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Australians and Americans Are Debating Wedding Etiquette Rules (20 Posts)

Did you have any idea that Australian and American wedding etiquette ethics are actually different? I didn’t!

I mean, sure, Australians drive on the other side of the road and have a queen and whatever, but I have no idea that weddings were part of it all.

I learned this from a Reddit post asking about what to expect in an Australian wedding. u/TheTFEF wanted to know:

To make a long story short: I’ll be attending a wedding late next year for a close internet friend I met over 10 years ago. I’m having quite a lot of trouble finding info on “proper” guest etiquette.

I’ve never been to a wedding at all, and to top that, my understanding is AU wedding customs are a lot different than US wedding customs. I don’t want to accidentally make an ass of myself.

Any info is appreciated, but a few specific questions: Is fancy dress attire recommended, and if so, would a tuxedo/suit be okay? Should I bring a gift, and if so, what is socially acceptable? Any other things I should know?

I’m super glad my friend found someone to share their life with, just want to do my best to make their day as good as possible. Any help is greatly appreciated!

Here are some of the best replies from Aussies themselves.

1. New People

“A friendly word of caution: Aussies generally love to meet new people, particularly foreigners. Americans, in particular, can be a novelty. One thing Aussies don’t like is the stereotype loud American, vying to be the centre of attention. Laugh, make jokes (self-deprecating ones are always good), spark conversation with others, be genuine and you may find yourself the guest of honour. Dominate the conversation, tell everyone the US is the best country in the world, talk with the loudest voice in the room, get irate with venue staff, engage in heated discussion about politics and you will fall out of favour quickly.

Treat others with respect, be friendly and I have no doubt you will have a fantastic time.” —u/PonyKiller81

2. Tuxes

“Good chance that turning up in a tux to an Australian wedding will result in you being mistaken for the groom.” —u/ridge_rippler

3. Beer warning

“Remember that Australian beer has a higher alcohol content than American beer. Really watch yourself.” —u/pen5

4. Weird advice

“Just enjoy yourself. It’s also appropriate to say cunt if you like, or call pretty much anyone a cunt, so that’s a good opportunity if you don’t get it State-side.” —u/toKenblaKKman

5. F Rules

“Definitely don’t worry about American wedding etiquette ‘rules’. American wedding culture is insane. Australians are more relaxed. Remember, you’re making an effort to be there at great expense because you care about them. If they aren’t grateful for that alone, they’re not a good friend.” —u/epicpillowcase

6. We do this too!

“This varies a bit, but tapping your glass with a spoon is usually a request for a speech in the US, but is often considered a request for the bride and groom to kiss in Australia.” —u/parisianpop

7. Beer v Wine

“This is less common now, but there used to be kind of a quirk in Australia, where only men drank beer, so if you’re offering to get a drink for people, especially older people, you may get weird looks if you ask if the women would like a beer (usually you would ask the men if they would like a beer and the women if they would like wine).” —u/parisianpop

8. Dances

“Make sure you learn the dance to ‘Nutbush City Limits.'” —u/averbisaword

“And the chicken dance.” —u/sati_lotus

“And the bus stop.” —u/dick_schidt

“And the ‘Macarena’.” —u/SomebodysBunny

9. Fun!

“American weddings are so uptight and zero fun to attend. Like, you actively want to avoid being in the wedding parties. But in Australia, they’re just a fucking joy — boozy, hilarious dance parties in the bush.” —u/justhow87

10. Suit and tie

“Suit and tie, unless the invite says otherwise. Homewares-related gift, unless they already have a well-established home and don’t need another fondue set. Don’t get too drunk and no one is doing anything with garters.” —u/mediumredbutton

11. Boomers

“After a couple of drinks, you can expect the boomers to start making stupid remarks about drop bears and US beer being similar to making love in a canoe, before laughing themselves silly. Australians love to take the piss a bit and Americans are seen as fair game.” —u/MrBeer9999

12. No gifts

“I wouldn’t expect a gift at all from someone who had travelled from overseas. Presence not presents. But that’s just me.” —u/NezuminoraQ

13. No phones

“Aussies are getting bigger on ‘no phone weddings’. Be aware of that.” —u/NoodleBox

14. Eat something

“Eat before you go, as it’s often a long time before food is served. If it’s a country wedding, or in a hot weather state (Queensland), the dress code is usually more casual, but still a sports jacket rather than a full suit.” —u/Sukiboxer1

15. Attire

“In my town, male guests don’t wear a jacket and tie. Just slacks and a nice button up shirt. Long or short sleeve depending on the weather. But that’s because it gets hot here.” —u/Lucifang

16. No gift, II

“I’d say cash gift, unless you know of something that would specifically make a nod to the friendship, or they have a gift registry. Also, if my mate was coming from overseas, I’d be telling them not to get anything at all, as their commitment to come over was a big enough gift. In saying that, no more than $100 AUD, in my opinion.” —u/The_Fiddler1979

17. Causal

“Suits are generally for ‘city weddings’. But I’ve been to plenty of beach or bush weddings where it’s loose fitting clothes or dancing clothes.” —u/veroxii

18. Avoid Trump

“Guarantee someone will hit you up about your opinions on guns or Trump as the night wears on. The wise decision would be to change the subject.” —u/ridge_rippler

19. Dress code

“In Australia, ‘fancy dress’ on the invitation is just as likely to have someone arrive dressed as a superhero — we’re more likely to refer to it as formal dress.” —u/Aggravating_Termite

20. Free for all

“Don’t forget the golden rule: No matter what the dress code states, someone’s weird uncle is going to turn up wearing overalls or something equally inappropriate and a bunch of 20-year-olds are going to turn up wearing super-tight chinos and shoes with no socks, thinking they are stylish when they are really dressed no more appropriately than weird uncle Bob.” —u/frashal