Etiquette authority Debrett's has re-issued its Wedding Handbook, 10 years after it was first released. A lot about the way we Brits ‘do’ weddings has changed in the last decade and, as such, the new guide aims to clarify a number of conundrums faced by modern bridal parties and their guests.

As well as entire chapters on who pays for what, the dos and don'ts of modern pre-nuptial agreements and how to manage unconventional family structures, they have updated their fashion advice, offering an official code of conduct on everything from showing some skin to wearing fake tan.

Duchess of Cambridge

“Debrett’s Wedding Guide was first published ten years ago, and much has changed in the last decade: bridal blogs, Instagram feeds and Pinterest boards have grown out of and supported an ever-expanding wedding industry,” the authority explains of its reason for revising (and in many cases relaxing) the rules. “Information and inspiration are now available at the touch of a button, and venues, dress-makers, florists and caterers can all be researched, sourced and booked in front of a computer screen.”

“Many of the brides and grooms who come to Debrett’s for advice are seeking information and reassurance for conundrums that are not so easily solved, however. How much say should parents have over the guest list? Is it acceptable not to invite children? How can you ensure that both your father and your stepfather feel involved on the day?”

These are our top fashion takeaways for bridal parties, with rules that extend to guests too...

Is it now acceptable for guests to wear white?

In short, no. Despite a rise in guests considering cream jumpsuits and definitely-not-bridal informal wedding dresses acceptable attire, Debrett's say that wearing white to someone else’s wedding is still a no-go. “It is best to avoid white or cream and black,” the Handbook states. “Overly bright colours and patterns should be avoided as they may dominate photographs, and care should be taken not to overshadow the bride. It is not necessary for all the components of an outfit to match.”

Hats- how big is too big?

“Hats should not hamper kissing” is the only rule Debrett's offers now, with no specifications on shape or style. Hats are considered “traditional”, but no longer an essential for either guests or mothers of the bride or groom. It is suggested that brides might, however, consider an additional cloakroom for ladies to store their hats in after the ceremonies, as no one should still be wearing their millinery by the time they reach the dancefloor.

Who pays for the bridesmaid dresses?

It’s a conundrum that many a bridesmaid has faced in recent years; is it right that your friend, the bride, has asked for you to pay for your own bridesmaid dress? But, despite tradition, etiquette has caught up with the realities of living costs, and as such it’s now officially acceptable to ask bridesmaids to pay for their dresses. “Traditionally the bride’s family would pay, but this is no longer expected,” say Debrett's. “An adult bridesmaid may wish to pay for her own dress. Beautiful and affordable dresses can also be found on the high street.”

False eyelashes are out...

“Never try anything too new or experiment on the day itself,” say Debrett's. “Keep the look natural, and avoid dark lips and false eyelashes. Wearing a lot of make-up won’t make it stay on; it will just look too heavy. Waterproof mascara is a good idea for any emotional moments during the day. Make-up should be applied in natural daylight.”

Some notes on bridal underwear and bigger busts...

“Underwear should be planned well in advance and, if possible, worn to the final princess wedding dress fitting,” say Debrett's. “Large busts: avoid over-ornamentation and excessive fabric on the bust. Strapless dresses are not advisable either. Good underwear is essential; v- or scalloped necklines are flattering.”

Church bride? You still need to cover up

The beautiful backless dress shots that you wanted for Instagram will have to wait, according to the experts. “If you want to wear a strapless dress in church, you should cover your shoulders. A longer veil can do this; otherwise a cover-up is required. Winter brides will also need one to prevent shivering and goose pimples.”

A word about bridal fake tans...

“Fake tan looks good on holiday, but too much can look artificial against a wedding dress,” say Debrett's. “You may also want to avoid looking overly tanned next to the groom and attendants. Any fake tan should be applied professionally and a couple of trial runs are advisable beforehand. Take care that the colour doesn’t run or transfer to dress fabric.”

Comfort is key when it comes to bags and shoes...

Staggering around in too-high heels is out. “Shoes should be comfortable (slightly worn in) and not so high that they will be painful after a few hours,” the guide says. Meanwhile, on bags; “A shoulder bag is easier to manage than a clutch when juggling a champagne glass and shaking hands.”