Each Wednesday, we tackle wedding etiquette. At times, it’s a reader question or one from a colleague, friend or family member and other times we’ll cover a popular issue. (Note: Questions may be edited for clarity and brevity.)
Question: I recently got engaged and my mom immediately hauled a bunch of dusty old etiquette books out of the attic. It’s 2017, but she wants me to adhere to a set of rules that date to the 1800s. It’s not that I’m against having good manners and being polite, but I want to have a modern wedding and am not terribly concerned about not wearing white if you’ve already lived together, doing a bouquet toss or having a registry. Why should I care about wedding etiquette?
Answer: We’ve written a lot lately about alternative attendants and the end of certain rules of etiquette, so your question is timely. Etiquette first and foremost exists not as a set of rules to inhibit us, but rather as guidelines to navigate social and work situations, cultures that we may not be familiar with and, or to help us be good hosts. Weddings and their surrounding celebrations can be emotional minefields, so it’s a godsend to have a roadmap. Wedding etiquette, like any form of etiquette, is meant to change and evolve with the times and at its root is kindness. So, wear whatever color you like, forego the bouquet toss and ask your guests to donate to your or their favorite charity if that floats your boat — it’s truly your day. Use the “rules” to traverse the trickier situations and traditions and anything you change or toss, do it with the right, most kind intentions. After that, as long as you make your guests feel welcome, provide refreshments and entertainment, do everything you can to say hello to each attendee and thank everyone, you will be in good shape.
Do you have a solution to share or a wedding etiquette question? Respond in the comments or email Melanie@MyNewOrleans.com.
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