Former Wedding Faux Pas That Are Totally Acceptable Now

Former Wedding Faux Pas That Are Totally Acceptable Now

Taryn Williford
Jan 7, 2017

Books, magazines, well-meaning family members—they'll each tell you exactly what you should do and shouldn't do when you plan (or attend) a wedding. Not that you need to listen to all of it, or any of it really. Just do what feels right to you and your beloved, because etiquette—that big word that tells us what's proper and expected—changes all the time. Case in point, these three former wedding faux pas that have been gaining ground over the years, and are set to be just another part of the big wedding dance in the coming year.

Former Faux Pas #1: Online Invitations

Email and the internet have opened up a whole world of possibilities—both in daily life and in the wedding world—that we never could have imagined. Pre-internet, necessity forced a couple and their families to send paper invitations for every event from the engagement party to the rehearsal dinner. Post-internet etiquette kind of spun off of that tradition, insisting that it was still proper to send a separate paper invitation for every party. But not anymore.

Nowadays, it's absolutely fine to send an e-vite for a bridal shower or bachelor party. And if your wedding is casual enough and each of your guests are tech-savvy enough, I'm going to go ahead and say that you can pull off an online invitation for the wedding, even. You might clutch your pearls, but services like Paperless Post are making online stationery look damn good.

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Former Faux Pas #2: Last-Minute Additions to the Guest List

Narrowing down the guest list is one of the most stressful parts of wedding planning. In order to meet a tight budget, you'll likely end up with an 'A' list of definite guests and a 'B' list of folks you'd like to invite a little later if you have the room. There's a wealth of advice online about how to be stealthy with your 'B' list invites, insisting you get the timing just right to keep guests from knowing their status on your list, but you know what? This is an area where it pays to be genuine and polite.

The 'A' list doesn't mean "the better people," it means "the necessary people," and I think guests today are beginning to understand this, especially your friends who've planned a wedding before. (And besides, you're not fooling anybody when they make the invite list 3 weeks before the wedding after having not gotten a save-the-date.) So be honest with last-minute additions: "My parents insisted I invite my distant aunt and her rambunctious children, but it turns out they can't come! So I would be absolutely delighted if you could make it instead (it would mean a lot and would make our wedding day so much better)."

Former Faux Pas #3: Wearing Black

Despite what Vogue says, it's never appropriate for wedding guests turn up wearing white. Ever. But the other traditionally off-limits color, black, is fair game these days. Yes, even for daytime weddings.

I can't really figure out where the idea started that you can't wear black to a wedding (maybe because it's de rigeur for funeral attire and a bit foreboding at a celebration of marriage?), but it's actually one of the best choices for wedding attire today. Your goal as a guest is to look put together and appropriate, while not being over-the-top or dramatic, which, you know, is pretty much black's whole thing.

Tell us: What wedding faux pas still hold up where you're from, and which are falling by the wayside these days?

Re-edited from a post originally published 1.21.16-NT

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