Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Pregnant Bridesmaid

Dear ESB,

I must admit, I've been an avid reader of your blog, beginning in my planning stages of my wedding up until now -- almost a year and a half after the wedding went down. Not to mention, it's the only weddingish blog I still keep up with. You're awesome.

Now, I never thought I'd be writing you, especially because I'm done with all that wedding stuff... right?

Wrong. Here's the thing.... I am supposed to be a bridesmaid in my best friend's wedding. The date is set for the end of September. I just found out that I'm pregnant.... and get this: I'm due at the end of September. She even said to me a while back: "Just don't get pregnant right now and miss my wedding!" Oops. (This isn't an "intentional" baby, though, so I wasn't acting maliciously?)

I could:

a) Call her up and politely resign as bridesmaid, telling her I'll still be as actively involved as possible, (ie: I'll go to her bridal shower, but I won't go to all bridesmaid events, and maybe I'll fashion some DIY things for her because she's into that whole thing), but I will definitely miss the big day.

b) Still be a "bridesmaid," for the duration of her planning time, but just not be at the wedding. (This involves several 10 hour car rides, and potentially a few flights to be present at all important bridesmaid-required events plus all of the other things she would have me do).

c) Call her up and politely resign from all bridesmaid duties, explaining that planning to have a baby is enough in itself to drive a woman mad, and frankly, I only have a limited amount of sanity to go around.

d) Call her and ask her what she wants my role to be and leave myself in the problematic position of letting her make the final call, trusting that she would pick something that will both help her plan her wedding, and still allow me to stay sane.

Not to mention, I have a sneaking suspicion that she'll be greatly distressed about my baby news, and that kills me a little bit too because under any other circumstance I know that she'd be overjoyed about it. Not that she's a bridezilla or anything, but she definitely wants her day to be her day, and I don't blame her.

I love her, and I want to support her in her marriage to this super cool guy (who, I might add, my husband and I introduced her to), but I don't want to ruin our relationship because I can't actually be involved on the day of her wedding. I can be supportive ahead of time, right?

Any insight would be most appreciated.


Um, yeah. This is your best friend?? She's gonna be uber bummed that you're missing her wedding.

You can't just RESIGN, lady. I don't care how fat/tired you are. And asking her "what she wants your role to be" is super passive-aggressive. She wants you to be her fucking bridesmaid.

Which leaves us with b) Still be a bridesmaid.

If they take a 10 hour car ride to Vegas in your eighth month, then obviously you've got an excuse to bail. But, I mean, come on. What are all these fucking duties that all these brides are dumping on their fucking friends??

Joshua Scott Toy Font via Trendland


  1. Agreed. Don't have any essential last month duties that you can't unload in case you go into labor early but plan to be at the wedding if you're still pregnant and healthy (ie not on bed rest). Riding in a car while pregnant isn't that big a deal if you stop every couple hours and you can definitely help her out in the months leading up to the wedding.

    1. I think it's totally ok to skip the shower and/or bachelorette party but you have to try your best to be at the wedding if she's really your bff...

  2. As the mother of my own "spontaneous" baby and very soon to be bride, I think the baby stuff is much more important. Tell your friend, NOW. Explain the situation, and tell her you will play whatever roll in her wedding you can. It is totally unreasonably to think that you'll be up for attending, and a little foolish. I am sure your friend will be super duper bummed, but better to tell her now and be as involved as you can. Also, sometimes due dates change. If you just found out, you might wait until your first ultrasound before you have a firm(ish) due date, they can usually predict your due date within a week. If she is your best friend, hopefully she'll be understanding. As important as it is, a wedding is just one day, your child will be around for the rest of both of your lives! Congratulations to you!

    1. It is totally unreasonably to think that you'll be up for attending, and a little foolish.

      I could not disagree more. Yeesh. She's your BEST FRIEND.

      When my best friend gets married that baby would have to be literally half way out in order for me to miss it. I'll just lay down in a pew if I'm on bed rest.

    2. My not even close to best friend drove 7 hours in her fiance's cramped sports car at the end of July when she was 8 months pregnant. She was also the first one on the dance floor. It can happen, and you can have a blast!

    3. Chiming in with my disagreement as well. Everyone's allowed to figure out their own priorities and what makes best sense for themselves, of course. But the sentiment you stated ("a wedding is just one day, your child will be around for the rest of both of your lives!") means the exact opposite to me: a wedding is ONE DAY ONLY. You have the rest of your lives to enjoy your child.

  3. A friend of mine was present at my wedding and she was 9 1/2 months preggers. I mean, you're still allowed to be out in public when you're pregnant, so i don't get the dilemma here? My friend went into labor at the reception and left for the hospital while everyone else celebrated 2 happy occasions: a wedding & a birth! I can't imagine a real friend not being happy for you.

    Be her bridesmaid and do what you can.

    1. I'm with Anna. Unless the wedding is a flight away (I couldn't really figure out which part of all these shenanigans required the car ride and plane trips from the question). Then I think it's understandable since I don't think airlines let you fly that late. But if it's local, and the baby hasn't yet arrived, go!

  4. If you due date is basically on top of the wedding, it's silly for anyone to assume you'll be able to attend. I had a friend have the same issue, where a friend's due date was only a week or two before her wedding. The bridesmaid ended up having to drop out of the wedding and was at home with her new twins during the actual event. And expecting that you'll be comfortable in a car for 10 hours at the end of your pregnancy is a bit much. I'm sure you friend will be bummed but you can find other ways to make sure she knows how much you care about her and her fiance, including sending a note along for the big day or a special gift that would mean a lot to her. And perhaps you can ask a friend to video tape it or take along your camera to get extra snapshots. It's hard to miss an important event like this but an emotional and medical event like child birth is a big deal too, and a place where you want to take care of yourself.

