Marriage In The Digital Era: Etiquette Rules For Wedding Planning
The internet has changed everything – that’s what older generations will tell you as they reflect on everything from finding a date to planning your wedding. But for younger people, many of whom came of age writing online dating profiles and who consider texting peak communication, it’s hard to imagine how anything got done before the web, and that includes planning a wedding.
The problem with this generation gap, then, is that many things that seem perfectly normal to young brides and grooms are considered taboo by older relatives. This can cause unnecessary tension as you plan your special day.
So what are the modern rules for planning a wedding, and when is going digital appropriate? Here are a few factors to consider as you begin the planning process.
Fancy Affairs And Casual Shindigs
One of the first things you’ll want to account for when planning your wedding is how fancy you’d like it to be. For those planning a black tie affair, the type of wedding where guests will need to buy a gown or rent a tux, you can rule out digital invitations right away. If you’re spending a lot on the rest of the wedding and you’re expecting guests to buy special attire and give a gift, most agree that an evite is too informal and may even be considered tacky.
For those having a more low-key wedding, however, digital wedding invitations may be suitable – especially if you’re young and inviting primarily friends. Many young people aren’t settled down and keeping track of your college friends’ addresses from save the date to thank you card can be an onerous task. And if you have older relatives who’ll expect a paper invitation, you can simply order a few dozen simple cards online or fill out store bought invitations.
One reason you may want to avoid digital invitations for any affair, however, is because they make it far more difficult to indicate who is invited. Typically wedding invitations are addressed to those invited – an entire family, an individual and guest, or a couple. There’s no equivalent indicator on digital invites, though, so you may find that you’re playing host to people you didn’t intend to invite if you go this route.
A Photo Finish
Most weddings still have a formal wedding photographer, but this doesn’t mean your guests won’t feel compelled to take pictures – especially if you have a wedding hashtag. That’s why you should be explicit about whether or not people can or should take pictures during your ceremony.
Some couples welcome photography by family and friends, but others, especially those having a religious wedding prefer to have an unplugged ceremony. If you’d like your guests to refrain from taking pictures during the ceremony itself, note this in the program and consider adding a sign near the entrance.
So Long And Thanks
No matter what choices you make about the presence of technology at your wedding, couples should be clear that it’s unacceptable to send thank you notes by email. Though this may be the main way we communicate today, couples should offer handwritten thanks for wedding gifts. People have come out to support this exciting moment in your lives together – the least you can do is get out a pen and paper.