As wedding fever mounts, every possible media on every possible platform is alive with every possible note about the upcoming nuptials.
‘Course, Diary has had its two cents to add on the legend-making topic, spewing forth with gusto about preferred workouts soon-to-be gorgeous royal, Meghan Markle, is embracing, as well as energy boosters worthy of such a pair on their big day, in addition to other choice morsels.
IN FACT, WE HAVE CRAZY ALL-DAY COVERAGE PLANNED FOR SATURDAY, SO DO TUNE IN FOR THAT FIESTA OF FABULOUS … AS ONLY DIARY CAN! 😉
For now, though, we have a rather novel update, courtesy of Sharon Schweitzer, an international etiquette, culture and modern manners expert, founder of Access to Culture, who gave us the social scoop on some of the cultural stuff Meghan will have to keep up to date on.
For your pre-wedding savvy, the expert feedback for Americans about to go Brit:
- Americans tend to be more direct, confident and loud compared to their English counterparts which – while part of the allure of America’s culture of progress and diversity – can sometimes be taken as brash or even discourteous. This includes swearing, sarcasm, exchanging insults and criticism.
- Brits generally value professionalism, discretion and formality in actions, behavior and appearance. This ranges from high levels of professionalism in the workplace to politeness in public, and is especially true with dining etiquette, in which Americans tend to be much more informal.
- One key to understanding British behavior is picking up on subtle cues and reading between the lines, where an American is more likely to be straight to the point.
- Complaining, especially in the moment or directed at someone.
- Blocking exits, or standing on the left side of escalators, which is meant for passing.
- Forgetting your P’s and Q’s. Brits are extremely polite; be generous with your manners.
- Making small talk on the Tube when everyone’s headed to work or home.
- Buying yourself a drink when out with friends without picking up a round for the group.
- Talking or yelling loudly, especially not making a scene. Cool, polite and collected is the expected behavior.
- Inappropriate discussion topics, which include religion, politics and money.
- In the UK, people don’t just eat, they dine, often with friends and loved ones and with polished table manners.
- In British dining style, you keep your fork on your non-dominant side when taking a bite, unlike the American “zigzag” style where you switch hands.
- Americans will sometimes cut up several pieces of food before actually eating to avoid so much hand switching; however, the rule is one bite at a time. Otherwise, your food gets cold and it resembles the way a parent cuts up food for a three or four-year old.
- When finished eating, you should put your utensils down neatly on the plate (tines down) at the 4:30 position.
BRITISH WEDDING CULTURE:
- Weddings in the UK take place in a church or in a licensed venue due to government regulations.
- British brides buy their bridesmaids’ dresses.
- The maid of honor is known as the chief bridesmaid in the UK, and they sit during the ceremony rather than stand.
- Groomsmen in the UK are called ushers.
- Fruitcake is the classic wedding cake in the UK.
- Female guests in the UK wear hats to the wedding – a very important piece of attire!
- American wedding toasts are more personal and touching, with British speeches often more comical.
- “Wedding breakfast” in the UK actually refers to a post-wedding meal generally in the afternoon.
- Americans say you’re “into” someone when you like them; in the UK you “fancy” them.
- Blinding – meaning “excellent.”
- Corker – someone or something that stands out.
- Eating irons – cutlery, eating utensils.
- Penny-dreadful – a tabloid.
- Chuffed – pleased or delighted.
- Dishy – good looking.
- Dosh – a reference to pounds like the US uses “buck” for dollars.
- Knackered – tired.
Not exactly a walk in the park, or should we say royal garden?! 😉 May the force be with Meghan!