Finding the Right Words for Poor Etiquette
Until it becomes possible to disappear when a friend, relative, or stranger asks you an obviously inappropriate question about your wedding, we must find new ways to dance around sensitive issues. Not everyone knows that asking about the bride’s weight is not alright, and questions about the guest list are none of their business. Here are a few comments that will probably pop up during the planning process, and some suggested responses: “How much did (the dress/the ring/ the reception) cost?” This person probably isn’t trying to be rude, they’re just curious about the details of your day and it’s the only way they could think of to start a conversation about it. Then again, it’s possible they are trying to be rude by measuring you based on your presumed monetary worth. Either way, try not to counter with aggressive or snarky responses. The best way to dance around this question is to change the subject entirely, providing details or a story about the item in question instead of answering directly: “Oh! Do you like it? I was just so surprised when _____ proposed!” Or “It took me six weeks of hunting to track this dress down, but it was fun bonding with my mom.” Hopefully, the inquirer will catch the hint or be glad to be talking “wedding” with you, even if the price tag stays out of it. If you feel close enough with the person (like a good work friend), you could always address the issue of finances in a light-hearted manner: “A good shopper never tells!” “Why isn’t _____ invited?” Guest list issues are not the business of guests, period. For all they know, there is a very good reason your stepmother isn’t coming, or your shallow second cousin has not been asked to be the maid of honor. Make this answer short and sweet – you don’t owe any explanation for your decisions, and discussing it will do nothing but stir up unwanted drama. “Unfortunately, ______ couldn’t make it. Have you tried the soup shooters?” “______ has been so busy with school lately; I didn’t want to burden her with bridesmaid duties. Have you tried the soup shooters?” It can be a little more complicated when the question is about the exclusion of a guest’s children. If a couple was asked not to bring their young ones and they see a few kids on the dance floor, they may ask for an explanation:
“Unfortunately due to the restrictions of the venue/size of the wedding/budget, we could only accommodate the children of immediate family.” The best way to avoid this is to let kids in or out unanimously. Exceptions are hard to explain, and some of your guests could feel alienated. “Do you want children?” You’ll get this question way more than you could possibly expect, but answering with any sense of finality (“No. Not in a million years; no.”) will only be met with a: “You say that now, but you’ll change your mind.” Avoid it with a less-final answer like “We’re really just focused on starting our life as a married couple right now.” Or “We haven’t even started thinking about things like that with all of this business with the wedding!” To the inquirer, it’s just a question regarding the next “logical” step of adulthood. Obviously, things have changed, but you don’t need to stage a feminist revolution at your next “Bunco” game. If all else fails, go for broke and dish out some of my favorite answers:
“Why? Are you selling some?” “You know, when we yearn for the pitter-patter of little feet, we buy a dog. They’re cheaper and you get twice as many feet.” And finally: “Are you going to lose any weight for the wedding?”
When in doubt, change the subject.