4 Modern Updates to Wedding Etiquette


If you’re planning your wedding, you know there are a lot of traditions and etiquette rules to follow. Etiquette rules were put in place to help people navigate communication and social interactions. But, let’s face it: some of these social rules are outdated. Weddings are planned a little differently now.

Here’s what you need to know to keep up with modern wedding etiquette.

Not Everyone Needs a Ring to be Engaged

It’s true! In a survey conducted by Brilliant Earth, 30% of respondents said they didn’t think they needed a ring to be engaged. Some couples are breaking away from buying an engagement ring before the proposal; 12% of respondents said they planned on picking a ring together.

Who Pays for What?

Traditional etiquette says the bride’s family pays for the big day, while the groom’s family takes on the responsibility of paying for the rehearsal dinner. Gone are the days when the bride’s family is assumed to pay for the wedding.

48% of the couples who answered the survey mentioned they either paid for their wedding themselves or they were planning to.

There are social media rules

It’s important to remember there are some rules when it comes to social media. If you’re attending a wedding: use the wedding hashtag. That was created for a reason! Essentially, the hashtag helps keep all the photos of the wedding in one place. That way, It’s much easier for the happy couple to check out the pics of their big day.

68% of survey respondents said you should wait for the bride or groom to post a picture of the wedding day itself before posting on social media. You never know if the bride or groom will want to share professional pictures first! If this is your wedding, be sure to let your guests know whether you’d like them to share photos, or wait. You can even ask that guests “unplug” during the reception. Besides, no one wants to miss out on the dance floor because of a device.

Choose a seat, not a side

Traditionally, the bride’s family sits on the left and the groom’s family sits on the right. It helps with the symbolism of, essentially, giving the bride away. She walks down the aisle next to her family and walks out of the church or wedding venue next to his family. Who wants to divvy up their family and friends though? Some couples opt for open seating, which is a modern way of welcoming everyone into the family.

We know wedding planning can be stressful, and it’s hard to remember everything you should be doing as a guest or someone in the bridal party. Help yourself navigate modern wedding etiquette by getting to know how it’s changed over the years. As the times change, it’s easier and easier to break away from tradition and create your own rules.

Because rules, as they say, are made to be broken.