Many are proud of their steadfast honesty, their “what you see is what you get” personality. Of course, being this sort of person, and having you as a friend, has many advantages. But, there are some times when it is just not appropriate to say particular things to certain people. Weddings and engagements are certainly some of these occasions. The couple has made heartfelt, emotional decisions about which they have probably thought long and hard. They have included you in their celebrations because you are important to them. Do not make them regret this decision by being insensitive and inappropriate.
Some of the things that you should never say to either of the individuals in the couple include:
- “I presume you aren’t going be wearing a white dress!” – The amount of sexual experience that the bride-to-be has is nobody’s business but hers. In addition, the traditional white wedding dress actually originates from ancient Roman times, when white was the symbolic colour of celebration, not of sexual purity.
- “Oh, weddings are so boring / over-rated” – The couple and their family has probably spent a lot of money organising their special day and making you a part of it. If you do not enjoy weddings, simply do not attend. But don’t be a wet blanket by attending and expressing your dislike.
- “When are you going to start a family?” – The couple is, almost certainly, getting married because they love one another, not because marriage is the only way for them to be able to have children. In fact, they may not want to have children at all. This is another part of their lives that is personal and private; nobody’s business but their own. Rather, focus on the joy of the wedding and let them worry about what comes afterwards.
- “You’d better put on / lose some weight before the big day!”– Weight is such a sensitive issue, and the chances are that, whatever their body type, they are very well aware of any issues. No external input is necessary.
- “I never imaged that you would get married!” – There is almost nothing positive that you could possibly mean from saying this. You are implying that they were too promiscuous, not desirable enough, too eccentric or would make a bad spouse. Keep your thoughts to yourself on this one.
- “Welcome to the old ball-and-chain!” – Firstly, the couple has probably heard this a hundred times before you got around to it. Secondly, they have already made the decision to get married, and your negative comments will accomplish nothing except putting a damper on their happiness. Be optimistic about their new adventure.
- “Why on earth are you marrying him / her?” – Even if you really feel that you cannot understand their choice in partner, this really is not the time to be bringing it up. Remember too that your tastes differ from theirs, and that you are not the one that has to live with the person. So, relax and enjoy the fun; let them worry about their choice in partner themselves.
- “Wow, you’re getting married quickly!” – Not everyone needs a particularly long time planning a wedding. Some people know what they want and when they want it.
- “Try to make this one will last!” – Even when you say this as a joke (not a very funny one either), it is hurtful, nasty and unnecessary. A previously failed marriage is traumatic; no one needs to be reminded of their past mistakes or sadness.
- “The wedding venue must have cost you a fortune! Who is paying for all of it?” – You are actually one of the reasons that the function is costing so much – they want to make their day extra special for those with whom they are spending it. So, just enjoy and appreciate it, rather than being concerned about the cost.
- “Of course I’ll come, with my date!” – If a partner was not expressly invited, do not bring one. The couple pays per head, so be respectful of their budget and do not assume.
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