The times are changing, and so is wedding etiquette. If you’re about to attend a wedding soon, you may be wondering what the protocol is these days; have some cast-iron rules fallen by the wayside? What about smartphones and Instagram? Let’s have a look.

Can you wear black?

You used to not be able to, but you can now as long as it’s done with style – team it up with interesting shoes or fun jewellery. If you’re planning to wear a black dress, keep it gauzy and shapely (it can be done).

You can’t wear white or ivory, though. You just can’t.

Can you take photos on your phone?

It’s OK to take a few photos, and some couples encourage it, but make sure you know what the social media policy is before you even think about uploading anything. If you’re not sure, don’t post anything, as you could make a photo public before the bride does, and that’s not on!

Also, don’t get in the way of the professional photographer.

Or tag the bride in an unflattering photo…

Can you RSVP by email?

It depends. If you receive the invitation by email, with a request to respond by the same medium, then yes. However, if you receive it on some lovely stationery, you should respond in kind, as someone’s collating those response cards to work out numbers.

Whatever the format is, hollering “We’ll see ya there, no worries!” is really not done.

Can you avoid some traditions if you don’t like them?

A contentious tradition is the throwing of the bouquet. Some women love it, others feel it’s demeaning and sexist. If you’re of the latter opinion, then don’t make a fuss about it, just make an excuse and leave the vicinity as it’s really not about you.

If you hang around at the side, someone might try to chivvy you into joining in and you’ll have to explain why you’re not, which can create a scene or at least some tension.

Can you bring a plus-one if there’s no mention on the invitation?

You might get a fun-looking email invitation or a filigreed heavyweight card version. Either way, if there’s no mention of a plus-one, you should assume your friend or significant other isn’t invited.

If you’ve not been dating the person long, it’s not something you should query or make a fuss about. If you’re engaged or in a long-term partnership or even married, then do ask as it may be an oversight. You should start the question with “It’s no problem if there’s no plus-one, but…”

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