6 Things You Shouldn't Say To The Bride
There's the pressure that a bride will place upon herself, too. Many young girls still grow up expecting that their perfect day will be just that -- perfect. And it's hard to plan for a perfect day. Heck, it's hard to plan for a semi-perfect day. Actually, it's hard to plan for anything up to 24 months in advance, right?
The pressure we put upon ourselves for the wedding of our dreams is ridiculous. The pressure we put other brides is equally ridiculous. We might not mean to, but when we start asking a bride about the big day, we can actually be making her feel worse.
So, if you know someone who is knee-deep in place cards and seating charts, then it's worth applying a little bit of thought and tact before you open your mouth. We've come up with a few of the questions that you might like to avoid.
1. I can't wait to be there!
This could be really awkward. Never assume that you've been invited to someone's wedding until you've been explicitly told as such by the bride or groom or until you have the invitation in your hand. If you're not invited, then it's probably nothing personal. Weddings are expensive and just because you went to school with the bride's sister doesn't guarantee you a seat. If you think it might be personal, then why would you want to go anyway?
What to say instead - How's everything going?
2. Can I bring a +1?
I've overheard this question a few times now, and I always cringe. If your invite doesn't actually specify a +1 then you don't have one. It's as simple as that. If you're absolutely desperate for someone to bring along, then don't go to the bride or groom. Ask a member of the wedding party how tight numbers are likely to be. At least then, you're not asking the couple directly and you can see if there's any room to maneuver. There's nothing more awkward than being put on the spot by someone. Don't automatically assume that you can bring the children, either.
What to say instead - Thanks for the invitation..
3. Oh, there'll be babies next then?
50 years ago this question would have been way more acceptable, but nowadays it's really rather inappropriate. Some couples can't have children, some couples don't want children and some are so sick of wedding planning that they're more likely to crawl into a box for the next decade and weep than make a baby.
What to say instead - I bet you're both really looking forward to starting married life.
4. Do we have to follow the theme/dress code/colour code?
Yes, you do. It might not be to your taste, but it isn't your wedding. If it's something completely outlandish or something unreasonably expensive, then there are ways around it. But don't be obstinate just because you wanted to wear a different coloured dress. If you need to, go to the couple in good time and chat to them with any concerns.
What to say instead - Do you have any recommendations?
5. So, how much did all this cost?
I think it's a question that we've all been tempted to ask at some time or another, but it doesn't make it any less awkward. Weddings are often pretty pricey and a couple might not feel comfortable divulging exactly what they spent. Equally, if the couple have been particularly frugal then they might not want to reveal what they paid. Bottom line is that you're just being nosy, so don't ask the question in the first place.
What to say instead - This is all really, really lovely.
6. Everything will work out on the day
Okay, you might be trying to help but this statement really isn't going to do much except make the bride angrier. It's like when you're really mad and someone tells you to calm down. It's annoying. Brides are going to get frustrated, upset and annoyed at some point. Hell, I get annoyed when I can't find a pen in our office. Often acknowledging why someone is upset is enough to get them ready to tackle a problem rather than to cry or shout about it.
What to say instead - Yeah, I can see why you're upset. Is there anything I can do to help?
Having said that if the bride is being an unreasonable nightmare, then you can call her out on that. It's part of what being a decent human being is; it's knowing what to say and when to say it. Avoiding questions that might make a bride feel uncomfortable is part of that, too.
We'd love to hear what you think.