10 wedding rules you can break. What do you think?
Old School Rule #1: The bride's parents pay for the wedding.
New Rule: Every couple funds the festivities in different ways. Maybe your mom and dad want to pay for every single thing, but, unlike in the past where the bride's family was expected to foot the whole bill, they're in no way obligated to now. Grooms' parents and the couples themselves chip in nearly as often as brides' parents do. It just depends on your family's situation. If you'd like your fiancé's parents' help, your husband-to-be will need to ask for it -- not you, and certainly not your parents. Just remember: Whoever pays gets a say. If you know your mother-in-law will insist on an in-church ceremony if she contributes and you've got your heart set on exchanging vows on a sandy beach, you may be happier cutting your guest list than asking her to contribute anything.
Old School Rule #2: You must invite everyone with a guest.
New Rule: If they'll know others, skip the plus-one. It's still polite (and very appreciated!) to invite guests' significant others, but if you're inviting a group of coworkers, for instance, and two or more of them are single, they should have no problem attending solo. Only when guests won't know anyone aside from the couple is it mandatory to let them bring a date. It's kind to invite attendants with guests too (they are shelling out big bucks for their attire!).
Old School Rule #3: Your registry should consist entirely of housewares for your new home.
New Rule: You can register for anything from honeymoon hotel accommodations to skiing equipment. Guess what, Grandma? Lots of couples live together before they get married and may have all of the towels and blenders they'll ever want. You can request upgraded versions of home items you already own, but nothing should stop you from creating a honeymoon or otherwise "untraditional" registry. These are your gifts, and you need to be happy with them! If you're inviting a few Internet-less guests, including items from a brick-and-mortar store they can actually get to will help prevent a buildup of unwanted presents. But you should feel free to include a ping-pong table for your basement or the complete Sex and the City DVD collection on your wish list if you can't use yet another kitchen appliance. A word of caution: Some of the older folks think that they know what brides and grooms really need, so they may get you an iron even if you haven't requested one.
Old School Rule #4: You must wear a long, white gown.
New Rule: Wear whatever you want! Sure, most brides go the long white or ivory route, but for your wedding day attire, anything goes: from a retro short dress to a silver, slinky sheath to a (gasp!) black pantsuit. As long as you feel fabulous in your outfit, it can be any color or style. You can even skip the veil! Warning: Your fashion choices may wind up shocking your older guests, especially the ones who equate wearing white with "purity." If you'd prefer that your look pleases the crowd but aren't willing to go totally traditional, try working in a hint of color via a dress sash, your shoes, jewelry or a hair accessory or opting for a tea-length dress.
Old School Rule #5: Your mom can't throw your shower.
New Rule: Anyone can throw your shower! People used to think it was rude for the bride's mother to host a party where the sole purpose was for her daughter to get gifts. Other close family members, like sisters, were similarly forbidden from hosting. We didn't get this then, and we don't get it now, and luckily, today's mothers of the bride are ignoring the passé etiquette. In some cultures and regions of the US, like Italians in the Northeast, the mother always hosted her daughter's shower. So encourage your mom to throw yours if you think that she wants to! Your bridesmaids may be itching to throw a shower for you too, so make sure that they coordinate with your mom before they make any definite plans.
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