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If you do decide to get married in America, be careful about weddings; they can be very expensive. Traditionally the bride’s parents paid for most of the wedding expenses, while the groom was responsible for the wedding ring and the honeymoon expenses. Today, both sets of parents will sometimes share the expenses, or the couple themselves might contribute. Because there are now uncertainties about these obligations, it is wise for everyone involved to sit down together and come to an agreement about who pays what (and about who gets invited to the ceremony). International weddings and weddings between people of different religions will also require special planning.

If you do decide to go all out and have a fancy wedding, a professional wedding planner can help with all the details, from hiring the hall to arranging the food and entertainment. Wedding shops exist, even full wedding shopping centers, and bridal magazines are popular. Make no mistake about this, in the United States, the wedding centers around the bride.

Depending on the age or cultural background of the groom at a wedding, some arrange bachelor parties the evening before or soon before the wedding. The male friends and relatives of the groom will attend and celebrate the upcoming wedding with a combination of teasing and congratulations. These events can be dignified dinners, but the stereotype, as shown often in American films, involves young American men, hired strip-tease artists, and excessive drinking. American women may well have their own version, called sometimes bachelorette parties, featuring male strippers, but this is less common, since the women have the tried and true outlet of the bridal shower.

Maiden Names. In former times, women took their husband’s last name after marriage. Many women now keep their original (“maiden”) name, or use their maiden name as a middle name.

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