Exactly How to Answer the Rudest Wedding Questions

Here are some clear and classy responses to unwanted wedding opinions.
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The Knot
Updated Jul 29, 2020

Among the congratulatory comments and well-wishes from loved ones, you might also hear a remark or two that is perceived as rude, annoying or flat-out appalling. Even if the person means well, some questions might leave you speechless or unsure of how to respond. To help you navigate tricky coversations, we've rounded up the most common rude wedding questions or comments you might hear, along with exactly how to respond. Of course, remember each situation will be different and should be handled on a case-by-case basis. Discretion is encouraged, especially since it's your time to shine. But if you do find yourself in a tough spot, use these examples to craft a respectfully firm response.

"Are you sure you're ready to marry?"

Translation: Coming from an unmarried acquaintance, this sort of question could be a projection of their own fears—they're not in a position to make a lifelong commitment, so it's hard to imagine that you could be.

What to Say: Exude confidence and leave no room for anyone to debate if you or your fiancé are in any way unprepared for what you're getting into. Say, "Absolutely! We're completely in love and ready to be together forever."

"The marriage won't last."

Translation: Whether it's a reflection of their own marriage problems or a past incident that convinced them monogamy is impossible, this person has a knack for souring good news—but don't let them.

What to Say: It's easy to get offended by this type of comment, but always take the high road. The best form of deflection is often humor, so you might simply say something tongue-in-cheek like, "Well, let's hope you're wrong—I want all this wedding planning to be worth it," then just let it go. After all, you know your relationship best.

"What are you going to do about your wedding?"

Translation: If unexpected circumstances lead you to alter your wedding date, guests naturally want to know your next steps as it pertains to themselves. Will they still be invited? Are you planning an entirely new wedding, or will you still get married on the original date and host a delayed reception? Are you scrapping wedding plans altogether for an elopement or minimony? Bottom line: Guests want to know what you'll do if your date changes, and their concerns may feel overbearing.

What to Say: It can be frustrating (and downright exhausting) to field questions when you might not even have a new plan in place yet. Answer honestly: "Thanks for reaching out! We're still figuring out our next steps, but we'll update our guests as soon as we have a plan. Keep an eye on your email, as we'll have updated information on our wedding website for when that time arrives." If you're sending change-the-dates and the guest asking questions will be invited to the new celebration, encourage them to look out for an updated invite in the mail.

"If you postpone your wedding, should I still get you a gift?"

Translation: Postponed wedding etiquette can be confusing. A wedding may be put on hold for a variety of reasons, from scheduling conflicts to a pandemic. Your guest might be unfamiliar with the scenario at hand, and they don't want to misstep. It's also possible guests might be coordinating personal financial situations, so try to give them the benefit of the doubt. Giving a gift is an important part of attending a wedding, and they want to make sure they're doing the right thing.

What to Say: Traditional etiquette indicates that it's inappropriate to ask for gifts outright. (Hence why your registry information goes on your wedding website, not your formal invitation.) However, a postponed wedding (or a delayed celebration) doesn't take away from the fact that you and your S.O. are embarking on newlywed life. We recommend saying something like, "Thank you for asking! A gift isn't necessary—we're just excited to celebrate with you. You can find all the updated information you need on our wedding website." Directing them to your site will inadvertently lead them to your registry, where the guest can decide their next steps.

"Your engagement is too long."

Translation: Any engagement over a year might seem excessive to some, but it takes a lot of time to pull everything together. (Psst: The average length of an engagement was over a year in 2019.) Plus, that little thing called life can sometimes get in the way. The person's comment may actually just be out of surprise, not ill will.

What to Say: You have a few acceptable options. You could explain the best wedding vendors are booked more than a year in advance or, if you feel comfortable sharing, you can disclose how you're extending the engagement to save money. Perhaps you might tell them you have something you want to accomplish (finish your degree, settle into a new job) before you take another big step and make your marriage official. Remember: Whatever feels comfortable with you for an extended engagement ultimately has very little impact on your guests.

"Your engagement is too short."

Translation: While you and your fiancé have probably discussed getting engaged for a while, the news might be a shock to some. The person who says this probably doubts you'll have enough time to process your decision and plan a nice wedding.

