When planning your wedding, it’s inevitable people will ask awkward questions from time to time, and, though most people have good intentions they may be unaware that they may be over-stepping the odd boundary.
Whether the questioner is being blatantly rude or simply doesn’t understand etiquette and diplomacy, it’s always wise to be prepared. As the bride, here are some potential responses to help you tackle any awkward questions that will, likely, come your way at some stage during your wedding planning.
Awkward questions brides gets asked…
Q: When’s the big day?
A: “Give me a second, I’ve still got the engagement party to plan first!”
Let’s face it, this is the big question – and you’re going to be asked it pretty much every time you mention you’re getting married, so you may as well address it with a little humour.
Of course, when you’ve been asked a million times by everyone you come across it can become quite tiresome, especially if you’ve only been engaged for a day or two.
While some brides may feel like printing the date on their forehead or employing an assistant to answer on their behalf, the fact is you’re going to have to answer it.
Wording like this may be suitable:
– (insert partner’s name) and I are so excited that we are engaged and will be married in July next year!”
– Woohoo! (insert partner’s name) put a ring on it! July wedding here we come!”
Q: Can I bring a plus-one?
A: “Unfortunately (insert partner’s name) and I have already reached our maximum number of guests for the reception and don’t have room for any extra guests.”
Guests who ask this are usually being invited solo for a reason.
Couples may have a strict budget and simply cannot afford to pay for any extra guests or, perhaps, they just aren’t too keen on having people they don’t know at their wedding.
There are two ways to approach the response to this question: you can either explain that you are having a small wedding with just family and close friends in attendance or you can say that you have already reached your maximum amount of guests for the reception and simply do not have room for anyone else.
Q: Am I in the bridal party?
A: “(insert partner’s name) and I have settled on a small bridal party but we can’t wait to celebrate with you on the day!”
The answer to this question really depends on who is asking, although a generic response will work for most everyone.
If the person asking is someone you are not particularly close with then you may explain that you have chosen just close family and friends to be in the bridal party.
If, on the other hand, the person asking lives far away, you can mention that your bridal party have had to have numerous meetings and fittings for their outfits and it would have been unreasonable to ask the person to travel back and forth for necessary appointments.
In saying this, it really is an awkward question for someone to ask any bride, so ultimately you should answer however you see fit – and, well, if they’re going to embarrass you by asking such a brazen question, you have the right to respond equally frankly.
You’re having it in a Church, aren’t you?
“(insert partner’s name) and I haven’t decided yet, but we probably won’t have the ceremony in a church as we’d prefer an outdoor/beach/garden ceremony.”
Traditionally, all wedding ceremonies were religious and, therefore, held in a Church or another building of religious significance, but when it comes to getting married, many couples these days opt for outdoor ceremonies or locations other than a church.
So, if you have decided on a non-Church wedding, you will actually fall into the majority category. Regardless, where you hold your wedding ceremony is your own choice – and your choice alone, so your response should simply be the truth, whatever that may be, however, if you do wish to soften the blow, you could say that your wedding planning is still in progress and that the ceremony and reception venues haven’t yet been finalised.
Again, this response may vary depending on who is asking.
Q: When are you starting a family?
A: “That’s not something even (insert partner’s name) and I have discussed yet!”
This is up there with some of the most awkward questions brides get asked. It’s an incredibly personal question, one some people prefer not to discuss – particularly if the ink on the marriage certificate isn’t even yet dry.
It’s entirely up to you how you handle this most intrusive question, however, again, it depends on who’s asking, right?
You may take no offence to this question being asked by a close family member or friend but may feel less comfortable if the person asking is someone you don’t know very well or wouldn’t share such personal information with.
The most polite way to respond is to brush it off jokingly by exclaiming that you and your partner haven’t even discussed it yet, let alone with anyone else.
However, if you feel that the person asking is being slightly inappropriate, then reply honestly by saying it’s a personal decision that you’d prefer not to discuss at the current time.
Q: Is it OK if I wear white?
