arthur Price | Dinnerware: Wedgwood | As seen on: BLOVED via Aisle Society
Children as Attendants
You may have heard that Meghan Markle’s attendants will all be children, and that’s not unusual for non-royal UK couples too. While British brides often have bridesmaids and maids of honor, including flower girls and ring bearers (called page boys in the UK) in the party is also common (and adorable!).
If there’s one thing you can count on in Britain, it’s that you can never count on the weather! Nevertheless, summer weddings are still the most popular, and you can’t beat them when the sun’s shining! British brides and grooms know that the key is to be prepared, so you’ll always find lovely indoor wet weather options at venues, and lots of umbrellas on standby.