Few occasions in life are as genuinely exciting as when you are engaged. A new chapter of your life is about to start, and as a bride you get to plan the kick-off, the wedding.
And everyone wants to talk to you! About the ring, the proposal, have you found a dress? Among all this excitement are well-meaning, but clueless people who blurt out things that can hurt a bride’s feelings. Much like the decisions that only are a bride can make, there are things you should never say to a bride, or risk dulling her halcyon glow. And every time a bride is sad, God kills a kitten.
(It could be worse. If you think people ask you strange things when you’re a bride, just wait until you’re pregnant.)
1. What’s your budget? Why on earth would you even ask this? Does it even matter? Just like you would never ask someone how much money they make, asking a bride about her wedding budget falls into the same category. It tops the list of things that are none of your business. Brides have enough stress when coming up with a budget, they certainly don’t need input from others.
2. Have you checked the weather? You know what people talk about when they have nothing else to say? The weather. There is no need to bring up the weather to a bride. It will stress her out and it’s not like she can do anything about it if it’s bad. And really, what’s a little rain? Umnbrellas were invented four thousand years ago and they’ve been working pretty well every since.
3. I love that idea – did you find it on Pinterest? We all want to feel like special snowflakes, especially when it comes to our weddings. But Pinterest has perpetuated a few wedding cliches that started out as great ideas but are now overdone. It’s a shame. We actually love chevrons.
Instead of asking about Pinterest, ask where she got the idea or how she thought of it. It’s a much more open-ended way of keeping up the conversation.
4. How many carats is your ring? When I was coming up in the game in Manhattan, I had some fancy friends who said that in New York City there was a two-carat minimum when it came to engagement rings. Every gal may love a little bling, but it’s not just about the carats. There are so many other factors, like if it’s vintage, a family ring, or maybe it’s the one she wanted.
Emily Post recommends changing the subject or deflecting if someone starts going Dectective Columbo on your ring about carat size, designer, etc.
5. Are you losing weight for the wedding? It’s common for brides to lose weight before the wedding. Wedding gowns are rarely made of Lycra and come in a sizing system that is not seen anywhere else in fashion. But there are quite a few women who won’t have any inclination to lose an ounce. They either don’t need to, or they’re happy with their size. (Wedding dresses even come in maternity sizes, so have another Twinkie.) When you ask someone about their shape-up plan, you could be inadvertently insulting them. Unless the bride brings it up, don’t ask about an exercise regime.
6. You think you’ll have kids soon?: Just when the bride has gotten into the best shape of her life for the biggest day of her life, someone starts asking about babies. One thing at a time, kids. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will the life that the bride and groom are planning.
7. Is your dad walking you down the aisle?: This seems like an innocuous question, except when there are legitimate daddy issues with the bride. I’ve personally known a handful of brides where this was not a topic to bring up. Neither should you, especially if there’s a chance it could create an awkward conversation.
8. Will I be invited?: No matter how well you think you know someone, such as a college friend or co-worker, never assume you are invited until there is an envelope in your mailbox. Wedding guest lists are dictated by a million factors, location and budget being the biggest two. If you think you’re a guest who may be on the fence, steer the conversation away from who’s in and who’s out. Early on in the engagement, the bride may not even know.
9. A destination wedding? That’s a lot of money for guests to shell out: When families are spread out all over the country, sometimes a destination wedding is the best idea. If you live in a big metropolitan area, such as New York City, it is often less expensive to have a wedding in, say, Mexico, than at the Four Seasons.
Instead of questioning her logic, ask a bride why they chose their location, etc. Is that where they met? Emily Post says that if you plan a destination wedding expect a smaller guest list and that a welcome party is good form if people have come a great distance for your big day.
10. Didn’t you just meet him?: Romantic comedies have taught us that everyone’s love story is different, and the kookier it is, the better. Maybe the bride and groom only met six months ago. They’re probably aware of that. Don’t be the person who doubts their union. Whether someone’s been together six months or six years, only time will tell if they were really meant to be.