Over the next few days, David Pressman, the wedding planner behind Heather and Neal's destination wedding in our latest travel issue of the magazine, will spill some tips, behind the scenes, and extra photos. Plus, David will have even more on his blog this week so check that out too. So without further ado...tips from an American Wedding Planner in the UK!
No one ever said the British invented weddings – they've only been holding them far longer than us Yanks. Which leads me to my first tip.
1. For an American trying to plan a wedding in the UK: Keep Calm and Carry On. It's been over 200 years since the American Revolution and we weren't able to get our way then, so why possibly think that a mere American wedding planner is going to change the way weddings are done in the UK? It's just not going to happen. The British are used to pageantry and can really pull out the stops given the right occasion. So give them a reason to host your wedding! An American marrying in the UK with American style, wit, and class is just the thing to get the British on your side and make your wedding that much more special.
2. Take the lyrics from "Feeling Groovy", by Simon & Garfunkel to heart: "Slow down, you move too fast". If you remember this, it will help you in any situation you encounter, any request you make, or any conversation you have with anyone in the UK.
3. Learn the lingo. For example, if you use the word pants in conversation while in the UK, the person to whom you are speaking will understand you to be talking about underwear. And hen night has nothing to do with poultry—it means bachelorette party.
4. Learn the currency conversion rate. It's not a one to one ratio between £ and $. And remember that using you're credit card can cost you extra on foreign soil. So take a minute and call your credit card company ahead of time to ask about any charges you might incur.
5. Incorporate local customs into your celebration; we had a morning of clay pigeon shooting for Neal, his groomsmen, and anyone who wanted to take part. Aaron Delesie, our photographer from the States, even put down his camera long enough to take his turn at trying to hit a clay pigeon.
6. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, arrange activities that bring everyone together. Don't let your celebration turn into a Junior High School dance with the Americans on one side of the room and the British on the other side. Plan things to throw families and friends from different parts of the world who won't know one another together. It will make all the difference in the world and add to everyone's memories.