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Monday, July 18, 2016

Wedding Etiquette Has Changed

Wedding Etiquette Has Changed

Wedding etiquette does change over time, and some of it needs to come back as a reminder.  

What Shall I Wear?

Every now and then I'll have someone say that they were surprised when they went to a wedding and a lot of the guests and even the bridal party were wearing black! It's very common for black to be one of the major wedding colors.  My first question to them is was there a particular cultural aspect to the wedding.  While black attire is bad for some cultures, white attire is taboo in other cultures regarding weddings. Also, when the economy is bad, bridesmaid dresses are shorter and wedding colors are darker during times of war.  

For most American weddings it is acceptable to wear black and is considered to have a very sophisticated look.  People attending an average American wedding would be more appalled if someone wore white.  My best advice before you attend any wedding when there is a culture represented that you aren't familiar with, is to do your homework.  I'm sure your friend or family member won't mind if you take enough interest to ask them specifically what you should wear.  I could have a year's worth of blog posts just on wedding traditions from different cultures.  When you think that you might have that figured out, you will also find that couples are borrowing aspects from all kinds of cultures.  Just be glad you don't live in an unmentioned Mediterranean country where the groom has to walk around with a fish tied to his leg for an entire day before the wedding. People have actually asked me if the fish has to be dead.  Yes, fish need water and the groom isn't walking around in water.

Registries Have Changed!

Some people are appalled that a couple actually had the nerve to have a honeymoon registry.  There are some very good reasons for having a honeymoon registry.  The average ages for a couple to get married now are 27 and 29.  They are delaying marriage for a number of reasons and many times it is because of financial reasons. Many of them have had college debt, have chosen first to buy a home together or they have had other things they wanted to accomplish before getting married.  In the meantime, they have acquired enough or more of the household items that they need.  However, they probably haven't put their focus on saving for a honeymoon. With honeymoon registries, guests can purchase as a gift to go towards anything from tours, dinners, local highlights or a luxurious spa and even upgrades.  We live in an experience economy which is particularly popular with millennials.

Etiquette for the 21st Century That Needs to Change or Is Changing!

If you haven't heard of unplugged weddings, you will and it can't come soon enough! We live daily with cell phones or tablets and most of them can take pictures.  This is the reason why  photographers love me.  When I officiate weddings, (with a couple's permission) the first announcement I make before a groom even walks down the aisle is an announcement to this effect.  

"On behalf of the ___ and ___  I am asking that you turn off all electronic devices in the form of cameras or cell phones.  ___ and ___ have paid for a professional photographer to take pictures during their ceremony and other cameras in use interfere with their lighting.  It also creates a safety concern if the doesn't know if everyone is seated or not.  Electronic devices also interfere with the sound system. Thank you for your consideration!"

Let's get real here!  A photographer was not hired to photograph someone's backside, flabby arms, tablet or the latest selfie stick!  Some things just can't be edited out! It's a shame for perfect shots to get ruined by someone else's self-absorbed behavior.  


That's all I'm going to say about them.  I've written several blog posts on that hot little topic.  I tell my clients about the service I offer to get people to turn in their Rsvp's with a better rate of return and much more quickly.  That's my trade secret and no one gets hurt in the process, by the way.

Wishing you the greatest of days!

Janis Flagg
Event Planning
Wedding Officiating

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