8 Things To Stop Saying To Newly Engaged Women: An Eye-Roll
I'm getting married, y'all.
And I couldn't be happier. I was never the girl who thought of my perfect wedding day. Or my ideal dress. Even my mother can attest that I wasn't even sure marriage was something I actually ever wanted to do. I was almost 100% ready to start planning the rest of my life with an adopted baby on my back in a foreign country with journals and books as my prized possessions. In short, I wasn't too keen on being just any ole body's "Mrs.". But life has a funny way of reminding us all who is truly in charge and now I am a Pinterest addict who cries watching episodes of "Say Yes To The Dress" (nah, but seriously, who has the Kleinfeld hookup?!). I am just as excited as everyone else about my upcoming nuptials except, maybe, my mother---no one is as excited as her. Hey, Judy! Yet, in the very short time since bae "put a ring on it", I've already noticed a great disparity in what newly engaged women hear vs. our male counterparts. And, honestly, y'all ought be shamed.
So...here we go.
Yes!! About Time!!!
Huh? I don't care if a couple has been together for 130 years before getting engaged, don't come with this energy. There could be a litany of reasons why they chose to wait to take such a huge step. Have you considered that, maybe, one or both of the partners had things they wanted to accomplish before walking down the aisle? Perhaps they were on-again, off-again and needed to see *Donell Jones voice* "where I wanna be?!". Or they simply are on their OWN timeline when it comes to making major life decisions and they don't care what clock you're looking at. Bridleth thy tongue or risk icing thine jaw, 1 Getyolifethians 1:13. Amen.
Am I Invited?!
Yikes. This is..awkward. Here's the thing---if you have to ask, this could be an uncomfortable moment for everyone involved. Chances are the future bride hasn't had a good opportunity to sit down and pen a guest list but if she has she's probably already started dropping hints to those she plans to invite about her possible dates, colors, activities, location and everything in between. If you don't know the deets---it's probably because you'll be sitting this one out. Don't make it weird, bro.
Good, So You Can Start Popping Out Babies...
I try my best to call people by their good Christian names at all times. I truly do. But this one...THIS ONE RIGHT HERE...pushes my buttons. First, I've made my feelings very clear on people concerning themselves with my ovaries in the past and it's a no for me, dawg. Second, I am just getting engaged, I have a million things to prepare/plan for---babies aren't on the top of my priority list or my BUDGET. Also, WHY ARE PEOPLE STILL ASKING WOMEN ABOUT BABIES IN 2018?! Haven't there been enough stories shared about women who've struggled to conceive for years or who've found out that they never will to make people think twice about asking such a personal question? You should know better by now. Especially if you don't know the couple on an intimate level...please, don't.
Can I _____ At Your Wedding?
Sing. Dance. Play an instrument. Again this is one of those moments that can turn very uncomfortable for all parties. As much as future brides appreciate offerings (especially of the financial kind, ok?!?!), these are a bit strange to say the least. Are you asking to provide your talents for free? Are you asking to be added to the program to get more eyes on your music? your dance moves? your piano skills? Are you expecting me to pay you for them?!?!?! Because if you are wouldn't I, likely, come to you if I was trying to hire someone for entertainment? And if you're not someone I have a relationship with...is this your way of asking to be invited to my wedding? You sneaky little something. (see above)
Are You Sure About This?
Yep, I've heard this one. I'm going to attribute this to the idea that for many women marriage is the alpha and omega of womanhood. Though, I'm sure, there are women who agree to marry people for reasons other than an actual desire to spend their life with them---this question is tacky, y'all. Especially considering that there are so many emotions that come with being newly engaged that someone projecting their disappointments/failed relationships/unhappiness on to you is the last thing you need to be forced to process.
I Hope You Ain't Having A Vegan Reception...
Or anything that generally has to do with the dietary restrictions or decisions of the couple. Remember when you used to ask your mom to go to McDonalds and she would respond with, "do you have McDonald's money?"...same. You'll be fed, ok? But if you'd like to ensure that there's a rack of lamb on your table, I can gladly send you an invoice for your personal eating choice. Let me know! K, bye.
I'm Going To Be Busy Next Year Around...
Wait, are you telling me your schedule in a passive aggressive attempt to keep me from scheduling our wedding at a time when you're "busy"? LOOOOOOLLL. No. Of course, if you're a person whose face I'd like to have all up in the place on the big day, it'll be sad to know that's not a possibility BUT I'll survive. There are so many factors that go into choosing a date like sentimentality, affordability, time of year for weather purposes and, did I mention, affordability. Trust me, I'm not expecting anyone to shift their life plans on account of my gathering and I expect that same grace to extend back to me on picking a day to tie the knot that best suits...you know, me and my future husband...and not, you know, you.
Aren't You Happy You Don't Have To Worry About Whether You'll Get Married Or Not Anymore?!
See, this is the issue---you thought I was sitting around wondering if I'd ever ever get married and I just...wasn't. The assumption that women are preoccupied with wedding dreams and marriage desires is ridiculous. We all know that a ring doesn't validate a woman's worth nor does it mean she's checked off the most important goal on her life's to-do list. And, now get ready to clutch your pearls, there are women who don't want to get married at all. *gasps*. I know, crazy, right?! The goal for me was to find a partner who I could journey through life with in a healthy and happy way. That was A goal for me...not THEE goal. And I am sure I speak for many women in saying that this is not my life's greatest accomplishment---if it can even be seen as an accomplishment at all. It is a token of me and my partner's love for one another. It's the way we're choosing to do it based on what we believe and what we want. Is it lit to have found my forever? Yep, it's lit. Does it mean I can kick my feet up and never attempt anything else because I was born to be a wife and that's it? Girl...
Being newly engaged is full of so many emotional moments both with your partner and on your own. There are so many things to think about, plan and execute on the way to the aisle; therefore, a simple "Congratulations, let me know how I can help!" goes a very long and appreciated way. Have advice of the logistical kind? A way to save the couple some coins? A great contact for a vendor who was amazing? Yep, share those! Have internalized trauma from a nightmare wedding experience and/or unhealed wounds from a failed marriage? No, nope, don't share. Not now. Possibly, not ever but definitely not now. Remember the things you wish you'd known during this time and share them with warmth. And, for the love of all things good and decent, don't assume your IN someone's wedding either. Wait...
Am I In Your Wedding?!!
Course not, Beggy Bundy. Course not.
Read more of Iman's ideas on weddings here.