What to Say: Reassure them that, although your engagement is brief, you set the wedding planning wheels in motion well before getting engaged. Be calm—if you seem too swept up in the excitement of the proposal, it supports the idea that you're rushing things.

"If this was my wedding…"

Translation: Guests might think they're being helpful by sharing what they would do in your situation, though they might not realize how insensitive that statement comes across. Deep down, they're likely offering advice from a place of love, even if it doesn't sound that way.

What to Say: It's best not to get too into detail here, so keep your response brief. A statement like, "Thanks for sharing! We're moving forward with our own plans, and we'll keep everyone updated through our wedding website," will suffice.

"Is that really the ring you wanted?"

Translation: Almost any engagement ring can elicit a snide remark, whether it's too big, too small, too sparkly or not sparkly enough. This sort of nastiness undoubtedly stems from jealousy that you've been proposed to, and the ring is an object that provides an outlet for them to concentrate all their envious feelings on.

What to Say: It's every newly engaged person's right to show off the new symbol of their promise to their partner, but if you get negative vibes from someone, draw focus away from the ring with a simple and grounded reply, like, "We're both really happy and excited."

"This bridesmaid dress is ugly."

Translation: While it's a cliché for a bridesmaid to gripe about the dress, it still happens. If they're strapped for cash, their disapproval might betray the hope you'll pick something less expensive. Or they could really think it's hideous.

What to Say: Find out why they don't like it and try to find some middle ground. Suggest that they stick with the dress color but then let them choose their own silhouette, for example.

"That's a great idea—I'll do it too!"

Translation: Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but it's aggravating when a friend steals a unique wedding idea you worked hard to make personal. Take it as a compliment that your ideas are so great, then try to steer your friend in a new direction.

What to Say: Agree the idea would work well in your friend's wedding, but suggest they personalize it to better fit their style. Encourage some brainstorming and change an element of the concept so it's similar but not identical.

"Who's paying for all this?"

Translation: Maybe they're surprised by all of the nice details you've included in your wedding, or perhaps they're wondering how your parents could afford to host such a great party on their own dime. Either way, this one ranks near the very top of the bad etiquette list.

What to Say: Unless you're willing to share that info, immediately let the person know they've crossed the line: "I'm sorry, but that's between my partner and I."

"Am I going to be invited?"

Translation: No need to decipher this one—this person simply wants to attend the party. Tactless on their part, sure, but don't be surprised when a curious coworker, excitable neighbor or wayward cousin asks for an invite.

What to Say: Rather than postpone the awkwardness with a dodgy line like, "We haven't finalized the list yet," if they're not invited, tell them so. Say something like, "We're sticking to a tighter budget and keeping things intimate, so our guest list will be mostly close family."

"How much did that cost?"

Translation: This can be interpreted in a few ways. If the person is planning their own wedding, they're probably asking out of genuine interest because they like what you're doing. If, however, there's no chance they're planning their nuptials, odds are whatever you tell them will garner an obnoxious response.

What to Say: You could throw them off with some sarcasm or dramatics: "It cost me an arm and my partner a leg—next week we're going in for surgery together. Romantic, right?"

"I'm RSVPing...with a guest."

Translation: Some people think it's fine to tack on a plus-one to any wedding invite. Though it's definitely a wedding etiquette faux pas, you should give your guest the benefit of the doubt and chalk it up to an innocent misunderstanding rather than a snobby "I don't go anywhere without a date" attitude.

What to Say: Call as soon as you receive the offending RSVP and gently explain: "I'm sorry that it wasn't clearer, and we're excited you're coming, but our guest list is packed so we can't include a date for every guest."

"I want to make a toast."

Translation: They want the world (or at least the reception) to know how proud they are that you tied the knot. And a minute in the spotlight satisfies any extrovert tendencies they might have.

What to Say: Say you're flattered by the offer, but you want to keep the toasts to a minimum—just the parents and honor attendants. If a close family member really wants to speak, consider letting them say a few words at the rehearsal dinner.

"So when are you going to have kids?"

Translation: The joy of a wedding leaves some people overly enthusiastic about the next huge life event: starting a family. Curiosity about baby plans is natural—most people keep those thoughts to themselves, while others prove to be significantly less reserved.

What to Say: Even if you have a clear plan about when you want to start having kids, be vague in discussing a timeline. Try, "We'd love to be parents someday, but we're taking things one step at a time—starting with the wedding."

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