"Old Fashioned" Etiquette

So I went to a wedding recently where, of course, many of the guests wore black. I’m old, I was raised the ladies do not wear white or black to a wedding (the bride gets to wear white). These are ‘rules’ that seem to be slipping… What are some more?

Hats are NOT worn by men indoors.

You wear somber colors to a funeral - black, dark grey, navy blue. And conservative in style.

You don’t give cash as a gift. (this is an old rule that amazes me. EVERYONE gives cash as a gift).

Always handwrite Thank You notes, send them promptly - and not just for weddings, you send thank you notes for “thanks for dinner.”

Bring a hostess gift. Don’t expect the bottle of wine you bring as a gift to be served with dinner.

No white shoes after labor day :eek:

Some of these seem quaint. Some of them still have significant differences of opinion on how relevant they are today.

Referring to people by their titles.
Related: Using “sir” and “ma’am”.
Asking out someone in person/phone. It’s done by text now!
Man pays.
Asking the father of the woman for her hand.
Suiting up for dinners at friends’ places.
When you host a dinner, you provide what’s at the dinner, not expect guests to bring their own food/alcohol.
Unless you’re responsible for someone, you remember that is it not your place to correct their etiquette.
Before someone starts arguing; some of these I have contempt for, others I like.

Standing when women sit down or get up from a table.
I knew a guy at work who did this, it was pretty amusing at the lunch table, with the ladies would head off back to work, he’d be bobbing up and down respectfully. I don’t know if I’d call this one “slipping” as “slipped ages ago”.

My wife used to comment that her mother would be horrified that she dressed up our daughter in a black dress, because apparently you never dressed your kids in black! Might as well dare God to kill them since you’re willing to dress them in funeral clothes. :wink:

Actually, the true old-fashioned rule is that you bring a hostess gift for an overnight stay. When hosted for a party or dinner, you do not bring a gift but are expected to reciprocate the invitation in the future.

Nowadays (you can always tell an old fuck by sentences that start “nowadays”) people bring along bottles of wine as though it were a ticket for entry, and having met their obligation feel no further need to reciprocate to their hosts.

One that bugs me about the whole thank you note business is that it’s getting out of hand…

When you open a gift in the presence of the gift giver, a thank you note is not necessary because you can thank the giver in person.

The only time thank you notes for gifts are needed is when the gift is opened away from the gift giver.

And so as not to totally derail…

Coming-out parties are pretty much extinct.

I think thank you notes are still quite relevant (although it seems not everybody shares my opinion, since I didn’t even get one for a wedding gift for my cousin.)

We have our daughter hand write her thank-you notes, a day after the party/Christmas/gift receiving.

I was really shocked when my cousin’s new wife sent me a fully-handwritten thank-you card just a few days after their wedding. They’re only a few years older than me! She’s really “with-it” when it comes to etiquette, though. Quite the catch for him :slight_smile:

I guess if I ever get married I’d probably do thank-you cards, but they’d be late and perfunctory and most definitely typed.

I recently attended a wedding for which both invitations and thank you notes were texted.

The bride and groom apparently also felt that showing up on time for their own wedding was an antiquated custom.

If someone texted me an invitation to their wedding, I’d think it was a joke and not show up.

I say “good riddance” to many of these, but I do feel like I ought to write thank you notes, especially for gifts from folks I don’t know very well. The problem is I’m really bad about writing them in a timely fashion (as I am with emails, academic papers, and mail-in rebates.) I have a slew of them I still haven’t written from LAST DECEMBER :o. I suppose that late is better than never.

Most of the gender-based rituals have faded significantly; a few were already mentioned. Aged-based ones are more sticky (e.g. children aren’t to use the first names of others in situations where it’s ok for adults to.)

I was a bit surprised when looking over an old classmate’s wedding pictures and saw that the bridesmaids all wore black dresses. Not that I know beans about how weddings work. After poking around online I found this isn’t all that unusual, although I don’t know if that’s a new thing. It looked really good.

I think my response would be to text back, “Srsly?” :slight_smile:

ETA: I’m okaying with texting/emailing a “Save the date” heads-up, but it should be followed up by a real invitation.

Holding doors open for women (I hold doors open for whomever it is appropriate at the given time to do so).

Opening car doors for women - a guy could try to do that for me, but since I’d be up and out by the time he got there, it wouldn’t work very well.

I am okay with letting a lot of etiquette go by the wayside, but I think we should hold on to at least some of the wedding etiquette. I know from planning my own very modest wedding that A LOT of money and planning goes into a wedding, and it is kind of a big deal. I also appreciate that guests usually spend some money coming to your wedding and giving you a gift, too, and a timely, hand-written thank you is not out of place.

Some other old-fashioned rules:

You always introduce a social inferior (can’t think of a more gentle way to phrase that) to a superior (“Professor Jones, this is my friend John”) and a gentleman to a lady (“Anne, this is my friend David”), not the other way around. I admit I usually adhere to this, not because of the rule, but because in practice it does give a subtle boost to the person who is accepting the introduction – if I introduce a friend to my mother, it would just feel strange to say, “Sarah, this is my mother,” as if Sarah were more important to me than my mother. Whereas, “Mom, this is Sarah,” feels right. (It helps that my mom is one classy dame.) Whatever…if this seems ridiculous and stuffy, I’ll cop to that.
Another one: Gentlemen should walk on the outside of the sidewalk when walking with a lady. When going up stairs, the gentleman goes second, but when going down stairs, the gentleman goes first. (I assume this is to catch her should she stumble.)

While six inch stiletto heels are still in style, that’s not a bad idea. :slight_smile:

Uh, what? I was always told that a (gentle)man always goes second unless you’re going up stairs. After reaching puberty, I understood that this was to prevent the man from looking directly at the lady’s bum or up under her skirt :smiley:

Well, it was my husband’s daughter. It seemed very… authentic.

Actually, GENTLEmen don’t wear hats indoors. This is how you tell the difference.

Not really, but the connotation is different. Or maybe I just know too many theatre people.

Aren’t thank-you notes for wedding gifts supposed to be sent within the year? I was married on August 9 in Vegas and we had our big reception party at home (Canada) on August 20, but I’m waiting until we get the professional pictures from the wedding before I send the thank-you cards so I can include a nice pic. The photographer said they’d take about 3 months.

Also, “you don’t give cash as a gift”? My husband and I were extremely grateful for all the cards with $ inside!! We certainly don’t need any more “stuff.” I’m glad THAT rule isn’t followed anymore.

When I was little my mom used to make me dress up for church (uncomfortable dress, nylons, dress shoes, etc.) but nowadays people seem to wear whatever.