Tips On Modern Wedding Etiquette

Are you planning a wedding? Do you struggle with the exactitudes of modern day etiquette?

And, did you know that a wedding calls for rules of etiquette that differ from other events? If your answers are “yes”, “yes”, and no, then we’re here to help! 

Although most people acknowledge that wedding planning can be stressful and all-consuming, few have any idea of just how tough it can truly be. Now, when you add to that the increased pressure that comes from trying to obey traditional wedding conventions—to please your grandmother and other more “old school” relatives—while trying to plan the event to be a reflection of YOU, the already daunting task can become even more burdensome. So, give yourself a break…and allow us to help educate you on some of the finer points of modern wedding etiquette! 

The Guest List

One of the trickiest tasks when planning a wedding, most brides DREAD creating their guest list. Fortunately, the guidelines pertaining to the creation of the guest list have evolved quite a bit over the past few years. Much more so than before, couples are taking control over who will be celebrating their nuptials with them. No longer are distant relations, work acquaintances, and family friends automatically entitled to an invite to your special day. If you’re not especially close with your great aunt, but are with your friends’ parents, then invite them instead! On this particular day, the world is your oyster, Dolls! Take control, and don’t feel obligated to invite just anyone to your wedding; you want to see familiar faces in your photos, not semi-strangers. 


The biggest concern of almost every bride, upon learning that she is to be married, is the all-important decision of what to wear. In Medieval times, ladies simply wore their finest dresses. In the early 1800’s, though, Queen Victoria of England revolutionized the concept of the wedding dress—she made it lacey, and she made it white. Since then, brides have stuck with the Victorian wedding dress ideal. However, new times bring fabulous changes! Now, brides are donning gorgeous dresses in hues ranging from blushed pink to emerald green; some are even sporting tailored suits, short dresses, and jumpsuits! Inspired by their personal coloring or their desired theme, these ladies are flouting tradition, and being their amazingly unique selves. Take a cue from them and don’t let (sort’ve) recent traditions dictate your wedding apparel…wear what makes YOU feel most beautiful!

First Looks

Historically, the bride and groom weren’t permitted to see each other until the wedding, on the day of the ceremony. Therefore, the night before, they’d kiss and part ways—eager to see each other at the alter the next day. Nowadays, most brides and grooms no longer live with their parents when planning to marry. In fact, most couples live together well before they get married…it is a new millennium, after all! So, for some couples, the emphasis upon not seeing each before the ceremony just isn’t that important. Moreover, one of the primary reasons why brides are so excited and nervous to walk down the aisle is the anticipation they feel about their partner’s reaction! Therefore, in recent years, the “first look” has been increasingly popular. This gives soon-to-be-wed couple the opportunity to enjoy this special moment privately—away from the hustle and bustle of guests and wedding parties…as it should be!

Social Media

It seems that, nowadays, every couple creates a catchy hashtag for their wedding. Not only is this a fun way to post about your wedding to social media, but it also allows you to keep track of other people’s post regarding your wedding. Essentially, this means that you know every time that someone posts about your wedding…so you get the added benefit of access to their individual photos of the event! This gives you a more “real” feel for how your wedding was experienced from the perspective of our guests, and it contributes to your mental treasure trove of wedding images—the ones that you’re sure to happily share with your children one day!

Thank You Notes

When the wedding has been held, everything has been cleaned-up, and you’re officially a duo for life, you would think that you could stop stressing about everything wedding-related and move-on…but that’s not quite the case! One of the few dictates of traditional wedding etiquette to survive the test of time, the “thank you” note is still absolutely essential. When you fail to send a “thank you” note for a bridal shower or wedding gift that you’ve received, you come across as entitled and ungrateful…even if the reality is that you’re simply unorganized or forgetful! Remember, etiquette dictates that you have up to you a year (from the date of your wedding) to send your “thank you” cards, but save yourself a lot of time and stress…simply write a short and sweet note to the sender each time you receive a wedding gift in the mail. While this may seem tedious, it’ll save you so much grief in the long run. After all, who wants to have to “crank-out” 50 notes in a single day, or, even worse, all of them at once?!? Believe me, sweet friends, you’ll have enough on your plate after the wedding—between combining households and finding space to store all your nifty new gifts—you definitely won’t want to still be stressing about remaining, wedding-related “to-dos”!

Historically, wedding etiquette was very rigid—either the couples adhered to the set traditions, or the guests judged the event to be sub-par. However, modern times have brought-about a more open mindset when it comes to weddings (thank goodness!!). Rules have changed and long-standing traditions have been disregarded…and, in their place, stands a fabulous new appreciation for creativity and authenticity! So, rather than worrying about every single aspect of traditional wedding etiquette, plan an event that reflects who you are and what you love—everything else is only secondary!

Till next time, Dolls!