Thursday, June 19, 2008

A Clash of Cultures (and Colors)

I've discovered an interesting wrinkle in planning my wedding--Mr. C-Ville is English, and English and American wedding traditions are pretty different.  How different?  We don't know yet; traditions are something we take for granted, so the differences are popping up as we go along.  

For example, I'm factoring the cost of RSVP cards into the invitations, but they don't send RSVP cards in the UK.  Mr. C-Ville wants to put the registry information on the invitation, but I would never do such a thing.   I got invited to my sister-in-law-to-be's "hen night," and I had visions of hanging out with chickens until I discovered it means "bachelorette party."

But maybe the biggest difference is that Brits just don't do wedding colors.  Like Miss Rehoboth said, one of the first things people ask you once you get engaged is, "What are your colors?" Now, Mr. C-Ville and I are an egalitarian couple, and this is as much his wedding as it is mine, so I thought I'd discuss this very serious question with him.  Here's how it went:

Me: So we need to think about what colors we're using for the wedding.
Mr. C: What?
Me: The colors.  We should probably decide on our colors so we know what the bridesmaids will wear and what the flowers will look like and so forth.
Mr. C: That's a really American thing.  I don't want to have colors.  Colors are stupid.
Me: But isn't the wedding then going to look like somebody ate a box of crayons and threw up? How are we going to organize everything?
Mr. C: It'll happen naturally.  I really, really, really don't want to have wedding colors.  Really. Really really.  

Marriage is all about compromise, right?  Wedding planning is terrific compromise practice. He gets to have his no color idea, whereas I get the poolside barbecue with pork sandwiches.

But I think planning the look of the wedding without official colors isn't going to be so bad. We're getting married at Clifton Inn in Charlottesville.  The setting lends itself to a definite aesthetic: (photo credit Adam Barnes Photography, via The Knot)
Clearly we're going to be going with green and white, and maybe a few touches of pink or even yellow.  Or why not both?  And I love the attendants wearing black cocktail dresses, so I'll probably steal that idea.  But it's not like I need to create a whole new look for the venue. Clifton is what it is, so it's better, and cheaper, to work with it rather than fighting against it.

Have you had any color selection drama? 


Blogger Cate Subrosa said...

Hello, I'm English! And your fiancé is not really giving you a clear picture of the British wedding there...

It is true that traditionally people buy their own cards to RSVP, but some people include them.

Putting the registry information on the invite is as bad manners here as it is there - don't listen to him on that one!

And about colours... this has nothing to do with being English, it's because he's a man! Plenty of English people have colour schemes! (Although I would concede I haven't encountered the "what are your colours?" question I've heard so much about on American blogs.

So, of course you should compromise, but bear in mind that his ideas about wedding might have as much to do with his gender as his culture ;)

Thursday, June 19, 2008 11:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Originally I didn't want any set colors either b/c I don't really like matchy-matchy things, but it became necessary...not for me but for other people. Vendors really had no idea what to do when I mentioned I didn't have colors and neither could anyone in the families. It's like they couldn't handle it. It was weird. So we went with green and white.

Thursday, June 19, 2008 4:21:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home