Wedding Wednesday: Wedding Etiquette Changes

Happy Wedding Wednesday! Today’s post is all about wedding etiquette. I am more of a traditionalist when comes to weddings, but times are-a-changing, and a lot more is considered acceptable today when it comes to proper wedding etiquette. From ditching the veil during the ceremony to seeing your husband-t0-be before you walk down the aisle, things are different now! While it is great for some, it has probably left some of us confused. I mean, can you wear white to a wedding now if you’re a guest? I’m going to try and clear up some of the biggest changes, so keep on reading and let me know if I missed anything!

wedding shoes

photography: jess barfield

Wedding Etiquette – old and new

  • BRING A GIFT TO AN ENGAGEMENT PARTY? PROBABLY. While it is not a “must do” type thing, bringing something small and celebratory is a good idea – champagne flutes, wedding magazines, etc.
  • ARE ELECTRONIC INVITES ACCEPTABLE? YES. ISH. – evites are completely acceptable and no longer considered “tacky” to use for shower invitations and even for save-the-dates. However, sending a hard copy invitation for the actual wedding is considered more appropriate still as it is a more formal event.
  • VIEL OR NO VIEL? EITHER. – this is a new one for my parents generation. Wearing a veil on the day of your wedding is definitely considered traditional, but it no longer has to be an essential piece to the brides wardrobe. Rather, it’s more of an accessory. I wore one during the ceremony, but did not wear it to the reception. I have been to plenty of weddings where the bride didn’t wear one at all.
  • IS IT OKAY TO SEE THE GROOM BEFORE HAND? YES. – traditionally, the groom didn’t see the bride until the walked down the aisle. However, the trend today is to do a “first look” where the groom and bride see each other before the ceremony in a private setting and it is captured on camera so you get some amazing photos. The upside is you get some time alone before all the events begin and you get some amazing photographs. The downside, in my opinion, is that you lose the element of surprise and pure joy that’s on the groom’s face when the doors open first the first time as the bride walks down the aisle.
  • ONLY MY DAD CAN WALK ME DOWN THE AISLE. FASLE. – anyone can walk the bride down the aisle from a stepdad to a brother to a friend. Each situation and family is different, so choose what fits your family.
  • CELL PHONE USE DURING THE CEREMONY: NO. Man, this is a hard one because so many of us use our phones as our camera. However, it is still considered rude to pull your cell phone out during a ceremony. The couple invited you to share in an intimate moment in time with them, so it’s still considered respectful to keep your phone in your pocket or purse.
  • INVITE GUESTS TO MULTIPLE SHOWERS. YES AND NO. – often there are multiple showers for a bride, each hosted by a different group of friends. For example, your college friends may throw one, your aunts may throw one, etc. The rule still stands that you should not invite the same person to multiple showers as it seems greedy and is asking a lot of people. However, the exception to the rule would be you may want your mother or MIL or your maid of honor at multiple showers. I occasionally invited friends to 2 showers if the friend groups crossed over, but in that case you only expect one gift from them. Do not except or encourage them to bring a gift to more than one shower.
  • SHOWER GIFT AND WEDDING GIFT? NO.  – This is another rule that still stands. If you are invited to a shower in addition to the wedding, you are only expected to bring one gift. You are welcome to bring a gift to both a shower and the wedding, but you are only expected to do one.
  • CAN GUESTS WEAR WHITE? NO. – I think this is one that’s changing, as I’ve attended multiple weddings where guests have worn lace or worn white. However, I am not willing to let this tradition go. I mean the bride only gets one day (hopefully), so let her have her moment and wear your white dress another day.
  • WEDDING HASHTAG? YES. – This is a new one! Everyone is on social media today, and often times the wedding couple will create a hashtag to use for wedding events and the big day. Y’all, use it. It is such a neat way for the wedding couple to see photos from all of their guests and it’s so simple to use!
  • WEDDING CAKE IS THE ONLY ACCEPTABLE DESSERT. FALSE. – Having a wedding cake is no longer the only acceptable form of dessert. Do what fits your style! One of my sweet friends did a dessert table where members of her family all baked their favorite sweets and honestly, her dessert table was more of a hit than traditional cake!
  • WHO GETS AN “AND GUEST?” UP TO YOU. – This one is hard. The traditional way of doing this is to only “and guest” those in committed relationships/marriages. However, we “and guested” our wedding party as well as those in committed relationships. It’s up to the bride.
  • I WAS IN MY FRIEND’S WEDDING, DOES SHE HAVE TO BE IN MINE? NO. – it’s typically viewed as the nice thing to do, but you’re not obligated to do anything you don’t want to do. So, if you don’t want that person in your wedding party, you are not obligated to do so.
  • KIDS AT A WEDDING? YOUR CALL. – as with each wedding, this is one that’s left up to the bride. However, whatever the bride decides – kids or no kids – should be respected.
  • DO I TIP MY VENDORS? YES AND NO. – Yes, you tip if they are a non-contract vendor. No, you do not tip if you have a contract with them like your food vendor.