Since I am getting married in October I never realized all the things people say in everyday life that you should really not say to a bride. I never thought I would be a Bridezilla, and I don’t think I have gone off the deep end, but I can see how it happens. It is wedding season, and that means many brides-to-be 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 a few things you should definitely avoid saying.
I would like to note, there was a lot of talking with other friends planning a wedding and multiple internet searches to fill out this post. Not all of them have happened to me personally.
“I’ve been so busy…”
This one might seem innocuous enough, but when you are up to your eyeballs planning a wedding AND have to deal with the rest of your life at the same time, it’s hard to sympathize with anyone else.
“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. The fact that the bride has already put a good deal of time and money into her wedding probably won’t make this comment any more welcome.
“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. If you think the bride is out of line, tell her “Hey, I don’t think it is reasonable to have us spend $250 on a dress and then be upset that we can’t all fly to Vegas for your bachelorette.”
“I need [a dairy-free meal/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 at the last minute asking them to book a hotel room for you
“Why are you having the wedding there?”
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?”
“It’ll be fine.”
Nearly every bride has been told this when she’s stressing out about last-minute logistics. You’re trying to help her relax when you say that, but someone does have to sweat the small stuff to make a wedding work, especially with regards 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 relax.
“This must have cost you a fortune!”
The way celebrities’ wedding costs are blasted all over the news can make it seem like it’s appropriate to put a price tag on the dress, cake, and everything in between. But money is often a sticky subject for brides and grooms who don’t have a millionaire’s budget, don’t tell them about how much of a waste it is for one day.
And the opposite…
“I am really watching my budget”
Complaining about how broke you are to a bride-to-be is probably not the best conversation topic you could pick. Most brides try not to think wedding budget in their spare time, let alone how you can only afford to go out to the bar once a week now.
“I thought you’d never get married! You were such a swinging single!” Or even worse, “Dude, you finally let yourself be trapped, huh? Welcome to the jail of married life.”
You are SO funny. You are TOTALLY the first person to say this. And yes, the only reason to get married is because I’m forced to. It’s not possible that I’ve matured, and it’s not possible to have any freedom in marriage. How did you know? Just because you remember the bride when she was a total wild child or can provide the story behind the groom’s locker-room nickname doesn’t mean you should. This goes double for any conversation you have with other wedding guests who know the bride or groom from a different time in their lives; for example, coworkers or an older relative. Yes, they might still be the crazy kids you remember, but given the formality and importance of the day, it’s not the best time to air out the dirty laundry.
“Can you help me with…?”
When you’re at a wedding, it’s pretty easy to look to the bride and groom, as the ones who are in charge and running the show. For the same reason though, they’re going to be pretty busy, and by “pretty busy,” we mean “no-time-to-pee busy”. If you’ve got some minor issue, like the caterers brought you the wrong meal, don’t take it to the bride and groom. Instead, talk to the wedding planner or coordinator, one of the caterers, or, if you really feel it’s something the bride or groom needs to deal with personally, one of the bridesmaids or groomsmen who can pass along the message. The bride and groom already have a lot on their plates, so it’s important to respect the difference between an actual emergency and what just seems like one at the time.
“So I take it you’re not wearing white?”
Oh, I forgot, my wedding dress’s purpose is to help all of my guests know how virginal I am. Perhaps I should instead just wear a sign detailing my bedroom activities.
“Are you pregnant!?”, “So, when are you having kids?”, or even “You’re old to be getting married. Better get pregnant right away!”
Right, because the only reason to get married is if I’m pregnant, or about to be. Silly me, I thought we were getting married because we love each other. When you haven’t even tied the knot yet, and you’re getting the ‘baby talk’ from everyone around you, it can be a little tiring. The bride is focused on making her big day perfect, most of the time thoughts about the future don’t really make it past that.
“You better lose some weight before the wedding!”
Actually I’m hoping to gain some weight before the wedding. That way it will hurt more when I sit on you. I would hope everyone has the sense not to say this to a woman getting married.
“You look just like (insert name) on her wedding day!”
Even if you think it’s a compliment, every bride wants to feel like the single most beautiful bride of all time. Keep the comparisons out of the equation and instead focus on how ridiculously perfect and magical she looks. Like a perfect magical princess.
“Can my kind-of-boyfriend/friend from out of town/coworker stop by the reception tonight?”
This is a wedding, not casual happy hour. Unless you were given a plus one, the answer is a big fat no.
“Don’t panic but…”
Starting a sentence with this phrase should be illegal. The more casually you mention a problem, the more calmly it will be handled. Perhaps lining up solutions before telling the bride would be a great strategy
“There’s no way I can sit next to that person.”
Fun Fact! Seating arrangements are not done day-of. There is a lot of time, effort, thought and compromise put into seating arrangements. That means coming to the bride with a seating crisis the morning-of is probably a bad idea. Find the bar, and practice your small talk instead.
“I’m so surprised you chose to wear your hair like that/paint your nails that color/wear those shoes!”
Pseudo compliments are not welcome. Unless you have something effusively nice to say, keep the commentary to yourself. It is the same for saying something like, ‘well that is… unique?’
“You just need a few more drinks.”
A flute of champagne to calm the nerves? Absolutely. Four margaritas before the ceremony begins? Overkill. Slurring your vows has never been very flattering.
“You know 50% of marriages end in divorce, don’t you?”
Actually that’s a false statistic. The actual rate is closer to 24% for couples older than 25. But it’s always great to have a pessimist around to rain on my parade. What would I do without you? <3