Hagen History Center

DON’T Wear White to a Wedding! 5 Wedding Etiquette Facts to Know in 2024

Weddings are timeless celebrations of love and commitment, and continuously evolving. In 2024, as we continue to understand modern relationships and societal norms, here are five wedding etiquette tips to keep in mind the next time you plan to celebrate:

1. Digital RSVPs are a new norm
Paper RSVP cards are becoming less popular, and many couples are switching to using a digital option. This environmentally friendly method is convenient for guests, and also the couple.

Our advice: Respond the requested way, and in a timely manner. Need help? It is ok to reach out to the couple and ask.

2. Appreciate personal touches and details
Couples are embracing individuality more than ever, especially in celebrating marriage. From unique attire or music, to nontraditional vows – personalization is at the forefront. And what’s not to love? These little touches are direct reflections of the couple.

Our advice: Keep an open mind! If a couple does something differently, or doesn’t follow popular wedding traditions – that’s an intentional choice to be respected. Celebrating the couple’s love story in their own way is what matters most.

3. Mindful photos and social media sharing:
While capturing and sharing moments from weddings on social media is commonplace, it’s essential to be mindful of the couple’s preferences. Unless you were asked by the couple, chances are, they spent a nice chunk of change hiring a professional photographer or videographer to capture their special day. Standing in the aisle, or outside of the ceremony seating area is also a big no-no. You may be in the way of hired professionals. iPhone photos never compete!

Our challenge: Encourage yourself and family to be fully present, and leave your devices aside during the ceremony until the reception.

Our advice: If wanting to post photos from the celebration, wait until after the couple does, or ask them first.

4. Gift-giving is evolving:
In 2024, the traditional wedding registry may no longer be an option. Alternative gift-giving options are increasingly popular. These often include cash funds that are pooled for a honeymoon, down-payment on a house, or other significant high-ticket items. Online registry websites are also a popular alternative that allows couples to select items from multiple stores or receive monetary gifts.

Our advice: Guests should consider the couple’s preferences when choosing a gift. Regardless of that choice, including a thoughtful card expressing well wishes is always appreciated.

5. Inclusivity is non-negotiable:
Weddings in 2024 should embrace diversity and inclusivity in all aspects. Whether it’s ensuring accessibility for guests with disabilities, accommodating dietary restrictions, couples, vendors, venues, and guests alike should prioritize making everyone feel valued and included in the celebration of love.

*Bonus round:*
Dress code flexibility:
While traditional dress codes like black-tie or cocktail attire still hold sway in many weddings, couples are often choosing more relaxed and flexible dress codes. Themed attire has also become increasingly popular. Guests should pay attention if the dress code is specified on the invitation and dress accordingly. As the saying goes, it’s always better to be overdressed than under. And yes, it’s still rude to wear white!

Our advice: Always keep in mind the venue and theme of the wedding. Don’t try to steal the show, but make thoughtful decisions on where you are celebrating, the weather, and if details are specified by the couple.

As we continue to navigate the landscape of celebrations in 2024, it’s essential to approach each with respect, mindfulness, and a spirit of inclusivity. The Hagen History Center is proud to provide three incredibly welcoming, fully-accessible, and inclusive venue spaces for any occasion or celebration. By keeping our tips in mind, we can all contribute to creating memorable and meaningful experiences for the ones we love most! Interested in hosting an event with us? Contact us at events@eriehistory.org

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All photos captured by photographer Rylee Prenatt, 2023. Stylish guests attend a September 2023, Ferraro/Gross wedding at the Watson-Curtze Mansion. Their wedding was disco-themed, and full of personal touches which guests joyfully embraced!