The New Wedding Etiquette Rules

June 25, 2015 by Linda DiProperzio
shefinds | Weddings

As times change, so do the rules of etiquette–even for weddings. Since it can be tough to keep up with all of it, we’ve rounded up the latest etiquette rules to help you along.

Stay off social media (at least right after the engagement). Some couples rush to announce their engagement on social media minutes after she says “Yes!”But the people you’re very close to–your immediate family and best friends, for instance–deserve to your happy news either in person or over the phone. So before you update your relationship status, make sure you announce your engagement to your nearest and dearest first.

You don’t have to invite everyone. More couples are opting for more intimate weddings, which means the days of feeling obligated to invite everyone you (and your parents) know are over. Feel free to only include those you are truly close to and don’t invite people just so you don’t ruffle any feathers.

You can skip the seating chart. While seating charts are still popular, they aren’t a necessity. Some couples are opting for open seating–especially if they’re hosting a smaller reception. It’s a great way for both sides of the guest list to get to know one another.

You don’t have to register for household items. Since couples are getting married later in life or choosing to live together before they wed, they might not need the towels, dishes and wine glasses that encompass the traditional gift registry. Instead, couples are asking for gift cards, or starting registries to help them pay for their honeymoon or even first home.

The bride’s family no longer has to pay. While the bride’s parents can certainly pick up some or all of the wedding day expenses, they are no longer obligated to do so. The groom’s family is also welcome to contribute, and many couples are also paying for a portion or even picking up the entire tab on their special days.

Guests can wear whatever color they want. Yes, guests can wear white, just as long as it doesn’t look remotely bridal. And if guests wear black, it should look chic, not like you’re funeral attire.

Anyone can be an attendant. The concept that the bride’s attendants must be female and the groom’s must be male is so passé. The bride’s brother or male BFF can serve on her side, while the groom can have his sister or another close female on his.

It’s not bad luck to see the bride before the wedding. Couples who decide to do a first look and take some photos before the ceremony shouldn’t worry about jinxing their union. It’s perfectly acceptable now and can even make your wedding day more enjoyable.

Guests don’t have one year to send a gift. That old belief is also no longer true (sorry guests). Instead, three months after the big day is the max you can wait before sending a gift to the happy couple.

For more wedding advice, be sure to check out the 11 biggest hidden costs of planning a wedding and 8 ways to include your dog in your wedding.





Linda DiProperzio is a weddings expert and freelance writer based in New York.

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