Royal Wedding: Yanks vs. Brits on the Ring, Dress

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When Kate Middleton takes her first step down the aisle Friday, women on both sides of the Atlantic will be eager for a glimpse of the royal wedding dress. But whether they actually like what they see may have a lot to do with where they call home.

Floor-length satin gowns may be considered fashion-forward among North American brides but according to recommendation engine, Europeans are more likely to say that more casual, cocktail dresses are more their cup of tea.

And that's hardly the only difference in wedding preferences between people on opposite sides of the pond.

In the lead-up to Prince William and Middleton's big day, Hunch, which asks users a series of questions to create individual "taste profiles," took a deep dive into its database of answers and found that Yanks and Brits are likely to differ on all sorts of wedding day decisions, from the ring and flowers to the cocktails, food and music.

"Both groups view weddings as an important life event, but it appears that North Americans turn weddings into a bigger production," said Kelly Ford, the company's vice president of marketing. "They seem to put a lot more money and energy into planning every detail and want a highly personalized wedding."

Europeans, on the other hand, seem to tailor their weddings to the couple getting married and their taste, as well as to the guests, he said.

"They're probably more likely to be destination weddings in interesting locations," Ford said. "The wedding dance music also suggests that European weddings might skew more classic than quirky."

Hunch also found that while big and bling may be better in North America, subtlety is more the style for Europeans.

When it comes to wedding bands, for example, Ford said they saw "quite a disparity."

"North American taste is much flashier, while Europeans lean more towards understatements," he said.

On any given day, you won't find Ford and his Hunch honchos thumbing through a glossy fashion magazine, but by asking users of their site hundreds of questions and tracking preferences across the social Web they've been able to create a "Taste Graph" of billions of correlations.

The matrix includes the tastes and preferences of more than 500 million people (Hunch users, as well as people who have indicated preferences on Facebook, Twitter and other services) and 700 million items, the company said.

The majority of Hunch users are North American (and most are American), but because the Taste Graph includes billions of data points from Europeans (a large chunk of which are from Brits), Ford said the site could still make accurate predictions about their choices and preferences.

The site's ultimate goal is personalizing the Web for each user but, in honor of the royal nuptials this week, it published a blog post on how North Americans and Europeans differ in personalizing their weddings. Take a look at 9 key ways below.

The Ring

For North Americans, bling is big. The most popular engagement rings are in princess or pave settings (or both), Hunch said.

But in Europe, diamond solitaire and plain platinum bands seem to be the rings of choice. Pear-shaped diamonds and channel-set bands are other favorites.

The Dress

It's the most expensive dress many women will wear only once, so in North America they seem to want as much of it as possible. The top wedding dress picks for Hunch users in North America are floor-length satin dresses with beads, lace and other embroidered details.

But, while sweetheart necklines and strapless numbers win points in both places, European seem to be more interested in less voluminous, more casual, cocktail-length dresses. (They like long dresses too, but while North American Hunch users didn't indicate preferences for any shorter dresses, the European users did.)

North Americans, Europeans Differ on Wedding Venues, Cake

The Venue

If you want to attend a wedding at sea, make friends with a European couple. When it comes to wedding venues, they're more likely to choose a cruise ship, beach, hotel or private home.

North Americans seem to like institutions ? museums, churches and historic landmarks. Oh, and theme parks.

The Cocktails

Some couples may choose to go liquor-free, but at many a wedding, many a cocktail is served.

In North America, people seem to prefer mimosas, mudslides, margaritas and dirty blue martinis. In Europe, more popular choices include gin and tonics, brambles, caiprinhas and cosmopolitans

Ways to Cut Costs

Hunch even looked at ways frugal families can save money.

In North America, top choices include skipping a wedding planner, choosing a photographer with flexible packages, DIY wedding invites and off-season wedding dates.

For Europeans, popular options are having a daytime affair, hosting the event at a relative's home and picking a day that's not Saturday.

The Theme

When it comes to giving their weddings a unique flair, North American couples are more likely to prefer the fall, whimsical ideas, color and cultural themes. In Europe, top preferences include floral, poolside, holiday and casual themes.

Wedding Songs

Wedding parties on both continents like to hit the dance floor, but in North America, recommended options include "Lucky" by Colbie Caillat and Jason Mraz, "The Luckiest" by Ben Folds, "At Last" by Etta James, and "Such Great Heights" by The Postal Service.

In Europe, top choices are "Be My Baby" by The Ronettes, "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You" by Bryan Adams, "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong and "My Baby Just Cares for Me" by Nina Simone.

The Cake

The Royals will reportedly be serving fruit cake at their affair, but Hunch found that it's not a favorite pick for either geographic group.

The top cake preferences for North Americans are marzipan, white cake with buttercream frosting, chocolate raspberry and cake with red roses.

On the other hand, floral cake, lemon sponge cake, cheesecake, and pumpkin cake tend to score big with Europeans.


And what about the bride's bouquet?

In North America, the most popular results include irises, lavender, poppies, and calla lilies. But Hunch said European options are "more offbeat." They include narcissus, carnation, sunflower, and jasmine.