When a friend or relative announces that they are getting married, it’s natural to get excited. A bride-to-be is an exciting person to know! There are endless possibilities awaiting their lives ahead and months of wedding planning with cake tastings, dress fittings, and honeymoon planning on the horizon. It’s only natural to talk to the bride about any number of things, but some things are better left unspoken. There are some phrases and topics of conversation that may seem like loving jokes or compliments that are actually a little eyebrow-raising. The bride is happy! Let her live her life and enjoy her relationship.
1. "Will you be wearing your glasses for the wedding?"
If she wears glasses during every waking hour and simply cannot see without them it hardly seems sensible to take her glasses off.
2. "Are you changing your name?"
Whether or not someone changes their last name after marriage is a personal decision. It can be based on a variety of beliefs, traditions, professional needs, or simple desires. It’s no one else’s business what the bride is doing, so don’t even open the debate.
3. Don't question the bride's looks or her sense of personal style.
It always surprises us when we hear stories of the sheer level of vanity and paranoia that weddings seem to set off...these comments are innocently made, but combined with the knowledge that the wedding photos are going to be around forever can certainly induce paranoia in a bride. So, unless she is actively asking your opinion then don't offer it on her looks or personal style if you wouldn't do so normally.
4. “Are you excited/nervous for the wedding night?”
Unless you’re the bride’s bestie, she probably doesn’t want to discuss her pre- or post-marital sex life with you. The conversation won’t be anything except awkward for all parties involved.
5. DO NOT tell your horror stories.
"On my wedding day, the priest got our names wrong and I fell over my own veil," the mother in law told one of our brides cheerfully told me. After she said it, the bride looked like she wanted to cry! They are funny stories, I will freely admit, just not at the moment...wait until after the wedding.
6. “Are you worried the groom is going to get cold feet?”
No. She’s not worried about it. And why are you even putting this idea in her mind?
7. “How much was your dress?”
Whether the bride spent $20,000 on a custom-made couture gown or combed the racks for a great deal, she’s going to look beautiful. Asking about money is always tacky, so just don’t do it.
8. DO ask about the day.
Every bride likes to chat about it, and to be honest she probably can't help it. She's excited, so why wouldn't she enjoy talking about it?!
9. “Attending your wedding cost a fortune!”
Everyone knows that attending weddings is expensive. Guests need to travel, get a hotel room, buy a new outfit, and purchase wedding gift. But no matter what you’re spending to be a guest, know that the bride spent more to host you.
10. “What was your wedding budget?”
Remember that question about how much a wedding dress cost? Yeah, this question is way worse than that one. Asking the cost per head, total budget, or even who paid for the wedding is a major no-no.
11. “Oh, I saw that on Pinterest!”
Having a DIY wedding is a trend that shows no sign of slowing down. Yes, we’ve all seen that “Pick a Seat not a Side” sign, upcycled wine bottle vases, and that flip-flop bucket along side the dance floor before. However, if these things fit the bride's vision for her special day, then be supportive and enjoy them with her.
12. Don't ask open-ended questions that can be solved with common sense.
The bride provided instructions with the invitations and supplemented them with a well thought out wedding website. She has armed you with all the information she can. It's up to you to figure out how to get to the wedding, where to find shoes for your dress, determine when you check in to your hotel (yes, a real question!), or advise what time you should take off work.
13. “Did you know 50 percent of marriages end in divorce?”
Don’t even think of bringing up the D-word when talking to a bride. If we need to tell you why that’s rude, you have problems we cannot solve.
14. DO ask specific questions.
For example, if you text the bride asking if an AirBnB someone had found is a sensible distance from the venue she can answer that without having the sense that she is having to organize you on top of organizing herself.
15. When are you having kids?”
“First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in a baby carriage.” That old poem is cute, but it’s not how life works anymore. Maybe the couple doesn’t want kids for a long time or doesn’t want kids at all. Leave the family planning to the newlyweds.
16. “Is ____________ coming to your wedding?”
Compiling a guest list is one of the first things that a couple does when planning the wedding, and it’s a touchy subject. Don’t force a guest on a bride and don’t inquire the reasoning behind why someone is or is not invited.
17. "All he's got to do is just show up, right?"
Do not assume the groom is in some way invisible, or not helping with the wedding. Modern couples are remarkably adept at equally splitting the planning and decision making.
18. “How’s the bridal diet going?”
First of all, don’t assume the bride is going to try to lose weight before her wedding. She doesn’t have to! And if she is trying to shed a few pounds before walking down the aisle, let her diet in peace.
19. Tell her something that has nothing to do with the wedding.
Go right ahead! Tell her about that new job or how you cried through that sappy rom-com last night. Discuss that new book or tell her about why you're never drinking gin again after what you did last weekend. Complain about your neighbors even! She is still a person and not just a bride. Being the bride, the wedding is a fabulously easy and fun topic to talk about, but that doesn't mean that she doesn't care about what's going on in the lives of those she loves, too.
20. “You’re getting married!? But you’re so young!”
Adults can make their own decisions. Yes, maybe getting married in one’s early twenties isn’t the norm anymore, but don’t make the bride feel bad about her life choices. She’s happy.
21. “I’m surprised you’re getting married (already/finally/again).”
You never know the inner workings of someone else’s relationship. Whether the bride has been in a relationship for 10 years or 10 weeks, she knows that getting married is a serious decision. Trust her judgment.
22. “No one remembers the small details, anyway.”
It is true that the average wedding guest won’t remember the color of the napkins, how many toppings were offered at the ice cream sundae bar, or that each table is supposed to have exactly 13 roses in the centerpiece. But the details matter to the bride. Let her sweat the small stuff.
23. “Stop being such a bridezilla!”
Have you ever told someone to stop stressing and had it actually work? We didn’t think so. Planning a wedding is stressful. If the bride is upset, let her vent, give her a big hug and have her call us because we specialize in brides being able to say YES to less stress!