Wedding Etiquette is a very broad term that covers the “dos” and “don’ts,” the “hows" and "whys” and “who’s who” of wedding planning. It covers the proper way to handle and plan all aspects of one’s wedding. There are many articles in this article directory that deal with various aspects of wedding etiquette from wedding invitation etiquette and wording to wedding attire, to the ceremony and reception.
This particular article will deal with 21st Century Wedding trends – and discussions about how wedding etiquette and some wedding customs have changed over time while other seem to have staying power.
New Trends in Wedding Etiquette in the 21st Century
Some things (traditions) will never change when it comes to wedding etiquette, however, some trends become new traditions over time.
Personalized weddings – Today’s marriage ceremonies tend to fit more to the couples’ individual tastes with expressions of their interests. They may still be lavish, but they may throw wedding etiquette out the window with a more intimate or individualized ceremony perhaps even with their own written vows.
Sharing the costs – With wedding expenses on the rise, more couples are sharing in the expenses of the wedding planning, even sometimes asking the grooms parents to help share in the expenses – a real deviation of wedding etiquette as taught previously.
High Tech Wedding Planning – Over the last few years the internet has started to play a growing role in communicating information about wedding specifics with an ability for a couple to set up their own website with information about them, the details of the wedding, gift registry info, directions, places to stay, etc. Guests can even reply and order their gifts online. Using the inter net however, to send invitations or thank you notes is still a wedding etiquette “no-no.”
Second Weddings – Nearly 45% of all marriages are for the second time around at least for one of the marrying couple. These weddings are usually more informal and even include children in the wedding party. They at least are invited to attend both the wedding and reception. That is one way that wedding etiquette is changing. Previously weddings used to be primarily an adult event.
Involved Grooms – Just like fathers-to-be are more involved with the preparation for the birth of their children, so grooms are getting more involved with wedding planning and helping to share financially and even in writing thank you notes. This is another change we are seeing in wedding etiquette in that it used to be the bride would always be the one to write thank you notes.
Different religious traditions being celebrated – We are seeing more and more interfaith marriages these days in which clergy or officiants of each are in attendance and share taking part in the ceremony.
Including parents – One of the major shifts we have seen in wedding etiquette in recent years is for mothers as well as fathers or both escorting the bride down the isle. Some brides may even choose to walk down alone.
Honor Attendants - Actually an even more radical shift noticed recently concerning wedding etiquette, is for a special male friend to stand up with the bride in the maid-of-honor position as her “honor attendant.” The same holds true for a groom to have a special female friend stand next to him as his “honor attendant.” They are referred to as
“Man of honor” and “Best woman” respectively.
More wedding attire choices – Traditionally wedding etiquette required that a wedding dress be either white or ivory. Nowadays, it seems that anything goes giving a bride full freedom to express herself. Wedding dresses can be just about anything she desires giving her full freedom to express herself and her heritage if she likes. Attendants attire is selected with the consideration of future use. Black is no longer “out” for attendants or guests and white is “in” for anyone.
Variations in color – In the past, wedding etiquette required that bouquets, floral arrangements, wedding attire, invitations, announcements, reception decorations, table linens, wedding cakes, and gift wrapping was predominately white. No so anymore as colors abound now – in fact, the more the merrier.
Destination Weddings – While it doesn’t really have any effect on wedding etiquette per say, most wedding used to take place in the bride’s home town and the reception would follow either at the same location or a nearby location. These days, weddings can take place anywhere in the word under the heading of “destination wedding.” Usually these are followed by a reception celebration at a later date.