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Modern Wedding Etiquette: Everything You Need to Know

The rules of wedding etiquette are always changing, but many things remain the same. There are tons of new wedding trends that we have to keep up with, so we’re here to help you with the modern day rules of wedding etiquette. Keep reading for the new and old rules for both the bride and groom and also their wedding guests!

Modern Day Wedding Etiquette for the Couple

Selfies at the wedding | Modern Wedding Etiquette: Everything Your Need to Know | Kennedy Blue

Allison Hopperstad

Rethink the Registry

Unlike the 1940s when couples wouldn’t start a life together until they got married, in 2018, most of us start a life with someone before we get marry them. Living with someone before you get married means you have already set up a home together, and you probably don’t need new linens or kitchen appliances. Of course, you may need some new kitchen appliances to get rid of those old ones, but asking for monetary gifts is the new go-to. However, you should be sure to let your guests know exactly what it is being put toward, maybe your honeymoon or upgrading your home, so that they know their money is going to a good cause. Check out our bride's guide to creating the perfect wedding registry for some helpful tips.

Stick to Physical Invites

Keeping your wedding invitations in paper form is still essential today in this digital age. Receiving a wedding invitation via email or Facebook is very impersonal, but sending a personal paper invitation to each person gives it that special touch. Digital invites are still fine for pre- and post-wedding festivities, including the rehearsal dinner and morning-after brunch.

Beautiful wedding invitations! | Modern Wedding Etiquette: Everything You Need to Know | Kennedy Blue

Catherine Leanne Photography

Think Before You Tweet

You just got engaged and you're so happy that you just want to scream it from the rooftops! It may be tempting, but how would you feel if you found on on Twitter that your best friend was getting married? Keep yourself from tweeting and putting up those insta's until you tell your closest friends and family privately in person. 

Consider Co-ed Wedding Parties

Bridesmaids and groomsmen aren't strictly divided by gender anymore these days. Bring out your groomsaids and bridesmen and embrace your co-ed wedding parties! It doesn't matter the gender because its all about sharing your big day with those who are closest to you!

Split the Costs

Back in the day, it was very common and almost expected for the brides family to pay for the entire cost of the wedding. However, we are in 2017 and although it is fine for the bride's family to accept the responsibility of paying for the whole thing, it is no longer expected. Many couples these days split the cost between the brides family and the grooms family. Some couples even skip the family drama entirely and pay for the whole thing themselves! 

Get Online

At this point, it seems like almost every single couple who gets engaged makes a wedding website. Why? Because they are seriously so helpful! Because you can include so much more information versus what you can include on your invitation, it makes for a super helpful resource for your wedding guests! Need ideas on how to create one and what to include? Check out this guide on how to create the perfect wedding website.

Cut the Cake

If you haven't noticed, non-traditional deserts are taking the wedding scene by storm! Re-think a traditional tiered cake and go for something fun like donuts, cupcakes, cheesecake, cookies, etc. Or try a fun bar idea with candy, popcorn, or s'mores.


Creating a wedding hashtag adds a special touch to your wedding, and it is a fun way to capture the memories of the big day by asking your guests to post all pictures with your wedding hashtag! Also, creating a snapchat filter can also be a cute fun way to spread the word of your wedding day! 

Cute hashtag sign for your wedding! | Modern Wedding Etiquette: Everything You Need to Know | Kennedy Blue

Modern Day Wedding Etiquette For the Guests

Keep it Private

You may be excited to spill the news that your cousin, best friend, or even sister or brother are finally tying the knot! But, be sure to hold yourself back and let the couple announce their big news. Instead of posting on Facebook, congratulate the couple privately! 

Be in the Moment

You were invited to celebrate one of the biggest days of the couple's lives, so enjoy it! Don't sit there and tap your thumbs on your phone all night or sit on snapchat looking at all your friends stories, wondering what they're doing. You are celebrating the love of two people and they want to share that with you! Throw your devices in your purse and start socializing! 

To Post or Not?

Like I mentioned earlier, it is common for the couple to create a wedding hashtag to accumulate dozens of photos in one place, so of course it is encouraged for the guests to take snaps and post pictures on Facebook! However, some couples don't welcome social media on their big day because they want to be the first ones to post wedding news! Be sure to ask the bride and grooms whether or not they are okay with social media posts from their wedding, and respect their wishes! 

Instant Gratification

You received your wedding invitation in the mail today and you can't wait to text the couple and your friends that you'll obviously be attending, because why would you wait forever to send the couple a response if we are in the digital age of email and cell phones? However, keep in mind that the bride and groom probably put a lot of time into figuring out their guest list, and collecting responses over text and email is not an easy way to keep track of who's coming. Make sure you send your reply in whatever form its requested, most likely by actually mailing your RSVP back to them.

When in Doubt, Throw it Out 

You think you look so cute in that snap, but wait, the bride is mid sneeze! Despite how beautiful you may look in that pic, keep in mind this is the bride and groom's big day, not yours. The newlyweds want to remember everything, but I don't think they'd appreciate you posting unflattering pictures of them on the biggest day of their lives! 

Stay Out of the Way

Even if the couple accepts your substandard photography skills, don't forget that they probably have a professional photographer as well. Stay out of their way and let them do their job to capture all of the picture perfect moments of the bride, groom, and their guests! 

Ship It & Forget It

Since just about all couples now have online registries, you may as well save yourself and the couple the hassle of carrying it to and from the wedding and just ship the item(s) directly to the bride and/or groom! Some shops even offer the option to gift wrap it or send a note with the shipment for a special touch!

Lets Chat

These are just some of the rules for modern day wedding etiquette! Let us know your thoughts, or any other wedding rules you can think of! 

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Leave a comment

April 14, 2018 09:05

Such great ideas and information! Thanks

March 12, 2018 06:27

thanks for the ideas. our wedding will be this coming August 2018.

February 06, 2018 18:56

Great useful information!

Meghan Schmidt
February 06, 2018 18:45

Looking through all of these actually helped a lot. I really was looking for these kinds of things, especially when it came to the registry.

shannon fowler
February 03, 2018 19:46

This is such a great post. Ive noticed a lot of wedding etiquette is much different than what I had learned from my parents as a child.

January 04, 2018 09:35

This information was very helpful. I think these things are very important to keep in mind when planning a wedding. One oft things that stuck out to me was sending paper invitations. I think that is important for guests and with technology and wedding websites becoming so popular the paper sentimental invitations get lost and forgotten about.

Cameron Woodruff
January 04, 2018 08:53

Great point about the registry! Neither of us are much for cooking, so honeymoon fund is much more ideal to us!

Savanna Mertz
January 02, 2018 13:11

The info about social media was great! I’m SO glad my fiance and I waited a few days to share our engagement on Facebook and Instagram, because it gave us plenty of time to call or tell the most important people in our lives the news first. No regrets there, and I want the same for our wedding!

Mariah Kempen
January 02, 2018 12:37

This is very useful!!! Good information

Mackenzie Flynn
December 31, 2017 02:18

I am super excited to put our wedding website together. I’m hoping to have guests RSVP online. I also think it’d be fun to link our professional photos on the wedding website after the fact for guests to view/download.

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