Modern Wedding Etiquette for Brides & Grooms

Modern weddings are all about making them unique to you and creating your own traditions. Gone are the days where only fathers “give their daughters away,” garter and bouquet tosses are a part of every reception, and bridesmaids and groomsmen are divided equally on both sides between male and female. However, there are some wedding etiquette rules that still apply to today’s couples and some wedding etiquette that has evolved to accommodate current events and even technology. To ensure you know the proper way to go about your wedding and plan a picture-perfect day, the professionals here at Conklyn’s Weddings & Events are reviewing a few guidelines and rules to follow.

Newly engaged couple showing off ring


Sharing the Big News

Getting engaged is arguably one of the most exciting moments of your life and we know you cannot wait to yell the news as loud as you can from the mountaintops and tell the whole world. However, make sure you pause for a moment before posting on social media. After all, this is still personal news that should first be shared with your parents, siblings, grandparents, and close friends.

Handwritten guest list with purple and white flowers

The Shorter the Guest List, The Better

Big lavish weddings are happening less and less, and this is due to a few factors including our modern-day climate and current events as well as the desire to ensure quality over quantity. Keeping your guest list to a minimum means that you can spend your special day with the people you love most without having an overwhelming crowd. So, don’t feel bad about not inviting distant cousins, former co-workers, or classmates that you no longer have a close relationship with.

Guests hugging bride and groom at wedding

You’re Invited!

While we are on the subject of guest lists, it is also important to note that it is proper etiquette and customary to ensure your wedding guest list includes everyone who is invited to pre-wedding events. Engagement parties, bridal showers, bachelor and bachelorette celebrations, etc. are typically smaller functions and more intimate than the wedding itself.

Bride opening wedding gift

A Gift Registry is For Your Wedding Website

Creating a wedding registry is another traditional task on your wedding to-do list. After browsing through stores and choosing specific items with your fiancé, it may seem obvious to include your registry on your wedding invitations. Unfortunately, doing so is taboo and can leave invitees with a sour taste in their mouth as you are implying a gift is required to attend your wedding. Instead, it is proper etiquette to direct your wedding guests to your wedding website where they can find further details about your day, including a link to your registry!

Wedding signs with flower accents

Set Clear Expectations

If you plan to provide masks, hand sanitizer, socially distant seating, or other clean/safety measures, convey this to your guests to help them feel comfortable, set the tone of your day, and communicate your expectations. You can also inform them of any plans to hold your wedding ceremony and/or reception outdoors. As the bride or groom, you may also set guidelines such as asking guests to wear a mask or obtain a negative Covid test prior to attending your special day if they are not vaccinated. If you choose to take precautions, it is crucial to convey your wishes and expectations to each guest through your wedding website before they attend. This will help avoid having to address any confusion or drama during the celebration.

Video camera at wedding

Virtual Ceremonies Are All the Rage

Offering an option for guests to attend your wedding ceremony virtually is a new phenomenon that looks like it is here to stay. Between travel challenges, comfort levels, existing illness, and more, being able to celebrate special moments with friends and family isn’t as easy as it used to be. While some people may have RSVP’d by respectfully declining their invitation, they may still want to share your big day with you and a virtual option is a great way to include these loved ones.

Fancy pink and blue wedding invitations

The Best of Both Snail Mail and Technology

In the days of technology and texts, emails, wedding websites, and social media, does traditional snail mail still exist? It sure does and it deserves to be utilized for important news and invitations. Engagement announcements, “save the date” cards, postponement information, bridal shower invitations, your official wedding invitation, and hand-written “thank you” notes should all be sent via the postal system. While wedding websites certainly serve their purpose, proper wedding etiquette calls for classic paper mail. Don’t forget to include RSVP envelopes with proper postage.

Proper wedding etiquette does not equal classic wedding traditions. It is important to note that you have the freedom to plan a truly unique celebration while honoring and respecting your guests and loved ones. As you go down your checklist, be sure to reach out to your friends here at Conklyn’s Weddings & Events for support and creative ideas.