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Lifestyle Weddings

Rites and wrongs: wedding trends to avoid

Maybe the simulated lap dance by the bridal party at a reception gave you pause. You probably cringed when you saw the bride and groom request money through a Facebook wedding invitation. Or you might have suffered whiplash after seeing the picture of a bride who tanned so much that she appeared to be an Oompa Loompa.

Let's face it. Some current and even a few traditional wedding trends are downright tacky, maybe even borderline offensive.

Confused about proper wedding behavior? We recruited advice from a descendant of the queen of taste — Emily Post.

The famed author, who was born and partly raised in Baltimore before moving to New York City, is responsible for preaching proper etiquette and good manners throughout this country.

Post's great-great-granddaughter, Lizzie Post, is co-author of "Emily Post's Etiquette" (18th edition) and "Emily Post's Wedding Etiquette" (sixth edition), as well as "Emily Post's Great Get-Togethers." She is also the author of "How Do You Work This Life Thing?"

We've come up with a list of the tackiest wedding trends to avoid so that your day of bliss isn't marred by a social faux pas.

Invitations via Facebook

This depends on the type of wedding you're having, according to Post, who is based in Vermont.

"The way in which you chose the invitation says a lot about the formality of the wedding," she said. "If you are asking for people to dress in black tie, I would not send the invitation through Facebook. The method and the style of the invitation should reflect the style of the wedding."

Asking for money

It's perfectly acceptable to ask for cash — but only if someone other than the bride and groom is making the request, according to Post.

"The way you go about it is through word of mouth," she said.

Post says it's best that the topic of money is raised through parents or friends. It should also be accompanied by an explanation of how the money will be used.

"It's a word-of-mouth conversation. And it should never appear on the invitation or in an insert in the invitation either," she said.

Monograms, monograms

People at your wedding presumably already know your name, so there's no need to go crazy with the initials. Still, Post says this too is a matter of personal taste.

"It's your personal style," she said. "If having monograms everywhere is your style, that's your style. There is nothing that says it's inappropriate."

But Post warns that just because there isn't a rule against the practice, that won't prevent some from frowning upon it.

"Certainly people will have opinions about your style," she said. "That will happen no matter who you are."

Lap dances, etc.

By now, many have seen the viral video of the bridal party performing Beyonce's "Drunk In Love" — though some no doubt wish they hadn't.The video, which shows a group of women at a reception dancing provocatively to the sensual song, has attracted close to 900,000 views since being posted two months ago.

There are also a slew of YouTube videos featuring things like strippers in sexy nurse uniforms performing lap dances at a Russian wedding reception and a tamer — but equally tacky — wedding party performing the Harlem Shake.

Post advises that you should be mindful of your audience.

"You really want to remember the other guests who are there. Is this something you want your grandmother to see?" she asked.

She also reminded people to honor the spirit of the viral video.

"If your goal is to get a viral video, the best viral videos are the ones that don't have that in mind," she said. "When you try for it, people can see that. It is not an organic thing. It appears to be put on."

Simply put, do not do it for the Vine.

Bridesmaids' butts

This summer, wedding photos began surfacing of bridesmaids posing with their dresses hitched up so that their thongs or underwear were revealed. Soon, similar photos began popping up all over social media sites, like an episode of "Bridesmaids Gone Wild."

Even here, Post leaves the final say to you.

"They certainly aren't shy," she said with a laugh. "This is up to you and your personal style. Just remember, if you are tagged in that photo, [it] will pop up and be associated with you. Think about if you would want a future boss or someone to see that."

Resized fingers

The practice of correcting or minimizing your ring finger through plastic surgery so that it can look perfect for wedding photos appears to be growing. News outlets, including ABC, The New York Times and Huffington Post, are reporting the craze, which has mostly been spotted in bigger cities throughout the country.

This new behavior particularly alarmed Post.

"That is the silliest thing I've ever heard of," she said. "It is going to look so weird with the other finger being smaller than the rest. Get your ring resized and don't worry about it. You're hands are pretty just the way they are."

The garter belt thing

The tradition of the groom diving under the skirt of his bride just to remove her garter belt with his teeth is as crude as it sounds.

Post has always found it tacky.

"I'm not a fan of it," she said. "That's just unnecessary and tacky. But that is a personal opinion and not an Emily Post opinion."

Overtanning

There's nothing like a good bronzed glow, but when you're mistaken for a character on "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory," you've gone too far.

Post suggests that you consult a close friend to see if you've overbaked.

"It is really easy for people to get carried away," she said. "Ask a girlfriend if you've gone too far down the orange brick road."

john-john.williams@baltsun.com

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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