How to Reply to Commonly Received Marriage Advice

A woman wearing an engagement ring with her hand across her fiance's arm.

Many couples find that the moment they get engaged, they receive unsolicited advice from practically everyone around them. Whether it’s from family members, friends, colleagues, or mere acquaintances, it can be tough to stomach all the unwanted—and sometimes downright bad—advice you receive. Thankfully, there are ways to reply to most of these commonly received tidbits in a neutral way that won’t come off as rude.

General Rules of Thumb When Replying to Advice

To avoid an awkward situation, there are certain “rules” to follow when you receive marriage advice you didn’t ask for.

Be Confident in Your Responses

For some people, it can be easy to feel as though you have to appease those around you and feed into the advice they’re giving, or agree with them no matter what. However, being engaged or a newlywed is your special time, and you’re not obligated to take anyone’s advice. For that reason, you should be confident in your replies and stay cool, calm, and collected during the conversation in order to keep the peace.

Be Honest

A groom getting ready for his wedding day with friends.

Speaking of appeasing people, don’t just agree with them and tell them what they want to hear because you feel like you have no other option. Be honest in your answers as it’s simply always the best policy.

Brush it Off

Sometimes, you’re going to get downright bad or annoying advice. Don’t let it bother you and just brush it off. Don’t let people who can’t seem to keep their mouths shut ruin a special time for you! It’s not worth the agony.

Commonly Received Engagement and Marriage Advice

Many engaged and newlywed couples receive quite a bit of unsolicited advice about their impending wedding and new marriage. There are ways to easily skirt these comments without giving off a vibe of agitation.

“Don’t Spend Too Much Money on Your Wedding”

For some reason, the idea of a wedding brings about the need for onlookers to comment on finances freely. This can definitely grate on anyone’s nerves, as it’s a private matter. If this topic arises with friends, family, or acquaintances, you can reply with a simple statement such as, “We are going to spend an amount we’re both comfortable with.” Another option is to just laugh it off, opting to not truly acknowledge the comment and disengage in the conversation. Many people don’t feel comfortable discussing money so openly, so don’t feel pressured to engage if it makes you feel uneasy.

“You Should/Shouldn’t Have a Baby Right Away”

Having a child is clearly a very major and life-altering choice, but it’s one that many people feel the need to commentate on, especially when talking to newlyweds. Since having a child is such a personal choice, this piece of advice can be particularly tough to stomach. In reply, you can go with something diplomatic like, “We are looking forward to starting a family when and if it’s right for us.” If you feel comfortable, you can also feel free to share your actual plans surrounding this idea.

“Don’t Go to Bed Angry”

A man and woman in bed facing away from each other and looking at their phones.

Everyone loves saying this one. Whether or not you believe it to be true, hearing it can get old. The easiest way to react is probably to just laugh it off, as no one really wants to talk about their fighting habits with their spouse. Just remember that how you handle your relationship is completely up to you and it’s not other people’s place to dictate it, even if they sometimes forget that fact.

“You Should/Shouldn’t Change Your Last Name Once You’re Married”

Another hot topic that people like to bring up frequently with engaged couples surrounds whether the bride will or will not change her last name once they’ve tied the knot. Everyone maintains a different stance on this topic, and rightfully so! To reply to this in a non-controversial way, you can always go with something like, “I’m still deciding what the right path for me is on that one.” If you have already decided and you feel comfortable doing so, share your decision confidently with the person who’s commenting on it. The decision is yours to make, so don’t feel as though you need to defend it either way.

Reacting to marriage and wedding planning advice can be frustrating, but if you do your best to stay neutral and calm in your reactions, you’ll be able to handle the comments with ease.

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