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Louise’s UK wedding traditions

The wedding cake

The wedding cake tradition began in England as a symbol of celebration and status. In Medieval England, cakes were stacked as high as possible for the bride & groom to kiss over – a successful kiss meant they were guaranteed a prosperous life together!

English wedding cakes are traditionally made of fruit cake, and stacked in tiers with columns between (as opposed to in America where cakes are stacked directly on top of one another). In Victorian times, white icing was added to symbolise money and social importance.

Today, couples choose different flavours and styles of cake to reflect their personal taste and style, from cheese rounds to naked buttercream cakes to entire tables laden with sweet treats! It is now tradition for the couple to cut the cake together and it continues to symbolise their union and promise to forever provide for each other.

Louise and Gian (UK) cut their wedding cake. Image taken by professional wedding photographer, Ross Harvey, using the D850 and AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED lens.

First dance

We love a first dance because it’s the moment when two people in love become completely and utterly lost in each other. In bygone days, the groom used to steal his bride and show off to friends by dancing her around the fire before the celebrations began. It is also a nod to formal balls, where the guests of honour (in this case the bride and groom) opened the dance with a waltz. Most couples now opt for a favourite or meaningful song, rather than the traditional waltz, with some daring brides and grooms even choreographing complicated routines to wow their guests!

Louise and Gian (UK) kiss during their first dance. Image taken by professional wedding photographer, Ross Harvey, using D850 and AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED lens.

The speeches

At British weddings the speeches are often the highlight of the meal, listened to with relish, cheering, laughter and full glasses! As the host, the father of the bride begins with a toast to the bride and groom, and often shares memories from the bride’s childhood before welcoming the groom to the family and thanking the guests for participating in the day. This is followed by the groom thanking the brides’ family, guests and parents before complimenting his bride and thanking the bridesmaids for helping her prepare for the big day.

The best man’s speech is definitely expected to deliver the most laughs. Sharing insights into the groom’s bachelor days and often including a few jokes, usually at the groom’s expense. The trick is to find a tone that appeals to all, doesn’t offend anyone but is still entertaining and provides the most memorable speech of the day!

UK bride, Louise, laughs and cries listening to the wedding speeches. Image taken by professional wedding photographer, Ross Harvey, using the D850 and AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED lens.