Dear Wedding Maven,
My brother is getting married. I have already agreed to be a bridesmaid in the wedding. But, my husband and I just found out that I will be about 8 months pregnant then. Should I drop out? I’m puzzled about how I would order a dress, who knows what size I will be at the time of the wedding? Plus, how am I going to stand up for an entire service? On top of all that, what if the baby is early and I don’t even make it to the wedding?
I really like my future sister-in-law and I don’t want to offend her by dropping out. On the other hand, I don’t want the focus of her wedding to be the whale in the pink dress (that would be me).
What do you think?
Knocked up bridesmaid
Congratulations on your pregnancy. The first thing to remember is that this is a wonderful time for your family. You’re pregnant, your brother is getting married, these are good things, not problems.
You should sit down with your brother and his fiancée and explain the situation. Then, let your future s-i-l make the decision. Be clear about your concerns, but be equally clear about your affection for her. Let her know that whatever she decides, you’re fine with it.
If she wants you to be a bridesmaid, there are a lot of creative solutions to the problems you pose. For example, before she picks a bridesmaid’s dress, you should both go talk to a tailor or dress shop about what styles, fabrics and cuts would work well for this situation. If she has her heart set on something that won’t work for a pregnant woman, maybe you could wear a slightly different dress in the same color. If at the time of the wedding you don’t feel like you can stand for the entire service, you could walk down the aisle with the other girls, then discreetly sit down in the front row.
Another possible solution would be for you to do a reading, or have another role in the wedding. This would allow you to spend most of the service seated in your own outfit (by the way, make sure to do yourself a favor and splurge on at least one nice maternity outfit, it'll make you feel so much better). It’s much easier to replace a reader or a guest book attendant than it is a bridesmaid.
It is possible that your baby will be early and you won’t make it to the wedding. We can’t control life, it throws us curve balls, and we can’t let them ruin our good times. That’s a good lesson for all brides, and moms-to-be, to learn.
Do you have a question about wedding related etiquette, traditions, or relationships? Write the Wedding Maven at firstname.lastname@example.org.