Exactly How to Answer the Rudest Wedding Questions
Ever been faced with a wedding comment that was so inappropriate it left you tongue-tied? Among the congratulations and well-wishing, you might also hear a few remarks that are rude, annoying or flat-out appalling. Here's what to say to unwanted opinions and questions you may encounter.
"Are you sure you're ready?"
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.
"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. 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 that the best wedding vendors are booked more than a year in advance. Say you're extending the engagement to save more money. Or 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.
"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.
"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 she's strapped for cash, her disapproval might betray her hope you'll pick something less expensive. Or she could really think it's hideous.
What to Say: Find out why she doesn't like it and try to find some middle ground. Suggest that she stick with the dress color but then let her choose her 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." (For more advice on how to tell someone they're not invited, read here.)
"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: A simple "That's none of your business" will suffice, or 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 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."
Want more? Here are 8 things guests should never do at a wedding.