As your friends get engaged and you find yourself complementing a bunch of engagement rings, you may be tempted to rattle off a list of questions.
Some of these questions may be obligatory and standard, like "Where did you get engaged?"
But these 13 questions should be avoided at all costs if you don't want your friend to have a meltdown or transform into a bridezilla.
1. Have you set a date yet?
This might seem an obvious first question to ask a bride, but give the couple some time. Chances are they'll already feel loads of pressure to get moving on wedding plans long before the first celebratory bottle of champagne is even popped.
2. Are you really sure you're ready to spend forever with this person?
Forever is a really long time, isn't it? Don't remind the bride of this.
Instead of focusing on the lifelong marital bliss part, remind her how lucky she is to have found her person, her soulmate.
3. Can I bring a plus one?
It may be extra tempting to ask for a plus one, even if everyone else you know going to the wedding is going with their own arm candy. But if you weren't invited with a plus one, your chances of asking and getting one is very slim. Guest lists are always crammed and the couple usually invites more people than they hope show up. But you can always ask a week or two before to see if any last minute guests can't come and your date-to-be can take their place instead.
4. Mind if I show up late?
Don't ask, don't tell. If you happen to miss the ceremony or show up right before the couple shares their first marital kiss, keep that a secret.
5. My kids are coming too. Is that cool?
If your invitation to the wedding wasn't addressed to your entire family, it's safe to assume you'll need to hire a babysitter for the night. You may think it's no big deal to lug your kids along to the wedding, but the bride may have different plans in store. She may even have to pay for them to attend. So it's best to leave them home for the night unless they are included on the invite.
6. Are you thinking of having kids yet?
The couple hasn't even said 'I Do' yet, let alone paid off their wedding yet. Skipping a few life milestones ahead and asking if they are ready or interested in popping out babies soon is never a good idea before the bride has a chance to walk down the aisle and jet set away on her honeymoon first.
7. Are you going to have this at your wedding?
Social media and Pinterest already has the potential to make any bride-to-be go mad with the amount of comparing and contrasting they can do with other weddings they see everywhere they look. Try and avoid asking if the bride will have this or that at her wedding, or even telling her that she should look to a certain person's wedding for added inspiration.
8. Do I have to bring a gift?
Weddings are a lot of things, but in the end, they are a celebration. Don't show up empty-handed or ask the couple if you should bring a gift. Bring something. Bring anything. Even if you can't afford to give them a giant present or a large sum of money, at least bring a card with you to the wedding to hand over.
9. What does your dress look like?
One of the best moments of the wedding is seeing the dress as the bride walks down the aisle. If she wants to give you a pre-wedding look at the dress of the dreams, she'll show you on her own will.
10. Can I let you know later if I'm coming?
RSVP when the deadline asks you to. If you don't know whether or not you'll be able to make it by the date on the invitation, don't ask for an extension. The bride has to give the venue a final headcount and finish off doing seating arrangements. Your "maybe" throws off both of these things, so give them a yes or a no.
11. Do you need help with anything?
The answer to this question is probably yes. But when you ask a person, who is planning their own wedding on a shoestring budget, what you can help with, they will be instantly blinded with the overwhelming amount of tasks on their to-do list and not be able to give you a coherent answer. Instead of asking what you can do, offer up your help in a few different, specific, areas and see what the bride bites first.
12. Wouldn't you rather elope?
Even if the bride is spending hours talking your ear off about how much of a money sucker her wedding is or how much stress it's bringing into her life, try and hold back from tossing around the idea that she just give up the idea of her perfect wedding day and elope. Throwing this option into the mix may just punch her in the gut with another layer of unneeded and unnecessary wedding anxiety.
13. Do you have cold feet?
Weddings come with their own set of frequent jitters that strike at any given moment. Every bride is a little bit nervous, a little bit anxious, and even a little bit on the verge of questioning whether or not getting married is what they want to do. Avoid acknowledging these jitters or even asking if she has cold feet.
Jen Glantz is a professional bridesmaid and the founder of Bridesmaid for Hire. She's the author of All My Friends Are Engaged and frequently wears old bridesmaid dresses to the grocery store and on first dates.