Wedding season is here, and that means many of the brides-to-be in your life are in the home stretch of planning. If you're chatting with a bride in the last few weeks before the big day, here are ten things you should definitely avoid saying.
1. "It'll be fine." Nearly every bride has been told this when she's stressing out about last-minute logistics. We know you're trying to help her relax when you say that, but someone does kind of have to sweat the small stuff to make a wedding work, especially with regard to things like transportation or vendor arrival times. So if she's putting thought into the details or 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 a month before the wedding -- when all the details are likely pretty final -- this kind of comment is even less appreciated. Similarly, stay away from bashing other weddings you've attended; even if the couple isn'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?" We actually don't think you should ever ask a bride-to-be this question but definitely don't ask it in the weeks leading up to the big day; you're basically telling her you don't think she looks good as is.
5. "Can I bring a date?" If you're wondering whether you can bring a date to the wedding, check your invitation. If the invitation was only addressed to you, and there's no mention of "and guest," then your guest is not invited. Similarly, if both the inner and outer envelope of the invite are addressed to "Mr. and Mrs. Smith," your children are most likely not invited.
6. "Where's ______'s invitation?" Brides hear this a lot from older relatives who want to know why a cousin or sibling didn't get an invitation. If the invitation was lost in the mail, rest assured that the couple will contact that guest for the 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. "Don't be a bridezilla!" No one gets a free pass on acting like a jerk, but you can call out bad behavior without using the b-word (which gets tossed around far too much). 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 brunch wedding or wearing a pink gown, the faux politeness that insults her taste is sure 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...
"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!"
"Wedding planning isn't easy but you're doing a great job!"
"I'm sure you have a lot going on; is there anything I can do to help?"
—By Rachel W. Miller