It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement when your friends announce their engagement.
But in the same way that single people hate being constantly asked when they’re going to get a partner (and yes, this often happens at weddings) or married couples when they’re going to have kids, the same applies here.
Here are a few guidelines on minefields to avoid:
1. You’ve been dating for so long, is this going to be a long engagement too?
I’ve heard this one too often. Firstly, the amount of time people have dated or will be spending engaged is none of your business.
Secondly, so what if they’re engaged forever? If couples are in it for the long haul then the engagement date will never have an expiry date.
Wedding planning takes time and most importantly it costs money. Not everyone who gets engaged can get married within a year or two, simply because they’re not financially ready or in a position to put down a deposit on their dream wedding venue (and yes, that still makes it okay for a couple to get engaged anyway).
It’s way better to spend as much time as you can enjoying being engaged while saving up for the wedding you want, instead of rushing through and feeling pressurised because society has placed a timestamp on your celebration. By the same token, it’s 100% okay if you’re in the position to get married within less than a year.
The point is to not make the couple feel judged for their choices.
2. So are you planning on trying some weight-loss regimes?
It’s clear that even though we’ve made some strides when it comes to the issue of body shaming in any form, the wedding industry is still filled with the pervasive idea that the only way to be a beautiful bride is to be a skinny one.
From brides who starve themselves, to those undergoing surgery or getting feeding tubes to aid the weight loss process, the lengths some brides go through to look perfect on their big day is terrifying.
Unless the bride-to-be (also, why is this question ALMOST ALWAYS posed to women?) actually wants to lose weight and is asking for your advice, don’t even think of mentioning about weight loss and dieting.
Also, you’re not much of a friend if one of the first questions that comes to mind is “So what are you going to do to look good for your wedding?”
3. I can’t imagine being married
Well, good for you but this isn’t about you, so try not to be a buzz kill? It is totally possible to not want marriage while being happy for those who do want it.
Also, the engagement is about celebrating your friends’ happiness, and making comments like that is not only dismissive but also redirects the attention to you.
4. Who do you plan on inviting?
Questions like this one make it awkward for all involved.
You might think of it as genuine curiosity, but the invitation question could clearly be construed as a ploy to find out if you’re on the guest list.
Issues like budget constraints and considerations as to whether or not the wedding will be a small and intimate wedding often play a huge role when it comes to finalising invites, so your subtle implication that you should be attending because you’re friends should die along with this very question.
It’s also the reason you shouldn’t even ask if they’ve set a date yet.
WATCH: Wedding etiquette mistakes you didn't know you were making
What’s the worst thing someone has said or asked you when you first got engaged? Tell us and we could feature your response in an up and coming article.
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