Wedding Etiquette in the Electronic Age

These days, computers, cell phones, and PDAs are a part of our daily lives. When it comes to planning your wedding, they can certainly come in very handy. With new technology, though, comes new etiquette, and there a few things to keep in mind when it comes to combining electronics and your wedding.

The first thing to know is that quicker isn’t always better. This may sound like it goes against how we live today, but it really does not. After all, if all you cared about was getting married as expeditiously as possible, then you would pop into City Hall on your lunch break, not plan a full ceremony and reception. So although it is great to be efficient, forget the idea that speed and convenience are all that matter, because that simply isn’t the case in society.

There are many ways that you can use your computer and other electronics to great advantage when planning your wedding. It is great to be able to peruse venues online, pick out your handmade wedding jewelry from a Internet retailer, and be able to text your fiance with questions during the day. But it is still true that the personal touch is best in some instances. That is why it feels more special when your wedding jewelry, for example, is handmade especially for you.

The personal touch brings us to one of the biggest etiquette questions: is it okay to send wedding invitations via email or evite? The answer is unequivocally NO! Do you really want the invitation to your special day to be mixed in with a bunch of offers for Viagra and credit scores? Sending a proper invitation in the mail on a good quality stationary sets the right tone for a wedding.

When it comes to the responses for your wedding, you can consider setting up a website where guests can R.S.V.P. Online. There is nothing wrong with this from a manners perspective, but you do run the risk that some of your older, less computer savvy guests may not respond. Base your decision on your guests list. Another option is to include a response card with the invitation, but to note on it that the reply can either be mailed in, or logged on your wedding website. This is probably the safest bet.

A great use of technology for planning your wedding is to set up the aforementioned wedding website. It is perfectly acceptable to direct guests there to find out about hotel and travel information, rather than sending out a huge packet of information. You will probably also save a lot of money on the printing and postage this way.

Wedding guests have certain obligations when it comes to electronic manners, as well. First and foremost: turn off all media during the ceremony. To allow your phone to ring as the bride and groom recite their vows would be incredibly rude and disrespectful. To answer the call would be unspeakable!

This is not to say that electronics cannot have a place in a wedding. They can be used to connect loved ones who are unable to attend the wedding. Set up a webcam for your brother in the military, grandfather in the nursing home, or anyone else who would love to watch you exchange your vows, but is not able to make the trip.

A lot of etiquette is little more than common sense and courtesy. Just remember that a marriage is a very important event, as should be treated with the dignity that it deserves. If you keep a few simple things in mind, you can be sure that technology will enhance your wedding day, rather than detracting from it.