Dear Wedding Maven,
HELP!! I don't know what to do! One of my two best friends is now pregnant. In and of itself, this is great news but she also happens to be one of my two bridesmaids.
She was married last June, so I understand her wanting children, but she also said yes to being in my wedding, and I booked the reception and I am already financially committed to the wedding date. All my plans were made prior to her becoming pregnant. She told me that she has been trying and that it was not and accident. Her due date is the exact same date as the wedding!!
What do I do? I just assumed she would step down, and realize that she could not be counted on to be at the wedding. It’s two hours away from our home. But she hasn't. She says, "I will be there no matter what" but there is no way to be sure about that. I am a labor and delivery nurse, and if I know anything it is how unpredictable labor and pregnancy can be!
I don't want to hurt her feelings!
I can tell that you are trying to stay on the right side of the “I’m the bride, so it’s all about me” line. But I have to warn you; you’re getting perilously close to the dark side. Just because you’re getting married does not mean that other people need to plan their pregnancies around you.
Here’s a little mantra for you to repeat to yourself at least once a day, “It’s not all about me.”
You may be surprised to find that taking time to remind yourself that you and your wedding are not in fact the center of the world can be liberating. Being queen of the world can be very stressful, and really, I should know!
Prego has not stepped down from being your bridesmaid because she’s one of your best friends and she wants to be there to support you. Also, she’s a little delusional about the realities of being either nine months pregnant or a new mother.
It’s also possible that she didn’t step down because she thinks that what you mean by “bridesmaid” is “woman who loves me enough to wear a dress I picked out and help me plan my wedding.” When what you really meant is “woman who will do the following things the day of my wedding.”
If this is the case, then why not invite a third friend to be a bridesmaid? That way you’re covered if Prego doesn’t make it, and if she does, it’s not like having three bridesmaids and two groomsmen is so uneven that it will look silly.
Another option would be to try and farm out some of the jobs you had in mind for her to other people. A lot of people out there really love weddings and will be thrilled to help out, especially if it means they DON’T have to wear a bridesmaid’s dress.
You’re absolutely right that much like life, childbirth is messy and unpredictable. You can’t guarantee that things will happen on schedule, or that she’ll be at the wedding. But guess what, you also can’t guarantee that the bridesmaid who isn’t knocked up will be there. She could break her leg, have a family tragedy, or just flake out and oversleep. Things happen.
Make plans, make backup plans, and then remember, since the world does not revolve around you if something goes wrong, it won’t actually be the end of the world!
Need more perspective? In past columns, the Wedding Maven answered questions from a pregnant bridesmaid, and a mother of the bride concerned about a tragedy interfering with her daughter’s bridal shower.
Do you need wedding advice? Do you have a question about wedding related etiquette, traditions, or manners? Write the Wedding Maven at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Wedding Maven