The rules of wedding etiquette are constantly changing, making it difficult for modern brides, grooms and guests to find up-to-date and correct information. But here at HuffPost Weddings, we're all about making your life easier. That's why we've launched #MannersMondays, a weekly series in which we ask our followers on Twitter and Facebook to submit their most burning etiquette-related questions. Then, with the help of our team of etiquette experts, we get you the right answers to your biggest Big Day dilemmas. You can send yours via Facebook or tweet it to us @HuffPostWedding with the hashtag #MannersMondays. Check out this week's question below!

Xochitl Gonzalez -- etiquette expert, wedding planner and HuffPost Weddings blogger -- is here to weigh in on the supposed gift "rule." Here's what she had to say:

If you want to know what gets my blood boiling, ask me about the "cover my plate" rule. First, I need to clarify with the reader that this was never a "rule," so it never did exist. Nowhere in Emily Post's writings does it say, "As a guest, when planning a gift of cash, you should do a rough estimate and some background research on the cost per person (and don't forget to add 28.25 percent for tax and gratuity)."

As the cost of weddings has become more expensive, unfortunately, I find that couples' expectations of the "return" on their weddings has gotten out of whack. When you choose to hold a wedding, you are choosing to host something. Hosting as a concept, in this age of celebrities being paid to "host" parties in clubs, has unfortunately gotten a bit mucky in terms of definition. So, I will make a more simple analogy: When you are invited to a dinner party, do you estimate the cost of groceries and alcohol and time spent cooking before you figure out what to spend on a bottle of wine? Of course not! You pick up a bottle of wine you think everyone will enjoy and that you can afford.

I will say that in the Northeast, especially within cultures where cash is considered a typical wedding gift, "covering your plate" was considered for many years a guideline to estimate what to give. Many, many times as a kid growing up in Brooklyn I heard people say, "How much should we give?" and the response was "Let's be sure to cover our plate." I want to clarify that even this guideline is rude because essentially what it says is, "How nice/expensive do you think the wedding is going to be?" vs. "What is a gift that is generous enough that we can afford that we feel comfortable with?" Assume the same question before you make a cash gift and insert into envelope as your finances allow.

One final thought: no guest, unless a recent bride or groom themselves, could possibly have any conception of what they would need to give to "cover their plate" and no bride or groom should expect them to. Expecting to recoup your catering costs on your wedding off of gifts is as quaint an idea as a job with a pension plan or graduating college with no student debt: it's unfortunately unrealistic in today's economy. For better or worse, the cost of hosting a wedding has increased, but it's not your guests' responsibilities to keep up with inflation.

Below, Peggy Post -- great-granddaughter-in-law of Emily Post -- and other wedding-etiquette gurus share 10 guidelines that couples and their guests don't necessarily have to follow anymore.

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  • The Bride's Family Should Foot The Bill

    With more couples marrying later in life when they're financially established, the rules concerning who pays for their weddings have changed. "Now, couples paying for most or all of their weddings is more the norm than brides' families paying," says Peggy Post. Even when parents are writing the checks, they no longer have to follow strict guidelines about which family handles what (i.e., the bride's pays for the reception and the groom's pays for the alcohol). Instead, couples who accept their parents' financial help should decide "what items are their highest priority, as in the things they want to pay for and have more control over, and the items that are less important, that they would be okay with parents paying for and controlling," says <a href="" target="_hplink">Sharon Naylor</a>, best-selling author of "<a href="" target="_hplink">The Essential Guide to Wedding Etiquette</a>."

  • Brides Must Wear White

    White is no longer just for virginal, first-time brides, nor do brides have to wear it at all. "Really, a bride may wear any color she desires on her wedding day," says Washington, D.C.-based wedding planner and etiquette expert <a href="" target="_hplink">Claudia Lutman</a>. "Before Queen Victoria, who is solely credited as establishing the tradition of the white bridal gown, brides wore their best dresses, despite the color." (Dresses pictured, from left to right: <a href="" target="_hplink">Crashing Waves Gown</a>, <a href="" target="_hplink">Trumpeted Pavot Gown</a>, <a href="" target="_hplink">Sweet Tea Gown</a>, <a href="" target="_hplink">Frondescence Gown</a>)

