How to Tell a Friend They're Making a Big Mistake by Getting Married

You just know your pal is making a terrible mistake. But you’re going to need more than your intuition to stop the wedding.


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You Will Need

  • A calm approach
  • Reasoned arguments
  • Acceptance of the final decision


  1. Step 1

    Time it

    Find a time when you can speak with your friend privately, in a quiet setting. Don’t wait until the last minute (like a week before the wedding)—one to six months before the big day would be ideal.

  2. Step 2

    Stay calm

    Broach the subject calmly. Your argument is not going to hold much sway if you’re on the verge of hysteria when you deliver it.

  3. Step 3

    Be reasonable

    Present all the reasons you believe your pal will regret it if he or she walks down that aisle. Deliver them as you would a well-thought-out work presentation.

  4. 'You’ll no longer be able to screw other people,' is not really a valid argument.

  5. Step 4

    Anticipate objections

    Anticipate the betrothed’s objections so you’re prepared to answer protests like, 'But my parents will lose ten grand if we cancel the reception hall this late.'

  6. Step 5

    Paint a picture

    Paint a vivid picture of the grim life you foresee for your friend if he or she goes ahead with the wedding.

  7. Keep referring to the wedding as a 'travesty.' Research shows that if you repeat something enough, people start to believe it.

  8. Step 6

    Offer support

    Offer to support the person with the fallout that accompanies canceling a wedding.

  9. Step 7

    Offer a compromise

    Offer a compromise. Suggest that the person at least postpone the wedding for a while.

  10. Step 8

    Accept it

    If, despite your best efforts, the person decides to ignore your advice and say 'I do,' accept the decision and put on a happy face. Hey, maybe your friend really does know best.

  11. About 20% of engaged couples end up calling off their wedding.