With wedding season underway, it's likely that you know a gal who's about to get married. But as you're making small talk with a bride, here are ten things you should never say.
1. "Relax, it will all be fine."
Look, we know you're trying to help when you say that, but no one wants to hear that when she's working through last-minute logistics. And someone does kind of have to sweat the small stuff to make a wedding work, especially when it comes to things like transportation or vendor arrival times. So if she's trying to get organized, don't tell her to chill.
2. "I hope you don't have [gluten/a DJ/a specific religious tradition/my ex] at your wedding."
It's never a good idea to make statements like this, but saying it right before the wedding -- when it's too late to make changes -- is even more obnoxious. In general, don't bash weddings in front of a bride; even if she and her sweetheart aren't planning to do the thing you didn't like, it still makes them feel judged and anxious.
3. "Why are you having the wedding there?"
We know that traveling to a wedding is often hard on a guest's budget...but if it's a pain for you to attend, don't come, and definitely don't write on the bride's Facebook wall, "Why don't you just have the wedding in ____ so people don't have to travel?" (True story.)
4. "Are you planning to lose weight?"
You really don't need to ask anyone this question, but asking it of a bride is extra rude. You're basically telling her you don't think she looks good as is.
5. "Can I bring a date?"
Did you check your invitation first? If the invitation was only addressed to you, and there's no mention of "and guest," then your guest is not invited. And if both the inner and outer envelopes of the invite are addressed to "Mr. and Mrs. Jones," your children are not invited.
6. "Where's ______'s invitation?"
Trust us, if the invitation was lost in the mail, the couple will contact that guest for her RSVP. And if there was never an invitation to begin with...well, it happens. Unless one received a save the date, he shouldn't necessarily expect a wedding invitation.
7. "I need [a dairy-free meal/to bring my kid/a place to stay/an allergy-free venue]."
Don't go to the couple four weeks before the wedding with your needs; they are worrying about the big picture. If you need to find out if, say, there will be fresh flowers at the wedding because you're severely allergic, that's fine. But don't go to them demanding that they cancel the florist at the last minute.
8. "Ugh, whatever, bridezilla!"
No one gets a free pass on acting like a jerk, but you can call out annoying behavior without name-calling. If you think the bride is out of line, address the issue directly: "Hey, I think it's unreasonable to expect us to spend $250 on a dress and to be upset that we can't all fly to Vegas for your bachelorette."
9. "Well, that's...different!"
Whether she's having a cake-and-punch reception or wearing pants, faux politeness that insults her non-traditional taste is going to sting.
10. "It's just a party!"
While this is technically true, it's a very special party that people put a ton of time and money into, and that comes with a lot of expectations. The fact is, people do judge women for their weddings, and trying to merge families, deal with differing tastes, and manage a budget to pull off an event that is up to everyone's standards is hard.
Worried you're going to run out of things to talk about? Here are three things you can always say...
"I'm sure you have a lot going on; is there anything I can do to help?"
"Wedding planning isn't easy but you're doing a great job!"
"Wow, you've put so much time and thought into this; I'm sure it will all show and be appreciated on your wedding day!"
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