Wedding etiquette: Madame Etiquette’s tips for a 2.0 bon ton bride
For a sophisticated and classy ceremony, the classic rules of etiquette are always observed.
Tips concerning the bouquet, dress choice, accessories, are just some of the topics that are explained and thoroughly described in the old Etiquette.
Many brides nowadays, who love refinement and tradition, find in the Etiquette a reliable and trustworthy guide to make and take care of the smallest details of their dream ceremony.
Since these writings date back to the 1500s, however, the risk of looking a bit old-fashioned is very real. So, to find a balance between respect for tradition, elegance and modernity, I decided to interview Madame Etiquette, an expert of Bon ton 2.0.
Madame Etiquette, alias Emanuela Caglio, is a wedding Bon Ton lover, the art of hospitality.
Being an expert I asked her to share with the brides who read my blog, 10 key tips for an elegant, cool and modern wedding. Let’s learn them together.
What’s the real difference between etiquette and bon ton 2.0?
“Both are Etiquette. Just the first one is the one related to the dictates of the writing of Monsignor Giovanni della Casa between 1551 and 1555, and then published in 1558 as a posthumous work of the writer. It is a collection of norms and rules on how to behave on any occasion in order to be a gallant person.
Bon Ton 2.0 or Modern Etiquette is a fresher, up-to-date version of Etiquette. An adjustment as the years and society evolve. It is the perfect mix of Etiquette, tradition and modernity.”
10 tips from Madame Etiquette for a bon ton 2.0 bride
“Thank you Emanuela for accepting my invitation for this interview. Would you mind sharing with us some wedding etiquette secrets for an elegant, refined and at the same time modern bride?
“Regarding the dress choice also the bon ton 2.0 suggests that the stylish bride should wear a dress which is not too low-cut and has ¾ sleeves even if the wedding takes place in the summer season. This is a “rule” that is often overcome by recommending to brides shoulder covers or a stole, also for a religious wedding related concern.”
Accessories and jewelry
“Concerning accessories, bon ton 2.0 also advises the harmony of the bride’s look, which is reflected by wearing gloves and a veil. Etiquette used to recommend that the bride should wear them if the groom was in a tight-fitting suit; nowadays, modern etiquette recommends that the bride can wear them even if the groom has a formal dress or a normal suit. Let’s say that more freedom of choice is left to the bride in complementing her outfit. As for jewelry, the advice is unchanged, thus the bride should wear only earrings and nothing else, not even an engagement ring for the ceremony. Lately, however, it has been accepted that the bride wear a tiny pendant or pearl necklace around her neck.”
The bouquet, as veil and gloves, is one of the elements that harmonize the bride’s look. It must be studied according to the chosen dress and the bride’s body.
“To be a bon ton-proof bouquet, even 2.0, it should be made of lilies of the valley, the flower for regal brides. Of course, we can’t find lily of the valley in all seasons, so it is recommended that it is made with seasonal flowers. We must bear in mind that this is the last gift that the fiancé gives to his betrothed and that he must have it delivered with a note, written in his own hand, by the florist who will give it to the mother or father of the bride. Nowadays this detail is often forgotten. No problem, it is easily accepted by modern etiquette. It should be noted, however, that the bouquet is not a scepter and therefore, both for etiquette and bon ton 2.0 should be brought to the navel and held with the left hand.”
What should we carry with us on our wedding day?
“There is no list of mandatory things to have with you on your wedding day. However, there is a list of what not to bring: jewelry, purse, cell phone. And, definitely, you should wear stockings. Even if lately etiquette allows summer brides not to wear them only if as footwear they have chosen a sandal. This, for the etiquette was totally forbidden, for bon ton 2.0 is tolerated.”
Madame Etiquette, and what about on the subject of Punctuality?
“The bride is granted a 10-minute maximum delay and this applies to both Etiquette and Bon ton 2.0. The important thing is not to make your guests wait too long”
Arrival and entrance into the church
The bride arrives at the church with the car that will then belong to both bride and groom at the end of the ceremony.
The bride, accompanied by her father, sits in the back seat on the passenger side. Behind the driver sits her father. If there is a bridesmaid she will sit at the front seat. The first to get out of the car is the father who opens the door to the bride and helps her get out of the car holding her bouquet. For the modern etiquette the procession from home is no longer considered, as it was done on foot. Once out of the car, the bride gives her right arm to her father and enters the church.
The bride is the last to enter, preceded by her bridesmaids and/or groomsmen. For modern etiquette all children must enter before the bride. Only if the bride requests it, the bridesmaids can hold her veil. If the wedding is not religious, considering the fact that the modern etiquette legitimized the civil ceremony, the entrance can be made by the future married couple together or for more traditionalist brides always on the arm of the father or a companion. In this case it will always be the bride the last to enter the place of the ceremony and there are no delays. Modern etiquette has also included, drawing from the Anglo-Saxon culture, the procession with bridesmaids and pageboys. Thus structuring the American-style processional that already existed in etiquette.
How to behave with guests
“For both traditional and modern etiquette, the guest should be central. The bride and groom must always pay attention to them. If the bride and groom are unable to entertain their guests, this task is up to the mother of the bride, also at the church for the ceremony, and here will be supported by the father of the groom”
To wrap things up I would like to share with you with 3 more important tips:
- The reception is the joyful and festive moment par excellence. In this case it must have a sober style, yet without exceeding. Great attention should be paid to aspects relating to the table but especially the art of receiving. It is important to take care of the preparations and the small attentions reserved for guests, all with care and elegance and without exaggerating as required by both etiquette and modern etiquette. In both always applies the rule “less is more”.
- Wedding favors are to be considered the last bit of attention given to guests. According to etiquette they were to be sent by the bride’s mother and a friend to all wedding guests while the bride and groom were on their honeymoon. During the reception, the bride and groom distributed confetti to their guests. The groom would hold the tray or the crystal cup and the bride would spoon the sugared almonds into the guest’s plate. Nowadays the wedding favor is to be delivered at the end of the wedding reception, by the hand of the bride and groom, at the time when the guests leave. It should never be handed out before the wedding.
- The thank you card should always be sent, even according the etiquette 2.0. It is advisable to write a nice phrase that refers to the gift received so as to highlight the courtesy of the guest who remembered the wedding, even if not physically present.
Now that you know all the tips to be a sophisticated and elegant bride, yet modern and young, all that remains is to begin planning your special day!