Wedding season is upon us, and we all know brides can be a sensitive breed. They can’t be blamed, though — a wedding is one of the most important days of your life, after all. But when dealing with a bride, you have to be extremely careful. There are certain things that you simply cannot say to her, because a) they’re rude and b) you definitely don’t want to be the person who ruined her big day.
Say one of these cringe-worthy things to a bride and she’ll never forget it. (Think: 10 years later she’s still saying “I still can’t believe so-and-so said THAT at my wedding!”).
To keep you from being that guest, we’ve broken down the 12 worst things you could possibly say to a bride.
No wedding gaffs for you!
1“Can I bring a plus one?”
No one wants to go to a wedding solo, but sometimes that’s how it works out. Lauren Hutton, owner and founder of Sydney Camille Events, explains that this is a no-no because brides have put countless hours into their guest lists and given their plus ones to as many guests as their budget and venue allows for. “Graciously accept if you did not get a plus one and try to be understanding,” Hutton says. “Weddings can be pricey!”
2“What is your wedding budget?”
Diane Gottsman, author of Modern Etiquette for a Better Life, explains that the bride already feels that her wedding was pricey but oh-so worth it. “It’s not polite to talk about money,” she says simply.
3“How much was your ring?”
Once again, money should never be discussed, and Gottsman points out that this is a particularly rude comment.
4“I can’t believe you’re already/finally getting married (again).”
Hutton says that many women have a fear, deep down, that they may never find the right match. So, “Saying something like this brings up personal insecurities. It’s not something the bride wants to hear on her wedding day. Whether this is her first marriage or third, previous relationships should never be brought up. And I am guessing the groom doesn’t want to hear about it either!”
5“Don’t be such a bridezilla.”
No one aspires to be a bridezilla, and if they are being one, they don’t need you to point it out. Gottsman, who founded the Protocol School of Texas, points out that there are much better ways of gently broaching a bride’s anxiety on her wedding day. “There is no place for name-calling at a wedding,” she says.
6“It was so expensive getting/staying here!”
Don’t make your problems the bride’s on her big day.
“Brides already know how expensive travel costs and lodging are, they don’t need the reminder. They’re so appreciative of you making the extraordinary effort to come. Part of the planning process is searching for multiple lodging options for guests, including more affordable hotels. Couples usually try to reserve hotel blocks at less expensive hotels, but there isn’t always that option. The bride doesn’t need a guilt trip on her wedding day,” Hutton says. “If the guest went over budget on travel and accommodations, they could have taken it upon themselves and found a more affordable option on their own rather than telling the bride.”
7“Are you worried the groom/bride might get cold feet?”
“There is no reason to bring a negative slant into such a beautiful experience,” Gottsman says. Hutton adds that this may be a fear in the back of a bride’s mind – real or imagined – and she likely does not want to discuss it with anyone.
8“What time is the ceremony/reception?”
Did you get an invitation in the mail? Pro tip: read it. Hutton notes that couples put a lot of time and thought into building their wedding websites and crafting their invitations — all the info you need will be found there. And if you still can’t find some critical detail, ask the maid of honor or best man, they’re there to help.
9“Should you really be wearing white?”
In today’s world, most brides wear white, virgins or not. Hutton says the tradition of only virgins wearing white is “outdated” and of course it is expected the bride should wear white. She doesn’t need you trying to be funny when all you’re being is rude.
10“Are you excited for the wedding night (hint, hint)?”
The same rude wedding guest would either say this, or the former, and both should never be uttered.
“A lot of my brides like to keep their wedding night private, as they should! Whether it is their first time or not, it is a special time for the couple and guests should respect that,” Hutton says. “Keep in mind there is a lot of family at a wedding, and that’s not exactly something the bride will want to discuss in front of her new mother-in-law.”
11“Good thing you lost weight for today!”
Never, ever talk about a bride’s weight, Hutton advises. She has probably already put tons of pressure on herself to look perfect, and she doesn’t need you offering this kind of back-handed compliment on her appearance. “Instead, you could say something like ‘You look amazing! I have never seen you look more beautiful!’” says Hutton.
12“Did you know most marriages end in divorce?”
Why oh why would this ever come out of someone’s mouth at a wedding?! No bride goes into her marriage thinking she’s going to get divorced, so don’t bring such a negative vibe to her wedding, Hutton advises. Congratulate her and tell her you wish her a lifetime of happiness — and stop there.