23 Things About American Weddings That Non-Americans Find Shocking, Unnecessary, And, Honestly, Weird

A while back, we wrote posts here and here where Non-Americans shared what they think are the weirdest things about American weddings, and let me tell you, it got pretty heated. In the comments, readers from the BuzzFeed Community shared even more American wedding trends they don't understand.


Here are some of the most fascinating — and controversial — responses they shared:

1."Americans seem to have engagement parties, wedding showers, bachelor and bachelorette parties, etc. before the actual wedding. That’s a lot of parties to celebrate the same event."


2."American weddings seem so — for lack of a better word — plain? I've never been to an American wedding, but from what I’ve seen, everything is very prim and neat and so much monochrome and white."

"I’m South Asian, so when you go to a wedding, there’s so much color everywhere!!! The bride's dress, the groom's outfit, and the guests, of course!"


3."I never understood the bridesmaids paying for their own dresses when the bride is the one who has full say on how they look."

"I can understand wanting your bridal party to look uniform and to your taste on your big day, but to me that means you pay for what you want them to wear. If I'm paying, I'm picking, so there's a chance I'll wear it again — especially since on TV, those bridesmaids' dresses are always super expensive for no apparent reason; there doesn't seem to be anything special about them, but just because they're made for bridesmaids they're $200?"


bridesmaids next to the bride
Kkshepel / Getty Images

4."The cash bars. The drinks should DEFINITELY be free. That's a weird argument. Why expect your guests to bring a gift and a fistful of cash for a glass of wine??? In my family, it's embarrassing to have a cash bar."


5."One thing that I never understood is why do they always have bands playing live at their weddings? Here in Uruguay, I've never heard of anyone doing that. We always have DJs. And the party goes on until 7 a.m., too."


6."The garter toss is kinda weird. At a wedding I went to a month ago, they did one. Not a lot of guys went up for that one because she just got married and now we're catching her undergarments?"


"I went to a wedding where the groom took the garter off with his teeth and put his head up the bride's dress to get it 🤮. It was gross because the bride and groom were 19. Eleven-year-old me didn’t need to see that."


closeup of a groom reaching for the garter on the bride's leg

7."American weddings finish really early! I’m from Ireland, and it would be unheard of for the party to finish before 6 or 7 a.m."


8."What I really struggle to understand is spending money on fancy save-the-date cards when you’re just going to send an invitation anyway. Just a pointless expense."


9."For me, I definitely never understood the rehearsal dinner thing. It just seems like so much extra time and effort; is it really worth it? Things can always go wrong the day of the wedding anyway."


place setting on the table
Nadtochiy / Getty Images

10."The weirdest thing about weddings is the cost. I can't imagine spending all that money on one day. It's just silly to spend more than $1K."


11."The long cocktail hour. Went to a friend's wedding where after the ceremony, before we could go into the reception, they served alcohol and just a few items on toothpicks meant for a handful of people — not the hundreds they had. We were made to wait for three hours with NO sitting, well past dinner time."

"We didn’t know anyone except the bride and groom. My hub and I considered leaving, but we kept thinking they’ll get it started soon. Worst wedding experience ever!"


12."The size of the wedding party! It’s nice to include the special people in your life to participate in the ceremony, but I’ve only heard about how chaotic bridesmaids and groomsmen can be."

"The stories I’ve heard about friendships being destroyed during the process makes me unsure as to why you would want to crowd your special day with so many people."


bridal party with the bride and groom making one big group
Triggerphoto / Getty Images

13."The importance of color-matching the bridesmaids' dresses. Why does anyone care? The wedding venue can be matched, sure, but doing the same to people so they 'look better in photos' sounds super iffy."


14."The wedding date thing!!! I could never bring someone I've only just met to a loved one's wedding. I've noticed before in American movies that a lot of people use weddings as potential dating pools?"

"Like, I don't understand the idea of going to celebrate a friend or family member getting married, but spending the whole time trying to hook up with someone. This might be one of those things that only happens in movies or TV shows, though, so IDK."


15."Honestly, the whole concept of showers and registries. If you can’t afford the wedding, go to a courthouse. If someone asks you if they can buy you a gift, cool. But literally making a list, like a child, of stuff you want people to buy you? It’s always just seemed greedy and kind of gross to me."


gifts on a table
Douglas Sacha / Getty Images

16."The. First. Dance. Particularly if it's choreographed."


17."When the bridal party and groomsmen get introduced into the dining hall, and they do a little comedy sketch. My sister got married to an American man in a castle in England, and the groomsman I had to walk in with wanted me to dance and then knight him. Wasn’t for me!"


18."The bride being walked down the aisle by a male family member. That's annoying but strangely becoming popular among younger brides in my country. My dad and mom walked together down the aisle when they got married."


bride being walked down by her father
Luminola / Getty Images

19."What I find about American weddings is that they're messy and don’t really focus on the actual importance of marriage — family, respect, and love. It's just all about showing off."


20."I find it weird that there's the option of serving food like you're in a restaurant. I mean, non-buffet weddings — I don't know how to explain it! I live in Greece, and at every wedding I've gone to, there's always a buffet."


hands holding two plates of food
Annanahabed / Getty Images / iStockphoto

21."That there are absolutely no pre-wedding ceremonies. (No, the rehearsal dinner doesn't count!) So many cultures have ceremonies that involve blessings and preparations made by each family with the couple, so the whole mood sets in a week before the actual day."


22."The weirdest thing for me is that in movies, newlyweds often leave the party early to start their honeymoon. Not only do you miss YOUR party that you paid a lot of money for, but you also miss the opportunity to spend more time with loved ones who want to share special moments with you."


car back window that says just married
Kenwiedemann / Getty Images

And finally...

23."I will never understand cake smooshing."


"I'm an American, and I still can't understand the smooshing cake in the face thing. I hate it. Do you know how long wedding makeup takes to be done? Then, you're going to ruin your beautiful makeup with cake smooshing?"


bride putting cake on the groom's face

Do you agree with these? What other "American" wedding trends/traditions do you think are weird? Let us know in the comments below!

Note: Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.