Polite Ways to Ask Your Engaged Friends (Potentially) Rude Questions

updated Oct 5, 2020
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It’s totally normal to get really, really excited when a friend announces their engagement. You want to know everything! Where’s the wedding? What are your colors? But before you go all 20-Questions: Wedding Edition™, take a step back. Even though your heart is in the right place and you truly mean the best, some of the things you want to know can sound kind of nosy and maybe even rude.

“Are you taking his name?”

The bridal shower is in a month, and you want to get your friend a monogrammed towel, so you need to know what initials to use. Instead of asking “Are you taking his name?” tone down the patriarchy a little bit. Maybe he’s taking hers. Maybe they’re creating a new hybrid last name. Maybe she’s not marrying a man and this was an unreasonably gendered question to begin with. Maybe she’s not a she at all!

Instead ask: “Will your name be different after you’re married?”
This allows for all sorts of potential possibilities and just gets at the heart of what you need and want to know.

“How much did that cost?”

We are a bargain-hunting people here at Apartment Therapy. It is in our DNA to compare costs and try to nab down the best deal. So while your query about the catering (or the carats of the ring) might come from a genuine place, it’s best not to outright ask about how much a thing costs.

Instead ask: “Do you have any advice for getting a good deal?”
If your goal is hunting for a bargain, this question will get them to open up—if they want to.

“When are you having kids?”

This question is, at best, a little prying. At worst, it’s a harmful reminder of pain to a couple who knows they’ll have trouble trying to conceive. And remember: Not everyone is tied up trying to have a family. Sometimes the thing a soon-to-be-married couple is looking forward to isn’t kids, but a home or maybe starting a new business.

Instead ask: “What’s next for you two after the wedding?”
No harm done with this query, which allows for a whole spectrum of answers you can get excited about on their behalf.

“Did the pandemic ruin your wedding plans?”

It is very safe to assume that COVID-19 has impacted your friend’s event in some way or another, so really: There’s no need to rub it in!

Instead ask: Are you planning to get married on the same day?”
This feels more like a scheduling check, and they can then open up about any and all difficulties if they feel up to it.