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The Modern Guide to Wedding Etiquette: What’s Changed?

March 5, 2024

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With trends and traditions constantly shifting, it can be a bit overwhelming to navigate the dos and don’ts of your big day, especially when you’re trying to blend personal touches with time-honored practices. So, let’s dive into the modern guide to wedding etiquette and explore what’s changed, shall we?

wedding etiquette

Guest Etiquette

Invitations and RSVPs

Gone are the days when wedding invitations were strictly paper. While traditional invites remain popular, digital invitations are becoming a chic and eco-friendly option. A couple I worked with last year designed stunning e-invites that included a mini love story animation! However, it’s crucial to consider your guest demographics; older guests might still prefer a physical invite, so perhaps do both.

RSVPs have also gone digital, making tracking responses easier. Just remember to make the process as seamless as possible to ensure a smooth headcount for your big day.

wedding etiquette

Dress Codes

Deciphering dress codes can feel like translating ancient hieroglyphs. I once attended a wedding labeled as “Garden Glam,” and guests were equally puzzled and excited. The key here is clarity. If you have a specific vision, consider including a brief explanation or examples on your wedding website. It helps guests to feel confident in their attire choices, and it avoids any discomfort on the day.

Wedding Ceremony Etiquette

Unplugged Ceremonies

More couples are opting for unplugged ceremonies, asking guests to put away their phones and cameras. This trend not only ensures guests are truly present during the ceremony but also eliminates random flashes or obstructions in professional photos. A gentle reminder at the ceremony’s start or a tasteful sign at the entrance can make all the difference.

wedding etiquette

Vow Exchanges

Vow exchanges have become deeply personal, with many couples steering away from traditional scripts and choosing to write their own. It’s a beautiful way to share your love story and promises to each other. Don’t be afraid to be authentic; some of the most memorable vows I’ve captured were a mix of heartfelt and humorous.

Reception Etiquette

Social Media Sharing

In today’s connected world, it’s natural for guests to want to share the joy on social media. Setting guidelines for what and when guests can post can help manage what is shared publicly. Creating a unique wedding hashtag can also aggregate posts for you to enjoy later. Just make sure to communicate your wishes clearly, perhaps through your wedding website or a sign at the venue.

Speeches and Toasts

The speeches and toasts segment has become more inclusive, with not just the best man or maid of honor speaking but also other significant family members or friends. Encourage speakers to keep it concise and sweet. Remember, it’s about quality, not quantity.

The Role of Technology

Wedding Websites

Wedding websites are your go-to for all things wedding-related. From sharing your love story to providing logistical details like venue directions and accommodation options, it’s an invaluable resource. Plus, it’s a great way to share updates or changes in a pinch. Just ensure it’s password-protected to keep your personal details safe.

Live Streaming

With families and friends spread across the globe, live streaming your wedding allows everyone to partake in your special day, even if they can’t make it in person. Platforms like Zoom or dedicated wedding streaming services make this possible. Just remember to test the tech beforehand to avoid any glitches.

Gift Etiquette

Registries and Cash Gifts

Today’s couples often live together before marriage, which means traditional home goods registries might not fit their needs. Many opt for honeymoon funds, charity donations, or even contributions towards a home down payment. It’s all about what makes sense for you as a couple. If you prefer cash gifts, subtly include the information on your wedding website rather than the invitation to keep it tasteful.

Thank You Notes

Despite the digital age, personalized thank you notes haven’t gone out of style. They’re a must for expressing gratitude to your guests for their gifts and presence at your wedding. Aim to send them within three months post-wedding. And while handwritten notes are cherished, if you’re strapped for time, personalized emails can also do the trick.


Wedding etiquette has indeed transformed, becoming more inclusive and personalized than ever before. As you plan your special day, remember that these guidelines are not set in stone. They’re here to inspire and guide you as you navigate the path to creating a wedding that truly reflects you and your partner’s unique love story.

As a wedding photographer, I’ve seen the joy and love that shines brightest when couples honor their personalities and preferences above all. So, whether you’re going digital with your invites or opting for an unplugged ceremony, know that your day will be perfect because it’s yours.

Feel free to share your thoughts, questions, or any etiquette dilemmas you might be facing. As we navigate this journey together, remember, the most important thing is that your wedding day feels authentically you.

If you’re looking for someone to capture the beauty and uniqueness of your day through a lens, I’m here for you. My goal is to create a visual narrative of your love story, highlighting all the moments that make your wedding uniquely yours. Reach out to me, and let’s make your memories last a lifetime.

Happy planning, and here’s to a day as beautiful and unique as your love story!


welome to my blog

Hi there! Welcome to my blog about all things photography. Stay a while and say hello!

Learn more



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