9 Things You Shouldn’t Say Or Do When Your Friend Gets Engaged

March 18, 2014  |  

This past weekend a friend of mine from middle and high school got engaged. Even though we haven’t been close in years, I was still happy for her. And instead of just liking the picture of her new engagement ring on Instagram, I decided to leave a little congratulatory note for the both of them. (Her new fiancé happened to go to our high school too.) And after I left my comment, I was scrolling to see what other people said. I was shocked by a couple of the reactions. Mostly there were the congratulations that I expected but there were also some comments that gave me pause. I don’t think these women meant to be petty, and in some cases incredibly selfish, but that’s how their comments read to me. So, to help women like them out, here’s a list of things you shouldn’t do, say or type when your friend gets engaged.

Critique the ring

My friend’s engagement ring is not like your standard ring. It’s different and judging by the caption she included with the picture, exactly what she asked for. It didn’t include a diamond and it wasn’t platinum. And instead of people applauding the fact that her man listened to her and got it right, one of the very first comments under the picture was, “Nice ring but I’m still waiting on my diamond though.” Umm… two things. 1.) Don’t talk about the engagement ring that her dude went and got for her at her request. If it’s good for her, then it should be none of your concern. And 2.) Don’t make this about you! A lot of us are still waiting on rings but this is supposed to be about celebrating your friend’s engagement not talking about your hypothetical one. Chill and let her have her moment.

Question the timing of the engagement

Comments like “Really, so soon?” or “Finally!” aren’t appropriate for this time. If she said yes, then the timing worked for her. You’re not the one who’s committing your life to anyone.

Try to talk her out of marrying him.

Ok now this one has a caveat. If you’re her sister, mother or very best friend– and I do mean very best friend– and you feel like this really isn’t the right move, then ask her if she’s sure one time. If she says yes then tap into your inner Lupita Nyong’o and act like you’re happy for her. If it is a mistake, let it be hers to make. Planning a wedding and embarking on a new life with someone are not easy transitions, she’ll need a support system. And at the end of the day, whether you think it’s a mistake or not, is not the point. Your friend/family member is an adult (hopefully) with the free will to make her own decisions. As much as it might hurt to watch, you have to let her make them. If you are not one of the above mentioned characters in her life story, then you really shouldn’t speak on it at all.

Compare your journey to hers

So far, most of these pointers have been in relation to the engaged woman. But this one is all about you, boo. When people we’ve grown up with start getting married and having babies etc, it can be easy for us to compare our journeys with theirs. You start thinking things like “Maybe I should be engaged now too.” “I’m not even dating anyone.” “I’m so far behind.”  After all we went through school together, hit puberty around the same time and graduated on the same day, we should be reaching life’s milestones together too right? Wrong. Teddy Roosevelt told y’all, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Everyone’s path is different and you’re not competing with anyone but yourself. Don’t try to live anyone else’s life, I guarantee you won’t like it. Sure, you can take some time and see what’s going on with folks, even celebrate with them. You should. But be sure to get back to your own lane and do you.

Agree to be a bridesmaid when you can’t afford it/don’t want to

Unless you feel morally obligated to take on the role of bridesmaid, I suggest you don’t do it if you know your money is funny or you just don’t want to be in the wedding. If you sign on for this responsibility and your heart or your pockets aren’t fully in it, you’ll be the bridesmaid who complains about every penny spent and every activity planned. And that’s not who you want to be. Not only will it hurt your friend’s feelings if she finds out, the women you’re complaining to will know not to invite you to be a part of their day. This is the time to be happy for your girl and if being in the wedding is going to take away from some of that happiness, then you should be honest with her and just chill with the general audience.

Don’t assume you’ll be in the wedding or even be invited

For some reason when people announce their engagements, anyone who ever met you feels like they’re going to get an invite. And family members you can’t stand or people you really don’t like assume they’re going to be in the wedding. Not so. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Don’t assume anything until an invitation is extended. If you’re not in the party or on the list, recognize that weddings are expensive. You shouldn’t take a non-invite personally. Who am I kidding? Maybe it is personal, but at least now you know where you stand.

Give unsolicited wedding planning advice

I know for some of you this is going to be a hard one. But unless your friend explicitly uses the words, “What do you think…” then assume she doesn’t want your input. With all the bridal magazines, Pinterest boards and other pieces of advice she’ll be getting from family (read: her mother), you throwing in your two cents into the pot might be an overload. Plus she might not like your taste. Wait until she comes to you.

Ask If she’s pregnant

Even if she is…just don’t ask this question. It’s rude.

Monitor what she puts in her mouth

Yes, you know she has a wedding dress to fit into in a couple of months but trust, she knows that better than anyone else. There’s no need for you to start playing  dietician/nutritionist. While you may think you know her life, you don’t know her workout routine, whether she’s been skipping meals throughout this process or what. Let her eat in peace.

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  • Anzaloqq

    I disagree with #3 only because it’s happened in my life. A friend of mine was dating a lady off and on for 2 or 3 years and when his construction business blew up she cleaned up her act for about 3 months and then started pushing for marriage. When they got engaged I played the good guy friend and just support but it didn’t smell right at all. They got married in summer of 2008.
    In less than 4 years she wanted a divorce (claiming his lack of interest in her) plus alimony of course. My friend knows I’m extremely cautious about these things and he asked what I thought but I’ve always played dumb about it since I never said anything in the beginning.

    People if you want to play it safe with your loved ones keep your comments to yourself but if you truly love and care for the person try to serve up your concerns in a way that’s both gentle and direct. I wish I’d done this although I do practice it now and I think people respect me more for it.

  • Blu

    Even if u are the dumbest person alive….who does these things

  • ComeLetsTalk

    I agree with every single side except for one, the affordability factor. Well I do agree in principal but these days many brides have unrealistic expectations. They want endless pre wedding parties, out of town bachelorette parties, $400 brides maids dress, travel costs etc. The onus should be on the bride to make her expectations clear as what the bridesmaids full expenses can potentially be. Alot of times the bridemaid is lead to be believe its only XYZ but as planning goes along the bride starts adding things. So I suppose its on both the BM and the bride to be clear on expectations.

  • True Comments

    Slide 7 is extremely true