A Tip of the Hat to the Bride and Groom

Even in modern society, wedding etiquette endures. The wedding etiquette that we have come to know originated in the Victorian era. Victorians were reputed for their education, intelligence, social grace, and manners. Some of the traditions are of course now considered archaic, or sexist.


The wedding etiquette on who should pay for the wedding has changed greatly, although according to the old Victorian wedding etiquette, the father of the bride should host the wedding. Some couples today still abide by this rule of thumb. However, because of economic issues and that both halves of the couple are already earning their own money, the bride and groom today usually host their own wedding.

On social graces, some Victorian wedding etiquette perseveres, such as having bridesmaids and groomsmen on your wedding and throwing the bride's bouquet for unmarried women to catch.

But on the issue of wedding manners on tipping, does tipping of the hat to greet the newlyweds still occur?

Wedding etiquette on tipping is an old Victorian practice of which people from many parts of Europe also do practice. But as time has passed, the etiquette of tipping a hat to acknowledge a person or greet a newlywed is becoming an out-dated custom.

One of the reasons, according to some wedding etiquette specialists, is that the modern apparel has excluded hats as part of fashion. So, how would a person tip a hat when there is no hat to tip with?

American formal clothing does not include a hat, in contrast to some European countries where a hat is still part of their fashion. This is the reason why the wedding custom of tipping the hat from some European countries is still being practiced.

Wedding etiquette on tipping the hat is not much of an issue anymore in American society. In fact, most wedding etiquette books that we have now do not say anything about wedding etiquette on hat tipping nor have they mentioned anything about it being an old custom of American history.

But there are couples who wish that their guests would practice the wedding custom of hat tipping. These couples are usually those who commemorate their wedding with a Victorian-era wedding theme, or a 1950s Casablanca theme in which fashion from these years requires a hat to complete an ensemble.

In addition to wedding etiquette on hat tipping, another lost wedding custom of our society is the selection of bridesmaids younger than the bride and requiring them to wear a dress similar to that of the bride.

Today, this wedding custom, just like the wedding etiquette on hat tipping is almost totally lost. Brides now select some older and some married bridesmaids. This is not an issue today, but in the past, during the time when wedding etiquette on hat tipping was in practice, bridesmaids were young and unmarried.

The reason behind the Victorian wedding custom of young and unmarried bridesmaids came from the archaic belief that a devil is tasked to abduct brides during their wedding day so that he could have her for himself before her groom can be with her. The bridesmaids acted as decoy, being "pure" and wearing dresses that resembles the bride's dress would confuse the devil as to who is the real bride.

This wedding custom was passed on from generation to generation until it progressed and became the wedding etiquette that we have now. According to wedding etiquette specialists, this practice has long been forgotten because people, over time, have become modernized and become less superstitious. Besides, the bride can now choose her favorite sister or best friend, even if she is older than the bride or married, to be at her side on her big day.

There are still lots of wedding customs from the past that have been changed to fit our current culture and society. In fact, some of the modern wedding customs we have now may also become outdated in time, like the way the wedding etiquette on hat tipping and etiquette for bridesmaids that our culture had in the past.