We can't change the fact that you'll be faced with annoying questions once you get engaged — but we can arm you with answers.
"It's always more difficult when you are caught unprepared," says Diane Gottsman, etiquette expert and founder of The Protocol School of Texas. "Having some set responses alleviates the hassle of coming up with an answer on the spot."
Read through these smart responses, then steal them for yourself or use them as a basis for your own witty retorts. As Gottsman advises, "Take the time to think through the message you want to convey and then put it down on paper and rehearse. Don't feel obligated to offer more than you are comfortable sharing."
1. Can I come to your wedding?
Of course, if you want the asker to come, this is an easy one to answer. Otherwise, try, "We are early in the planning process and haven't ironed out all the details," Gottsman suggests. "It buys you some time, and you can decide later if you will change your initial thoughts. You are off the hook for a moment until you have time to process your planning."
2. You're going to start working out, right?
Um, rude! And there's only one way to answer this zinger, Gottsman says: "'Wow, that really stings! I am going to enjoy planning my wedding and hope you will support me, whatever direction I take. I'm not sure about my workout plans yet.'" You can get away with this response because "the question may have been unintentionally offensive, but never the less rude, and the answer doesn't need to be justified," Gottsman explains.
3. Who's going to be your maid of honor?
If you just got engaged, you may not know yet. But if you do, Gottsman says, you should respond with the name of the person you've chosen — even if it's not the person asking. "It's important to answer this question honestly, and unapologetically, but with a kind and neutral tone," she says.
4. Who's paying for the wedding?
Unlike the one above, you can afford to be a little vague with your answer to this one, Gottsman says. "You can say, 'We've got it covered. Why do you ask?' in a lighthearted tone that doesn't come across as combative," she suggests. Of course, if a friend is asking, he or she might just be nosey — but if it's a relative, he or she may want to help. In that case, "your response could be, 'We are still contemplating how we are going to cover the costs,'" says Gottsman. "This allows them to offer if they are interested."
5. How much are you going to spend on the wedding?
If you're footing the bill — or even if you're parents are helping out — there will be someone who wants to know the price tag. Say, "We are still evaluating where we're going to have the wedding, and it will depend on location and venue," says Gottsman. "The only time you would share this type of information is when you have a friend who is also planning a wedding and you might compare costs to help each other decide how to move forward in your wedding plans."
6. When are you going to have a baby?
You may not have picked a wedding date yet, let alone when you'll start your family. So, you can say, "when we decide you will be among the first to know. Until that time, we are perfectly happy with our current situation," Gottsman says. "Sometimes, well-intentioned friends and family say this because they have nothing else to say. Letting them know that you are not interested in furthering the conversation in a polite way sets boundaries and curtails future inquiries."
7. Are you changing your name?
With this one, you can give a yes or no response without going into much detail, Gottsman says. "They are going to find out sooner or later and this is not a topic that you should be apologetic over or ashamed of," she says.