9 Awkward Questions You'll Probably Be Asked Over The Holidays
23 Dec 2022 •7 min read
As much as you're looking forward to gathering around the table with your loved ones this holiday season, family time can have its drawbacks. Specifically those nosy family members who ask the awkward questions everyone is thinking but are too polite to ask. Whether you're single, recently got engaged or just got married, someone is going to be all up in your business this holiday season. So prepare yourself for the worst questions and get ready to tackle anything those pesky aunts and irksome cousins throw your way.
"You two have been dating a while now. When are you going to pop the question?"
This question may come in another form: "Why aren't you engaged yet?" No matter who challenges your commitment to your partner, tackle to this question head-on; don't mislead anyone or straight up lie. If you're just not ready, say so! It's admirable to wait. If you're planning to propose soon (or know your significant other is...) but don't want to spill the beans, let your relatives know that you're waiting for when the time is right or you just need to get more settled in your new job/save up some more money for the ring/finish Law School first.
"So, when are you having kids?"
For some reason, the moment you get married, everyone just wants to know when you're going to start thinking about kids. It's like the old playground song, "First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in the baby carriage." The decision to have kids is a deeply personal matter, but it's also a family matter, which means it will be brought up at some point. Honesty is the best policy here. If you know you don't want kids, tell your family about your decision so they stop broaching the subject. If you're just not ready yet, share that you'll have kids when you're ready. Don't over-promise because grandma WILL remember the exact date you tell her (even if she can't remember anything else).
"What do you mean you're NOT having a religious ceremony?"
Weddings are steeped in traditions that are both familial and religious in nature. But in this day and age, many wedding traditions are being broken to make way for more personalized ceremonies and receptions. If your family has a long history of church weddings or honors the breaking of the glass custom, it may be hard to explain what your ceremony will be like without those things. Try your best to explain how you plan to structure your ceremony, from having relatives read special secular readings to having a close family friend officiate the ceremony. Be respectful that your by-the-books aunts and uncles may not be able to wrap their head around a non-denominational wedding, but don't make excuses for yourself and your spouse-to-be.
"OMG...how big is your ring?"
Talk about a loaded question. Is your sister/friend/cousin asking because they like your ring? Does he/she think it's too big or that it's too small? Chances are they're jealous, in the market themselves, or are simply curious, but it's really nobody's business! Not sure how to respond? Try something playful like, "I'm not really sure, but it's the perfect size for me!" When in doubt, always deflect with humor.
"Woah, you're getting married in [enter expensive city here]?! How much money do you have?!"
It is ALWAYS rude to ask about specifics when it comes to money, but for some reason, your relatives or closest pals seem to think they have a right to know. If you find yourself faced with this (judgemental) questions, don't be afraid to be direct: "We talked things over with our parents and have decided that a New York City wedding is definitely doable with the budget we've set." Now if your newly engaged friend asks you how much you're paying for your photographers, that's a whole other story; she's just trying to navigate the tricky world of weddings that you have already seemingly mastered! Help a sister out and share the details with her.
"Are you going to have a cash bar?"
This question usually comes with an avalanche of opinions about how rude cash bars are or how inconvenient it is to bring your wallet to a wedding. But don't let the peanut gallery impact your final decision. If you have the budget for an open bar, that's wonderful and your guests will certainly appreciate it. But unfortunately money doesn't grow on trees, so sometimes a cash bar is the only feasible option. If you're having a cash bar, explain this to your drinking buddies or your cocktail-loving cousin as soon as possible so they can stop wondering and dropping their judgments right in front of you. Remind them that your wedding will still be a BLAST even if they have to pay for a few adult beverages. Did you mention the great band you hired...?
"You should definitely wear my dress/veil/earrings!"
While your mom, soon-to-be sister-in-law or grandmother probably has the best intentions at heart when offing you their special heirlooms as your "something old" or "something borrowed," deep down inside they're probably hoping you to take them up on their wedding day contribution. As soon as someone mentions they have a piece of clothing or jewelry that would look GREAT on you as you walk down the aisle, seriously consider if you'll actually wear it. If there's absolutely no chance, don't get their hopes up. Thank them for their sincere offer and explain that you've already found your jewelry or that you have your heart set on a particular birdcage veil. The earlier you nip their expectations in the bud, the better (and less tense) things will be.
"What do you mean we have to fly to [some exotic/not-so-exotic destination]?
If you're planning a destination wedding, whether it's on the opposite coast or all the way in Timbuktu, someone is going to be upset by the associated effort and cost. The best way to handle this question? Remind your loved ones that you know you're asking a lot by having a destination wedding, but that the location carries a lot of significance for you and your fiance. If they can't make it, you'll understand. Assure them that you'll plan a get together somewhere more convenient so they can celebrate with you when you get back from your nuptials.
"Are you inviting so-and-so?"
Ah, the guest list interrogation. Get ready for these sorts of questions to arise as soon as you announce your engagement. You'll also be asked by more people than you'd think whether or not they're getting a +1. Everyone will have their own personal list of people that should be invited, from your grandfather's golfing buddies to your BFF's great new boyfriend. If you're still in the early phases of wedding planning, never give a solid answer. It's best to keep things vague ("we haven't finalized our guest list yet") until you know exactly when and where you're going to tie the knot. Once you know how many people your venue can hold and you narrow down your list of invitees accordingly, you may end up needing to leave off so-and-so. It's better to surprise someone with an invite than to disappoint them when their invitation "mysteriously" gets lost in the mail.