Wedding etiquette is tricky these days, as modern times have put a major twist on a lot of age-old wedding traditions. There are new traditions that never existed before, and old ones that have been modified over the years. With all these changes to traditions, it can be hard to know the true meaning of modern wedding etiquette!
Here are five twists on wedding traditions and etiquette to help you navigate the modern wedding world, whether you are a bride, groom or guest.
1. Paying for the Wedding
Let’s start with the one of the oldest and most traditional etiquette rules: “the bride’s parents should pay for the wedding.” This most certainly isn’t the case anymore, at least for a large majority of couples. Now, it is more common for the expenses to be split between the bride and groom’s families. There are more and more couples who are independently paying for their own weddings without any help from family members. There isn’t a wrong or right way to pay for a wedding: whatever makes sense financially for you and your partner is the way to go.
2. Sending the invitations
There’s a few etiquette twists involved in sending invitations:
Save-the-dates: This is a relatively new tradition, and they certainly aren’t required. Save-the-dates can be handy to help guests prepare in advance, especially if you’re sending e-vites (see next.)
Paper invites vs. e-vites: There’s two ways to send invites, and no one way is better than the other. You can stick with traditional paper invites sent through the mail, or you can send an email invite, or “e-vite.” E-vites save on postage, paper and make the RSVP process a breeze. However, it’s hard to get everyone on board (mhmm, grandparents!) Either way, it’s typically suggested invitations be sent at least six to eight weeks before the wedding.
Addressing names: Things are a little more “lax” now when it comes to formally addressing invites. In fact, it’s not nearly as formal any more. You can use honorifics, (Mr., Mrs., Miss, Ms., etc.), or skip them and just address people by the names they actually use.
3. Getting and giving gifts
The gift giving and getting experience have gotten especially tricky. While a gift isn’t required, it is suggested to at least give a courtesy cash gift. The new twist? You can get a gift that isn’t cash or something from the registry. You can give money towards a honeymoon or experience for the couple—and you can even send the money through instant payment apps, like Venmo and PayPal.
4. Documenting the experience
Thanks to the birth of the internet and social media, a whole new set of wedding traditions have been born.Traditionally, a simple set of pictures are taken immediately following the ceremony: the bride and groom, family members and the wedding party. Those who want more than that now have more options. Many couples hire a photographer to document the entire wedding: from the wedding party getting dressed and ready to the end of the reception dance party, and everything in between. Some even get engagement photos taken! One of the newest and most popular traditions is hiring a videographer to document the entire day and night, using the footage to make a movie of the wedding. Pretty fancy, right?Social media now plays a big role in sharing and saving memories. Some couples make wedding websites, or even make up wedding #hashtags so guests can tag social media posts and photos. Another way to share photos is to make public photo albums where guests can upload their personal photos and videos from the wedding. These tools help couples keep all their wedding memories easily and safely stored in one place: a collection from all the special people who helped celebrate their big day.
5. Planning the ceremony
The ceremony is considered to be the most traditional part of a wedding, but that is changing. Many people incorporate different personal aspects into their ceremonies, like personal vows and allowing guests to sit on whichever side they choose. We’ve ditched the “father of the bride” role, because not every bride has her father walk her down the aisle. For weddings celebrating different cultures, there may be other traditions incorporated into the ceremony.
Don’t let wedding etiquette make you sweat: new traditions and twists on these rules make modern etiquette much easier to follow. Just remember — a wedding is about celebrating two people who are in love, so don’t let the “rules” trip you up!
Planning and attending a wedding is more than etiquette: modern or traditional, every wedding needs a perfect venue for whatever traditions are being celebrated. Crystal Gardens offers different spaces and services for every kind of wedding. Contact Crystal Gardens today to start putting together your dream wedding! You can reach their event coordinators at (517) 545-1000.
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