9 Wedding Etiquette Rules You Should Break

by LWS

Who has a completely traditional wedding anymore?

It seems like most of the proper etiquette is archaic, and needs updating. Check out these 9 updates just in time for your wedding.


The bride’s family should pay.


More and more couples are waiting until later in life to marry, or until they are more financially stable. This means more couples are paying for the brunt of their own marriage, with parents picking up a few small bills. Gone are the days of strict rules for paying too: The bride’s family no longer pays for the entire reception, while the groom’s family only buys the alcohol.


Brides must wear white.


We can thank Queen Victoria for this tradition. Before she did it, women simply wore their nicest dress for their nuptials. These days, it is perfectly acceptable to wear a dress of any color, and various lengths.


Guests cannot wear white.


Typically, white is reserved for the bride. However, if you wear a summer cream or a winter white to a wedding, nobody will condemn you as long as you aren’t trying to upstage the bride. Nothing too wedding gown-y, alright?


The mother of the bride cannot host the bridal shower.


Tradition says that your mom can’t host your shower because there could be favoritism or ranking of gifts. Now however, with more couples planning their own nuptials, mothers often feel left out of the planning process. It has become perfectly acceptable for mothers to help out with the planning, along with the bridesmaids of course.


You have to participate in the bouquet toss if you are single.


While you don’t have to participate, you also shouldn’t watch the event unfold in disgust. When the toss is announced, simply go grab another drink, take a breather outside, or head to the ladies’ room to re-apply your lipstick.


Your registry is only shared by word of mouth.


In the days where everyone lived right down the street, it was the norm to only speak of your registry in person, or at least just spoken. Nowadays, that’s just not how it is. Embrace and use available registry websites, put a link on your website, and talk about it on Facebook. That way everybody knows who already got what and you don’t have multiple toasters.


Asking for cash is blasphemous. 


In many other cultures, it’s cash only. But for Americans, it was simply very taboo. When creating your registry, you can definitely add a line that says cash gifts are always welcome. In an effort to make traditionalists more comfortable, at least have a few traditional items on the list, like dishes or towels for example.


Single over 18 guests are allowed a “plus one”.


Let’s face it, weddings are expensive. It is totally acceptable to do away with “plus ones” in an effort to relieve stress on the budget. Plus, sometimes it’s best to know who exactly is coming to your wedding, so your wedding photos aren’t filled with unfamiliar faces.


You have an entire year to send thank-you notes.


This practice made sense at the time. Before, it was customary to include a wedding photo in you thank you cards. However, it would take sometimes upwards of six months(!) for photos to process and get back to you. In the age of digital photos, E-mails, and faster turn around rates, you have 2-3 months to get them out in a polite amount of time. Besides, “Thanks for coming!” isn’t acceptable anymore; it takes a more personal touch, so work quickly so you have plenty of fresh memories to draw from.


Now that you’ve gotten a better idea of what is and isn’t expected now, how will you apply it to your own wedding? Sound off in the comments!




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