Newport Manners & Etiquette: Social Media Etiquette for Weddings

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


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The etiquette wedding season is upon us

The etiquette wedding season is upon us with questions about how to control social media and guests bringing guests. What to do when the bridesmaids hate their dresses? Answers this week from Didi Lorillard at

Controlling social media

How do we control the social media at our upcoming wedding? A.C., Newport

Weddings are not virtual events. Make it clear that you don't want guests videobombing the ceremony, your first dance, the cutting of the cake, or the bridal bouquet toss. On your wedding website and through word of mouth let guests know that a photographer (and videophotographer) will be recording your wedding and you'll share photos afterward. You may have to explain that if guests are standing taking photos, other guests won't be able to see. Don't be timid about setting boundaries; no longer are only the high profiled or the litigious setting limits. Otherwise, suggest guests use a small device and not an iPad, keep it vertical, and not stand blocking other guests' sightline. Suggest they upload, but to, please, not text their photos until you've shared your images first. ~Didi

Guests invited guests

Is there a polite way to handle RSVPs when someone adds guests on their reply card for more than the two people invited? The banquet hall we've rented for our daughter's wedding only allows for so many people and we're reaching the max. Plus, they're bringing people we don't really know. Help! Arlene, Narragansett

The most honest way to go about this common problem is to pick up the phone and talk to the guest you've invited saying, "Lucy, thanks for sending in your reply card and we're happy you and Jake are able to come to Charlotte's wedding, but there is a slight problem. The Atlantic Inn has a fire code restriction allowing for only 150 guests, so we cannot include your two guests. We hope that you and Jake will still be able to come." ~Didi

The uncool bridesmaid dress

I'm the maid-of-honor and along with the other bridesmaids, we don't like our dresses and don't know how to break it to the bride. Nobody wants to buy them. It's not just about the price, the style just doesn't work for any of us. Heather, Burlington, VT

It sounds as though you, or all of you, need to meet the bride for coffee and gently break the bad news. If that's not possible, phone the bride and ask if it is a good time to talk. Obviously, if she's distracted, you won't have her full attention or her sympathy. State the fact. "Five out of five of us do not like the dress on us. We're happy to wear your wedding color and we like the length, but can we each choose a long pink dress in a style that we want?" If she hesitates to answer, pipe in, "A lot of brides now are encouraging their bridesmaids to wear a dress that looks good on them, one that they'll want to wear again." ~Didi

When you thought you had a plus one

I've been invited to a good friend's wedding apparently as a single person. I asked the groom if I could bring a date. He got back to me saying that the bride said no because they don't know her and they need more single men. My problem is I already asked her and now she says she's bought a dress. Doesn't a wedding invitation to a single person include bringing a plus one? Donald, Seattle

When you're not invited to bring a date, you don't bring one. Every guest costs the host money. Anywhere from a hundred dollars upward. A plus one isn't a given, you often have to ask. If you were in a committed relationship with this person, living together or engaged, you would have stronger legs to stand on when asking the bride if you could bring your partner/girlfriend. The bride's reasoning is clear. She needs you as an extra man. You have two choices here. Come clean with your date and tell her you made the mistake of assuming the invitation included a plus one before clearing it with the your friend, or regretting the invitation and having a tête-à-tête supper. About the dress. If she can't take it back, offer to help her pay for it and ask her to wear the dress on a Saturday night. ~Didi

Do you have a question for Didi? Visit her at We can withhold your name and location. Didi researches etiquette and all matters of manners for her book,"Newport Etiquette." Previous weekly columns may be found by typing in Didi Lorillard in the above righthand search. Or scroll down for a list of topics below.  


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