A: “That’s so considerate of you for asking me, and, while I normally wouldn’t mind, I would prefer that you didn’t wear the same colour as me on my wedding day.”
While some brides may not care in the slightest if their guests wear white, there are still many brides out there who may not be very impressed when their cousin’s girlfriend turns up in a bright white dress.
If a guest asks if they can wear white to your wedding you should simply reply with your true feelings. If you don’t think it’s OK, simply explain to them that as the bride you feel that white is a colour reserved for you and you would prefer if they didn’t wear white.
Obviously, if you don’t mind, let the guest know so. Oh, and if you want to have some fun with it, you can ensure the hashtag #twinning is used on any selfies you take together on the day.
Q: How much are you spending on your wedding?
A: “Oh, I’m not really sure yet. We are still in the middle of planning everything.”
This question is, without doubt, a particularly nosy one, even if the person asking is a close friend or relative.
However, despite being tempted to tell the questioner to mind their own business, you can always politely deflect by saying that you aren’t really sure yet as you are still in the planning stage and therefore can’t disclose your wedding budget.
Of course, other answers – delivered with a big smile – may also suffice:
– Who knows? We’ll only really know the final cost the day we walk down the aisle!
– Ah, what is it they say about never discussing religion, politics, sex or money?
Q: Do I really have to send back the RSVP?
If you have gone to the effort of organising, designing and paying for your wedding invitations as well as RSVP’s and sourcing the little envelopes and stamps to send them back in, then the answer to this question is a no-brainer.
Unless the guest is immediate family or a member of your bridal party, you will most likely require the RSVP so you can finalise your guest list.
In this case, you can explain that you really do need it back as a) you need to know all of your guests’ dietary requirements, and b) it will make the process of creating your seating planner chart much easier.
Q: Can I make a speech?
A: “That’s so sweet of you, but unfortunately we’ve had to limit speeches to just family/close friends as our reception schedule is already packed very tight.”
Now, this is a tricky one and your response really depends on who is asking.
If it’s a close friend, family member or even a member of the bridal party, you probably haven’t asked them to give a speech as you don’t have much time allocated for speeches. Many couples also find that when they allow certain people to give a speech, they essentially open the floodgates to others also wanting to give a speech, which can result in the speeches running for far too long.
If the person asking is close to you, simply be honest and explain that only your parents, you and/or your partner, or just a member or two of the bridal party are speaking, as it purely comes down to time limitations.
If however, the person asking is someone you aren’t particularly close with or you feel they have another agenda besides wishing you well as a couple, just explain that you’ve limited the speeches to just family and the bridal party.
Q: Are you going to invite your father/sister-in-law/aunt?
A: “I’d rather not discuss that at this time.”
Some brides may be estranged from their parents or a parent, or some brides may have had a serious altercation/falling out with a family member or friend. Ultimately, this can be difficult when the bride is getting married as she will have to decide whether or not to invite the individual.
Naturally, this is a very personal decision and a sensitive topic. If you have a relative or friend that you no longer speak to, then it is your decision whether or not to invite them to your wedding, despite any opinion or suggestions others may have.
If someone questions you as to whether or not you intend on inviting that person, you should reply however you feel most comfortable. If you would prefer not to discuss it then simply say you’d rather not.
Q: Can I stay at your house the weekend of the wedding?
A: “I would love for you to stay, but unfortunately we already have other people staying with us and have no room.”
This can be tricky for many reasons.
Some couples may prefer to stay at a hotel the night before their wedding, or some may have the bridal party or other family members already staying with them. Or perhaps they know it will be a chaotic weekend of preparation and they simply don’t have time to entertain guests at their home the same weekend they are getting married.
A polite way to respond is to say you already have others staying at your house, and if you feel obliged, some couples even offer to pay for the guests’ accommodation somewhere nearby.
Alternatively, you can be honest and explain that it will be such a busy time for you with photographers, make-up artists, hairdressers, bridesmaids and other guests popping in and out, that you feel it would be difficult to have them stay at that time.
Honesty is always the best policy.