Tradition has guided wedding rituals for centuries. These customs have created many etiquette rules that are still in practice today. Etiquette questions surround weddings so heavily, that we created an entire series related to the topic (see our weekly Wediquette Wednesday posts).

Recently, Martha Stewart Weddings challenged a few seemingly iron clad rules of wedding etiquette that can affect not only the ceremony and reception activities, but also other elements of the day, such as the setting and color scheme.


The rules they say are out the window are as follows:

  • The couple doesn’t have to wait until the ceremony to see each other.
  • The bride doesn’t have to walk down the aisle with her father.
  • The bride’s parents don’t always pay for the wedding.
  • You can skip the receiving line.
  • Your wedding doesn’t have to be in a house of worship.
  • The bridal party can definitely wear black.
  • Brides can wear white to their second wedding.


Many of these have been in gradual decline for years. The couple’s “first look,” for example, has gained in popularity, perhaps due in part to the creative – and photogenic – ways couple and their photographers are executing the moment.

Receiving lines have fallen to the wayside in favor of the couple casually mixing and mingling with guests. Though, still being in the South, we don’t know many people whose mama wouldn’t make them greet every single guest. Listen to your mama.

Black for bridesmaid’s dresses is a trend we love. The color is classic, elegant and is neutral – so it matches with most color schemes. Especially white, which many brides are now choosing for their maids. It makes for a striking photo and a nice complement if the bride opts for an off-white gown.

On that note, any first time bride or second can wear a white gown or choose to wear a color. The norm of wearing white on your Big Day is fading quickly – ivory, champagne and even tints of blue have been seen everywhere from the runway to weddings here at home. 


Do you agree with this list? Or maybe you ditched a “rule” at your wedding? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.