Outdated Etiquette Rules That Seem Ridiculous To Us Today

There’s no doubt that displaying proper manners improves our relationship with people. But back in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, visiting at an inconvenient hour or fetching the wrong horse could land you in the social dumpster. In a world mostly devoid of cards and radios, people adhered to different social rules than we do today. Some may come off as just absurd–“too clean” is considered rude? No bowing to people in a window? Here are some of the most outdated and seemingly bizarre etiquette rules from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

No Marriage After 3 p.m.!

The Wedding March by Edmund Blair Leighton Victorian marriage etiquette
© Fine Art Photographic Library / CORBIS / Corbis via Getty Images
© Fine Art Photographic Library / CORBIS / Corbis via Getty Images

Before the 1880s, marriage ceremonies were always held between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. Legally–the state required those marriage times until 1886. As the nineteenth century rapidly approached, the time was extended to 3 p.m.

These hours had to do with the working schedule at the time. Many workers only received half a day off on Saturdays and Sundays, when most weddings were held. The celebration was expected to occur when most guests would be available. If it happened later, it would shape the couple as rude.