  • Guests Can't Wear White

    While white is typically "reserved for the bride," according to nationally recognized etiquette expert <a href="" target="_hplink">Diane Gottsman</a>, other experts see the tides changing on this rule. "As long as guests do not upstage the bride or appear to be in competition with her, a winter white or summer cream dress is now considered okay," says Lutman. As Post <a href="" target="_hplink">advised <em>New York Times</em> readers in March</a>, what matters most is making sure you're not "unintentionally calling attention" or "causing offense to the bride." She said that guests should avoid wearing <em>any</em> outfit -- regardless of color -- if they doubt its appropriateness for the occasion. (Dresses pictured, from left to right: <a href="" target="_hplink">Crème Fraiche Dress</a>, <a href="" target="_hplink">Persephone Shift</a>)

  • The Mother Of The Bride Can't Host The Shower

    Etiquette rules used to dictate that a bride's immediate family, particularly her mother, couldn't throw her bridal shower. "It was taboo because it was thought as being self-serving or raking in the gifts, but that's changed immensely," Post says. In fact, as more couples plan their own weddings, brides' mothers tend to feel left out as far as orchestrating the festivities goes, Naylor explains. Because of this, she says it is more than acceptable for a mother to "join in with the bridesmaids to <em>co-host </em>the shower, which skirts the etiquette 'don't.'" She adds that having mom's help can also ease the strain on bridesmaids who might be overwhelmed by the money they're spending on dresses, travel and other pre-wedding costs.

  • Single Women Are Obligated To Participate In The Bouquet Toss

    Unattached women who dread -- or feel downright offended by -- this tradition don't have to put on a happy face and make their way to middle of the dance floor when the DJ beckons. "As a single woman, if you don't want to chase down a bouquet, it is in your right to abstain," says Gottsman. "You shouldn't be chastised into doing it." But she warns that standing off to the side with your arms crossed or shaking your head at those clamoring for the coveted bouquet will come off as rude. Just quietly slip off to the ladies' room when the time comes if you'd rather not participate.

  • Your Registry Information Should Be Shared Only By Word Of Mouth

    "It used to be considered bad etiquette to spread the news of the registry any way other than by word of mouth," says Naylor. "But that rule was created when everyone going to the wedding lived a couple blocks from each other." Now, she says, guests appreciate having these details on the wedding website so they don't have go searching for where a couple is registered -- it's actually bad etiquette <em>not</em> to post this information. While this rule has changed over time, Gottsman says it is still in poor taste to put any gift-giving guidelines on your wedding invitations.

  • You Can't Ask For Cash

    While it's common in certain cultures (like <a href="" target="_hplink">Chinese and Italian</a>) to give cash as a wedding gift, this wasn't always the case for Americans -- in fact, it used to be considered rude to ask for it. But Post says that giving money is becoming more popular as couples get creative with their registries. "It used to be that you only had traditional household goods and linens on your registry," she says. "Now, they are just so much more practical -- they can be for a home-improvement store, a wine store or even a down payment for a house." That said, couples should still provide a traditional registry for more old-fashioned guests, who might want to purchase a more conventional gift or feel uncomfortable giving cash, says Naylor.

  • Out-Of-Town Guests Must Be Invited To The Rehearsal Dinner

    While the rehearsal-dinner tradition began as a pre-wedding meal for those just in the wedding party, it's evolved into more of a welcome dinner for the out-of-town guests. Naylor says this shift can put a huge financial burden on couples, as the rehearsal dinner becomes "almost like a second wedding." To cut costs and avoid offending anyone, she suggests giving out-of-towners a list of restaurants in the area where they can go to dinner on their own or planning an evening cocktail party in lieu of a dinner. "It will cost less, and it will still give guests something to eat and something to do," she says.

  • Unattached Guests Over 18 Should Get A "Plus One"

    As another way to trim their wedding budgets, "many couples are not including 'plus ones' for their single guests," says Lutman. This goes against the once-standard rule that unattached guests of a certain age should be allowed to bring a date. The tricky part about breaking this rule is deciding what constitutes "single" -- for example, a couple may have guests who are unmarried but live with their significant others. Naylor advises making a rule of inviting only "the non-married couples with whom you socialize." Though some guests might be offended, "it's one of those sticky things that is necessary in today's financial era," she says.

  • You Have A Year to Send Thank-You Notes

    According to Naylor, this rule dates back to the days when it was customary to include a wedding photo with your thank-you notes -- and when getting those pictures from the photographer took at least six months. Now that photos are digital and take about half that time to receive, couples should put pen to paper two to three months after they say their "I do's." In fact, Naylor adds that couples are now expected to write a personal message to guests rather than just the standard "thank you for coming," so it's best to get a jump on those notes while the details of the night are still fresh.

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