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Just Said Yes April 2022

What to say to a newly married couple?

Josie, on April 22, 2020 at 9:22 AM Posted in Married Life 1 24
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I keep hearing that it's bad etiquette to say "congratulations" to a bride when she's engaged or just married. The idea was that it implies marriage is an accomplishment or something that was unlikely to happen for her.

Are we over this now? Is this rule basically forgotten, because I don't want to accidentally offend someone. Do you get offended when someone tells you "congratulations"? What do you say to people when they get engaged and married? What should I say instead of congratulations?

24 Comments

  • Meghan
    Rockstar October 2019
    Meghan
    • Flag

    I have never heard this before. We got many congratulations from our family and friends when we got married and we were not one bit offended by it. Quite the opposite!

    • Reply
  • Jennifer
    Super March 2020
    Jennifer
    • Flag
    I say congratulations. My guess, only a select few will be upset with that statement. I wouldn't worry about offending people.
    • Reply
  • T
    Devoted April 2021
    Tiger Bride
    • Flag

    Girl congratulations is totally fine! Congrats isn't just for accomplishments, it's for general happy events like getting engaged, married, announcing a pregnancy, having a baby, even winning the lottery! It's totally fine.

    • Reply
  • Emily
    Rockstar August 2020
    Emily
    • Flag
    Never heard this before. Nor would I take it as an insult to be congratulated. I think the only not okay thing to do when people get married is ask when they are having babies 馃槉
    • Reply
  • Mrs. S
    Super November 2019
    Mrs. S
    • Flag
    I was told this as a little girl and they mention it in the movie In Her Shoes. Best wishes is for the bride and congratulations is for the groom. But I don鈥檛 think anyone cares anymore and I certainly don鈥檛.
    • Reply
  • J
    Just Said Yes April 2022
    Josie
    • Flag

    Ok great! This is so reassuring!

    • Reply
  • Lynnie
    WeddingWire Administrator October 2016
    Lynnie
    • Flag

    "I'm so excited for you" also works! 馃槈 Or "that's awesome!!" or "yay!" - any genuine expression of celebration and excitement is good!


    Personally I like The Knot's take on this: Why You Should Say 鈥淐ongratulations鈥 When Someone Gets Engaged - Even though getting engaged isn鈥檛 technically an achievement.

    Yes we congratulate others for their achievements, but we also say congratulations as "a way of recognizing and supporting someone鈥檚 happiness and good fortune"! I'm still down with saying "congrats" to share my excitement and support of love! Smiley heart

    • Reply
  • Caytlyn
    Legend November 2019
    Caytlyn Online
    • Flag
    I鈥檝e never heard this and didn鈥檛 care at all when someone congratulated us.
    • Reply
  • Taylor
    Dedicated June 2020
    Taylor
    • Flag
    I鈥檝e never heard of this before either. Not offensive at all in my opinion!
    • Reply
  • Melle
    Rockstar June 2019
    Melle Online
    • Flag

    I've never heard of that before but honestly i don't see how congratulations is bad aha. i mean i take it as omg congratulations on a new journey in life, etc. but for newly married couples i love to say "best wishes for your happily ever after"

    • Reply
  • Cassandra7
    Super August 2006
    Cassandra7
    • Flag

    Congratulations to the groom; best wishes to the bride.

    • Reply
  • Jenny
    Savvy May 2021
    Jenny
    • Flag
    So...I always thought it was nice when someone would see my ring and say "are you engaged? Oh congratulations!" And then I KEPT being congratulated, and the more I thought into being "congratulated" about being engaged, the more I hated it and bothered me to the point that I would hide my hand sometimes so people wouldn't ask.
    No one meant it in a bad way, no one meant it in a demeaning "getting a man to propose is an accomplishment" thing, but I just didn't think it was something to be "congratulated"
    It took me some time, but now I can confidently say, I'm over myself lol! Clearly I was just over thinking it and it was my ego that kept needing to justify to my own self.
    • Reply
  • Sherry
    Rockstar September 2019
    Sherry
    • Flag

    I have also never heard this before. We got nothing but Congratulations and I've always said Congratulations or Congrats. I guess you could say you wish them the best or best wishes.

    • Reply
  • J
    Master 0000
    Judith
    • Flag
    Actually, while saying do not say congratulations to brides, the double standard was that it was fine, even expected to say it to the groom. For the man, the acknowledged leader who wooed his chosen mate, finally getting her was seen as an accomplishment . Hunter lures and captures quarry? A very sexist way of looking at things. ... And new mothers were to be given all sorts of happy wishes, but never congratulations, like she had anything to do with getting pregnant, or giving birth. No, the father did his manly duty and produced this heir! Congratulations to him! ...
    If one buys into this double standard, then probably only the male should get congratulations on landing his bride, and making that baby will be his next accomplishment. But if you are not one for this blatantly unequal and some would say sexist way of looking at things ( as I consider it,) then it is perfectly fine to offer both congratulations any time they are called for. Marriage, births, anything that takes 2 partners. Both are properly offered credit for the great accomplishment.
    • Reply
  • Katharine
    Expert July 2021
    Katharine
    • Flag

    That's a really weird thing to get offended over, IMO. To my mind, congratulations is simply for celebrating any positive event, including both achievements or other types of occurrences.

    • Reply
  • Samantha
    Rockstar October 2020
    Samantha
    • Flag

    I've heard "best wishes" is for the bride and "congratulations" is for the groom, but that is very outdated etiquette.

    • Reply
  • Jennifer
    VIP August 2021
    Jennifer
    • Flag

    I never once was offended when we were congratulated after our engagement!

    • Reply
  • Kari
    VIP May 2020
    Kari Online
    • Flag

    Yea I've never heard it was bad to say congratulations after an engagement or marriage and have had plenty say it to me and have not been offended. I think of congrats as more of acknowledging that something good happened to someone, not necessarily that they accomplished anything, so I see no problem in saying congratulations to a couple that got engaged or married.

    • Reply
  • Rebecca
    Rockstar August 2019
    Rebecca
    • Flag

    I've never heard of this.

    In a weird way, I *do* think getting married is an accomplishment, but more as a personal growth kind of thing - it takes a lot of effort to grow and support a healthy relationship, and then to plan a wedding.

    That said, "congratulations" to me implies an acknowledgement of happy events, milestones, and positive changes.

    • Reply
  • B. Yvette
    Dedicated March 2020
    B. Yvette
    • Flag

    Same here.... always heard best wishes to the bride and congratulations to the groom. Weird, but true. I myself say congratulations! And same said to both of us

    • Reply

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