Those Words We Hate to Hear

Last night I was out at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. for a casual bachelorette dinner, surrounded by a bunch of girls who, like me, have been up to their eyeballs in weddings this past year.  As the conversation progressed from comparing engagement ring styles to honeymoon itineraries, we got onto the subject of the strange, humorous, and sometimes just plain annoying questions brides- (and grooms)-to-be find themselves stammering to answer.

As a bride, you'll get lots of questions that make you roll your eyes. Keep smiling! You're living the happiest time of your life, no matter how often you're asked if you're "getting" excited.

Without further ado, my favorites:

“So, are you getting excited?”
That ubiquitous question, we all agreed, stems from well-intentioned people who aren’t quite in the loop, or people who simply can’t think of anything else to say.  But it becomes ridiculous as the wedding gets closer.  Several times during my own engagement, I wanted to answer that question with, “Yes, now that I’ve been engaged for seven months, I’m finally getting excited!”

“How are plans coming?”
In and of itself, this question is fine and dandy .  Like the previous question though, it’s downright silly when the wedding’s only a few weeks — or days — away.  This was my friend Meredith’s pet peeve.  “By that point, the planning’s done!” she laughed.  (And this girl knows: In a six-month span, she’s been a bridesmaid three times and gotten married herself!)  Similarly, at a party barely a month before my wedding, my jaw nearly dropped at an acquaintance’s inquiry, “So, have you gotten your reception hall booked yet?”  That question was followed up with, “And you’ve gotten your dress?”

“When are you sending out invitations?

If the question comes from someone who won’t be getting an invitation, it’s pretty hard to answer without stuttering somewhere in your reply!

“Do you mind me asking how much your wedding is going to cost?”
Sure, there were people who knew a ballpark sum of my wedding’s cost.  About three of them.  And let me tell you, I wasn’t eager to share the price tag with anyone who didn’t need to know!  Inevitably, the questioner thinks your sum is high as heaven (and therefor you must be a selfish snob) or embarrassingly low (and announces just how tacky your big day will be).  But there are a few exceptions: I happily explained my budget to others who were just beginning to plan their own weddings and were seeking advice on how to spend wisely and what they could expect to get for the amount they had to spend.

“Can I bring a date to the wedding?”
At least I can say I only had to deal with this with a couple of guests!  Many couples find every invitee who is single requesting a date — or worse, just showing up with one unannounced — even if the invitation didn’t specify “and guest.”  Have an answer at the ready to save yourself the embarrassment of a curt refusal, the expense of agreeing, or the trouble of letting some guests come plus one but telling others to show up alone.  (We set a standard: Unless a couple had been dating seriously forat least three months, only our friend would attend.)  Similarly, many parents bring uninvited children — be ready for this, too!

“Are you getting nervous?”
The consensus at dinner last night was that the poor grooms hear more than their fair share of this one.  Why grooms are assumed to get cold feet or second guess their desire to settle down with the women of their dreams was beyond us — but we were quite amused by the different directions of the questions aimed and brides and grooms.  Brides are expected to be ecstatic. . .grooms, problematic.

During your engagement, you’ll probably hear at least several of these questions — and quite possibly some that are a whole lot worse.  Just keep smiling, and thinking about how happy you’ll be on your wedding day.  That is surely worth a few pesky questions now and then!

~ Laura

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One response to “Those Words We Hate to Hear

  1. Mine is a bit similar to the “So are you nervous?” one. I really don’t like all those jokes about the bride-to-be being a “ball and chain” or her having to keep her groom “in line” etc. etc. I can handle the odd one tossed in during speeches but overall I just think those jokes are slightly hurtful and kind of lame.

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