Summer is finally here! The grass is green, flip-flops are on my feet, and I can walk outside without neighbors mistaking me for an Eskimo. Along with the joys of summer, the heart of wedding season is quickly approaching and if you’re anything like me you could use a little help preparing ASAP!

I thought it would be fun to talk about the difference between “city” vs. “country” wedding etiquette. I don’t know about y’all but I have a very diverse group of friends. Attending a university in the middle of Illinois will expose you to people from inner-city Chicago all the way down to folks from southern Illinois. Obviously, those different backgrounds will bring a varied sense of style and makes planning for those weddings a little bit of a mystery. And trust me; there will be enough mystery when it comes to whatever is being served for dinner at the banquet hall, so we don’t need confusion surrounding what the atmosphere will be like as well!

Wedding Etiquette: Top 5 differences between city vs. country style

1.)    Beaches vs. Barns

  • City- A destination wedding to a tropical area is very common for people from the city. The gorgeous view makes for a romantic setting for pictures and can add so much personality to any wedding! If you’re attending a destination wedding this summer make sure to pack the sunscreen and sundresses…we’re all jealous!
  • Country- Don’t get me wrong, us country kids love the beach! However, the beautifully restored barn outside of our hometown is much more our style and we will take advantage of that rustic backdrop on our big day. For anyone attending a barn wedding, it will be a great change of scenery and makes for a great time once the reception is underway!

barn beach wedding

2.)    Heels vs. Boots

  • City- As a fellow girly-girl, I understand the struggle of a shoe obsession. It’s real, it’s happening, and guys don’t understand it. Weddings are the PERFECT occasion to show off those Jessica Simpson heels you bought two summers ago and haven’t worn yet! Slide on those pretty pumps and get to the reception!
  • Country- Literally cowboy boots everywhere. If you’ve attended a country wedding you will understand what I’m talking about here. Boots are the perfect accessory to add country flare to a wedding. Most likely the entire bridal party will be decked out in boots and ready to show them off for pictures. Bust out the boots and you’ll fit right in!

heels or boots

3.)    Church Pews vs. Hay Bales

  • City- It’s rare to come by large open spaces in the city. Usually, city wedding ceremonies are held in a traditional church where you can expect the comfort of air conditioning and church pews. You’ll be thankful for this when it feels like 143 degrees in the middle of July!
  • Country- Everyone can appreciate a little air conditioning in the summer. However, people who grew up on a farm are used to the heat and spending the day outside. It just seems appropriate to hold our wedding ceremonies outside as well! If you’re heading to an outdoor country wedding this summer, expect to sit on hay bales and bring something to fan yourself with. Keep those fingers crossed that you’ll be seated next to a cute boy!

bales or pews

4.)    Formal vs. Casual

  • City- Weddings in the city tend to be held at high-class places. It’s common that a dress code will be listed on the invitation if it’s a black tie event. However, even if no dress code is mentioned, you will most likely be expected to dress in formal attire. Like I said before, this can be a fun time to play dress-up and bust out the dresses and suits that make you feel all sassy inside!
  • Country- Contrary to the city, a country setting tends to be a little more laid back and casual. It’s very common to see camouflage incorporated into the bridal party and usually guest are encouraged to include a little country flare into their attire as well, especially if the wedding is held outdoors or in a rustic barn setting.

black tie or casual

5.)    Champagne Glasses vs. Mason Jars

  • City- Similar to any wedding reception, it’s likely that guest will be making toasts to the bride and groom throughout the night. Usually, banquet halls provide tables with Champagne glasses or you can expect to receive nice glassware when ordering a drink from the bar.
  • Country- In recent years the Mason jar trend has taken the country scene by storm. For some reason, someone-somewhere decided that a Mason jar captures the essence of “country” décor. Don’t get me wrong, I love sipping some sweet tea out of a nice Mason jar…it’s the perfect amount of redneck and I definitely can dig it! Bottom line: if you’re attending a country wedding this summer, expect to raise a Mason jar and toast to the new bride and groom!

champaign toast

I can only hope that after reading this you’re a little more prepared for all those weddings this summer. Don’t worry through; I’m not holding my breath! Whether you’re heading to a big city or out to the farm for weddings this summer, make sure you remember to bring your party pants. That’s all it really comes down to, right?

ashley wagnerAshley Wagner
Illinois State University


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