Morning lovelies, I have had the most amazing February…. I have joined you The Coordinated Bride and become newly engaged!

My engagement followed down the traditional Leap Year route, I proposed to my partner of 7 years. In January I noticed a social media call out from Brides Magazine UK, they were looking for confident women to propose to their partners. Wow, I mean how exciting would it be to propose and all the details to be taken care of by the largest wedding magazine in the UK. There were 11 very courageous women chosen to attend the Leap year proposal party. One even flew in from Texas to propose to her partner!



All details were taken care of, we had our beautiful evening wear provided by David’s Bridal, hair was done by the amazing Michael Van Clarke team and make-up was taken care of by Lisa Potter-Dixon, head make-up artist from Benefit Cosmetics. All of this was provided in one of London most prestigious hotels, The Savoy.

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My beautiful proposal dress is the Sleeveless Illusion Band Dress from David’s Bridal. Get the details {Here}.

Melissa Parsons Unknown-10-brides-23feb16_EdMiles_b

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Group-4-brides-23feb16_EdMiles_b_1080x720_1If you would like to see tears, laughter, raw emotion and even one lady sing her proposal, check it out {HERE}.

Like yourselves now that I am newly engaged, I have started day dreaming (a lot) as to how my wedding day will unfold, (who am I kidding I have been day dreaming about my wedding day all my life) I have for some time now enjoyed wondering around wedding blogs for inspiration, this has led me to realize that there are British Traditions and American traditions, I have also found out that I have clearly been influenced by the traditions across the pond.

Bridal Shower (US)

Traditionally American brides have a party organized by her maid of honour & bridesmaids where the bride to be is showered with beautiful gifts, delicious food, champagne and generally lots of fun playing games. I will without a doubt want to run away with such a tradition so if my future bridesmaids are reading, take note!  Should you like a little Bridal shower inspiration I would head over to Pinterest, there is a world of themes to be explored, my favourite has to be a Tiffany & Co themed shower.  I’m reminded of this amazing Parisian inspired Bridal Shower that we featured last year.  The cake was unbelievable!  Check out more of the Bridal Showers that we’ve featured.Krista-Fox-for-TCBrideBlog-6-1024x1024We recently featured 10 Printable Bridal Shower Invitation.  This one from EllisonReed is one of our faves!

il_570xN.751308628_3kwrBachelorette/Hen Party (UK)

In the UK we have a hen party which is the equivalent to your Bachelorette party. Traditionally it has been a night out for a meal, drinking and dancing yet ever more recently brides to be are taking their Hen Party on tour and extending one night to a full four-day extravaganza. Last year I attended a 4-day hen party in the ever so glamourous Marbella. We spent our days lounging around the pool in our stunning private villa, visiting the beach and my favourite day was spent on a private Catamaran, sailing around the Mediterranean sipping champagne.

Planet Marbella

Image via Planet Marbella

I’m excited about sending out invitations for my Hen Party!!   How cute is this printable invite from Westminister Paper Co?

WestminsterPaperCo ETSY il_570xN.891847157_9pqbRehearsal Dinner

American brides to be really know how to extend the celebrations and throw a pre wedding rehearsal dinner. The purpose of a rehearsal dinner is for the relatives & friends to get to know each other. Usually the couple will thank everyone who has helped with the wedding preparations with a toast and presentation of small gifts. In the UK we don’t have a rehearsal dinner as there is more weight on the wedding reception where by Speeches and presentation of gifts tends to happen.

In recent years the bridal party usually have “the last supper” as my friend has called hers, a get together and an informal evening meal.

Guest Wear (UK)

It is almost a rite of passage in the UK for guests to wear hats. The hats can be big, dramatic and very elaborate. Below is Princess Beatrice & Princess Eugenie at one of the most talked about weddings in royal history the wedding of Prince William & Kate Middleton.


Image via EPA

The Procession

In the UK the Groom has his back to the congregation and doesn’t watch his bride to be walk down the aisle. Traditionally the bride walks down the aisle before her bridesmaid, historically the bridesmaids would hold the train. I am very much for the traditions across the water, I would absolutely want to see the face of my future husband as I walk towards him, I would also like to walk in after the page boy, flower girl and bridesmaids, I mean who wouldn’t want to make the entrance last, all eyes on the bride? A lovely American custom that I would like to add to my wedding is the Groomsmen (ushers) tend to pair off with a bridesmaid and accompany the bridesmaids down the aisle.

The Reception

I have watched so many weddings on the TV show “Four Weddings” on TLC and really like the traditional cocktail hour following the ceremony, mingling with other guests, having a little tipple and enjoying the wonderful array of canapes. When the bride and groom enter the reception room the first dance usually commences followed by the cutting of the cake. A very romantic but playful aspect to cutting of the cake is to feed one another a piece, and maybe squash a little in their faces. Talking of the cake if we were to look at the traditional cake, it would tend to follow a tier of sponge cakes in the US, where as a very traditional cake in the UK is made up of fruit cake covered in White icing.  A recent trend in wedding cakes is a play on a traditional sponge cake but with a rustic edge it’s the “Naked Cake” yummy.

Here are two that we’ve featured on the blog captured by Shelly Taylor Photography. You can check out more naked cake inspiration {Here}

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The meal also tends to be quite later on compared to the UK and it is shorter. We tend to have the meal as our focal point of the reception. There are speeches by the Groom, Brides father, The best man and sometime even the Maid of Honour. We eagerly await the best man’s speech, it will be filled with embarrassing moments, laughter, emotion and happy tears.

In the UK there is the A list and the B list when it comes to wedding guests, if you make it on the A list you are usually very close the bride or groom whether friend or family. Usually work colleagues that aren’t so close will attend the night due, which I’m sure I can hear gasps of horror from across the pond at such a list…. trust me it is a huge topic of conversation here too and causes many a bride sleepless nights.  I was informed that there is an A list and a B list in the US and while the B list usually includes the same as the UK – people who are not as close to the bride and groom.  The difference is that in the US the B listers won’t get an invite unless an A lister can’t attend the wedding.  

My question to you is “What traditions will you incorporate on your special day”?

Much Love,
Melissa Parsons

Article written by Melissa Parsons for The Coordinated Bride