I have a bit of dilemma. We have just started planning our wedding for next year. Started placing deposits on the big things and started looking for dresses. We are so excited. Everything was going smoothly until one of my bridesmaids announced to our close group of friends that she and her husband were going to start trying for children right away. I know that I can’t be mad and am selfish for feeling like she ‘stole my thunder’. But what do I do if she is pregnant or due when we have the wedding? Again, I know that I am being a little self-focused and I am really happy for her but what should I do?
Hope I’m Not Overreacting
Dear Not Overreacting,
There is a lot of work that goes into planning a wedding. You need to foresee some of the possible roadblocks that may arise – and to you this is one of them. However, there are some great solutions to consider.
First of all, don’t plan your bridesmaid’s exit until the possible pregnancy is confirmed and the due date falls somewhere around the wedding date. You don’t need rumors that may lead to uncomfortable air between the two of you flying around. Next, talk to your friend. The key here is communication. For most women, pregnancy will not happen right away and may take a little time. Do not ask her every time you see her if she is with child yet – you will drive her and yourself nuts by doing so. Instead, come up with a plan with her that will please both of you. Here are some of the ideas the two of you should talk about:
Straight out ask her if she is ok with having Mommy and bridesmaid duties at the same time. Give her the chance to bow out instead of you forcing her out. If she thinks that she can do it, let her. Remind her that you care about her and want her to be involved in the wedding, and do not want her stressed on the day of. Being a new mom is hard, no matter if it is your first one or if you are a seasoned vet. But a determined woman is not one to be messed with. If she wants to be there she will. If she decides to stay in the wedding party, find a seamstress who is good with last minute alterations (just in case) or find a dress that will be ‘forgiving’ to a growing bump or post-baby body . You want her to look and feel great. If you give enough notice, this part of the equation will not be as stressful as it sounds right now.
Give her another duty. If she is unsure about being a part of the day, give her another duty in the wedding. You want her to be involved and so does she. She shouldn’t feel bad choosing between being a mom and being your bridesmaid – and as an awesome friend, you should never make her feel that way. If every mother waited until the ‘time was right’ there wouldn’t be any children. Trust me. She isn’t doing this to take the spotlight away from you. It just happens to be the right time in her life to have a baby. Instead of dressing her up and sending her down the aisle, why don’t you give her a reading to do in church – something that can be easily taken over by another family member or friend if she happens to go into labor and can’t be there. Or ask her to throw your bridal shower. This could easily take place at any time before the wedding so it doesn’t interfere with the arrival of their little one. Either way, you can still include her in all things wedding. Once the two of you talk about her comfort level in the day, she will understand the change in duties and will still want to help out with all the details.
If she does go into labor days before the wedding? Do not, I repeat do not ‘fill her spot’ with another friend. Who cares if the photos are off center because there are only three bridesmaids now, or if someone has to walk down the aisle by themselves. There are many weddings intentionally planned with an off number of attendants on either side and those wedding images all look amazing. Things don’t have to match. And really, think of how your ‘fill in’ would feel knowing that she was second best. Instead do something cute for the newest Mom in your life, and Instagram or Snapchat the whole day to her. Place a stuffed animal with a baby in her place at the head table (think momma duck and a duckling). Let her know that you are thinking of her and wish that she could be there. Do not make her feel like it was an inconvenience (remember, you are an awesome friend).
And if she just wants to be a Mom? That is cool too. Don’t let something as amazing as this ruin your wedding day. If your friend feels that she may not be up to the task of being your bridesmaid, that is perfectly fine. Thank her for her honesty. It takes a great friend to put your happiness ahead of theirs. As much as she wants to be involved in the wedding, she also knows how important your wedding day is and doesn’t want to stress you out with the thought of her not making it, or you having to scramble to replace her during the toast to the bride speech. She thinks this way because she is an awesome friend too.
Long story short: talk to her. Bring up the elephant in the room and ask her straight out what she wants to do. Be a good friend and be supportive of her choice. You know that you would want the same.
Photo Credit: Danielle Stasiuk Photography
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