“Congratulations” and “cheers” are always welcome—but definitely not these phrases.
When one of your friends or family members gets engaged, you’ll want to know all the details, obviously! Just steer clear of using these phrases when speaking to newly engaged couples. And if you’re ever in doubt, just think: “Would I want someone to ask me that?”
1. “When are you going to have kids?”
Ah, the question that’s always considered the rudest one—yet somehow, it still gets asked. Just trust us: We know you’re so excited for them, but your friends haven’t even planned their wedding yet. There’s just no reason to ask about starting a family. Some couples may not even want children, or might not be able to have them, so this is definitely a loaded question that’s always in poor taste to ask. But if the couple brings up the subject and talks openly about it, then feel free to engage in the discussion.
2. “Who’s paying for the wedding?”
The second most touchy topic after children is money—in any form. So unless it’s your sibling who’s engaged and you’re alone with them, don’t ask how the family is splitting the wedding budget. You don’t know if the families are disagreeing about money, or if one side can’t pay as much as the other, or if the couple is footing the bill all on their own, so it’s best to save the couple a headache and stay mum on the topic altogether.
3. “Are you inviting cousin Nick?”
Lots of preliminary budget conversations the couple has together usually have to do with the guest list. So nonchalantly asking if Nick is invited will stress them out. In their head, your question may sound like, “Is cousin Nick important enough to us to spend $150 on him in the small venue of our dreams?” Most couples wish they could invite everyone they love, but budget and space accomodations may not mean that every last friend and family member can make the cut—and asking if someone essentially did make the cut can be a sticky situation. Closer to the wedding, it’s okay to ask.
4. “I’m so excited to come to the wedding!”
You may be pumped to celebrate, but don’t assume anything until one of the to-be-weds tells you that you’re invited to the wedding. (A good indicator of that is being invited to the engagement party or being asked to give your address for the save-the-date.) For all you know, they could be having a super-small wedding or even eloping. With that also comes our suggestion to not assume you’re in the wedding party or attending the bachelor/ette party until you’re asked. That can also create an awkward moment with the couple.
5. “I can’t believe you’re settling down! Remember when you used to date…”
An engagement is a happy, exciting time for the couple—they’re planning a day to solidify and celebrate their life together. It’s definitely not the time to bring up an ex and make anyone feel uncomfortable or dampen the mood (and with exes, there’s a 99 percent chance it will).
6. “You should use the baker I used for my wedding.”
It’s completely fine to tell the couple that if they need any help with wedding planning, you’re there for them. Just leave it at that though—they’ve likely just started planning and are trying to find their own style and the right atmosphere for the wedding. Hold off on giving them unsolicited advice about pros you know of or used for your own wedding, though. Just because you loved your baker and the awesome naked cake she made doesn’t mean the couple will want to use her. They know you’re there for them if they need you.
7. “That’s not the ring I expected you to get.”
Even if you mean this type of comment harmlessly, it could be misinterpreted as backhanded or passive aggressive. To the proposer, it might sound you expected them to spend more (or less) money, or that their ring choice doesn’t align with their partner’s preferred style. From the ring receiver’s side, you’ll make them feel self-conscious about their most special and symbolic piece of jewelry. When in doubt, bite your tongue or stick to “It’s gorgeous!”
8. “How much did the ring cost?”
Ugh, the money questions again. Honestly, just don’t even go there. Unless, maybe, if you’re super-close to the couple, also planning to get engaged and want to gauge how much you or your partner should be spending. Even then, it’s better to do your own research and steer clear of budget-related comments.
9. “Are you planning to lose weight for the wedding?”
Ummm, excuse me? We shouldn’t even need to say it, but a question like this is totally uncalled for. A bride- or groom-to-be’s health and wellness routine is their business alone. If they have a fitness plan they want to talk about with you, great. Otherwise, your job is simply to beam at them and tell them how beautiful they are together.
10. “Are you sure you’re ready?”
This is none of your business. Unless you’re a relative or trusted, lifelong friend with serious concerns about the health and shelf life of the couple’s relationship, there’s no need to stick your nose where it doesn’t belong.
11. “Aren’t you a little young to get married?” Or, “It’s about time…”
This falls into a similar category as the previous off-limits question. A comment like this suggests to your engaged acquaintance that they’re abnormal in some way. Love is love, and it can happen at any age, between anyone! Be happy and supportive without letting snarky, backhanded comments about age spoil the conversation.
by Ivy Jacobson and Maggie Seaver
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