  5. I felt completely differently when one of my best friends got pregnant and was due on my wedding day! She didn't say anything and just assumed she'd still be a bridesmaid and so then that put me in the awkward situation of bringing up the conversation. Of COURSE I wanted her there for everything she could be a part of and especially on my wedding day BUT -- I definitely didn't want the responsibility of having her freaking water break 2+ hours from home or having her somehow otherwise risk her baby's health by coming. Who knows what is going to be going on in her last month of pregnancy, but it is soooo much more important than the wedding (which, you definitely sound like you get, and I did too...) That said, then why be a bridesmaid?? You're going to have to make contingency plans "if I'm able to come v. if I'm on bedrest v. if I'm able to come but I'm having false labor pains at night and freak out after the rehearsal dinner and need to see my doctor etc etc etc" Don't put your friend in the position where she has to constantly be worrying about you during her wedding day - bc she WILL want to... I say you give her a break and come as a guest but be involved in all of the planning/etc leading up to the wedding when you will be more manageably pregnant....

  6. Figure out how far away the wedding will be from your hospital, just in case you need it. If they're reasonably close, that makes it much easier to attend.

    Make a plan with your friend for what happens if you can't be there (e.g., get a chill friend to agree to be a "back up" bridesmaid).

    Anecdotally, I have a friend who was recently a MOH, had her water break during the reception, and gave birth the following morning. It was important for the bride and the MOH for her to be at the wedding and, obviously, it was important that the baby be okay. So they made it work and everyone was happy.

    If this lady is your best friend, just talk to her and figure it out.

  7. um. pregnancy/birth is amazing but can also bring plenty of surprises. you cannot plan for a baby like you can plan for a wedding.

    a few 10 hour car rides sounds like fucking hell pregnant or not.

    if she is your best friend and not an idiot she should understand that you are gonna take care of you and your baby and then be as active as possible in her wedding. (priorities!)

    but straight up: your baby trumps your BFFs wedding.

    1. duh, yes. I assume the people disagreeing have never traveled 10 hours while pregnant?

  8. is the wedding local to you, or did i totally miss that part? that should really be the only determining factor. i had the worst, THE WORST pregnancy, and there's no way i'd miss my best friend's wedding if i didn't have to. the truth of the matter is, you have NO IDEA when this baby will come. due dates really mean absolutely nothing (to give you an example, jamie from "a desert fete" and i had the same exact due date... our babies were born THREE WEEKS apart). she wants you to be her bridesmaid, so be her bridesmaid. do and contribute to al the activities you can, and skip the ones you can't. if you have to bail last minute because you've just had a baby or are minutes away from having one, then so be it. losing a bridesmaid at the last minute is not exactly the biggest deal in the world. they'll figure it out... it's not rocket science. sure, she'll be bummed if you don't actually end up making it, but not as bummed if you didn't put in any effort at all.

  9. We are missing key info here:

    Is this wedding local? Near you?

    If yes I think you can go with option A- resign as bridesmaid but be involved still.

    If it requires travel of any sort I think you are looking at a non-attedance/involvement.

    No bride wants to worry about your water breaking/you going into labor at her wedding, best friend or not.

    Tell her NOW you are preggo. Then throw an awesome engagement/pre-wedding bash for your girl SOON. That way if you miss out on all the other stuff you have still done something special for her, but on a more sane timeline for you.

  10. I don't get the whole "my best friend has to do everything/be everywhere cause it's my wedding" thing. If you really want them to be that attached, marry *them*. In the real world, shit happens, and two people who are supposed to be "best" friends figure it out and get through it, without making the other one feel like they are a failure for having the audacity to get knocked up during a wedding planning.

    I get it, the wedding is a big deal, but so is having a kid. And so is a million other things that can happen. Tell bride it breaks your heart you can't be there (cause I mean really... local or not it would be a major PIA for you to attend to a bride and stand for hours, etc.) but you'll do whatever you can to help along the way. If she doesn't understand, she's not a good friend. End of story.

  11. like everything,

    don't fret.
    do the best you can to be there
    and if something unexpected happens
    do what you need to do to take care of unexpected-ness.

    plan to be there,
    and do the best you can.

    my sister-in-law just got pregnant, and she got KICKED OUT of being a bridesmaid by her crazy cousin who said, "you're just going to be all big and fat and stuff."
    how RUDE is that?!

  12. One of my best friend's couldn't come to my wedding. She was pregnant with twins and even though the wedding was 3 months before her due date, the doctors told her not to fly.

    Good thing because she gave birth 2 weeks later (at 28 weeks) and the babies were in the NICU for a long time. If this had happened while at my wedding, she would have been stuck at an unknown hospital away from home for 2.5 months.

    You cannot plan for baby stuff.

  13. This is not about being fat and uncomfortable. This is about the possibility of birthing a baby during the ceremony. It's not 7-8 months pregnant, it's being DUE that day.

    Just talk to your friend, who is your best friend, be open and honest and find something that works with both of you. But having a situation where someone is depending on you when you may or may not be in a hospital, probably not cool.

  14. Where's the "still be a bridesmaid but let myself off the hook for needing to decide last minute to back out of things" option?

    She's your best friend, she was probably just joking about the baby thing, she'll probably be really freaking excited to be an Auntie. You seem reasonable, I assume your bff is reasonable as well. Tell her how excited you still are about her getting hitched, tell her how anxious you are about the wild ride of pregnancy. Be there for what you can, help out with things the best you can (can't attend the bridal shower? Be the one to make and mail invitations), and let yourself off the hook if you have to miss something.

    Don't plan NOT to go to the wedding, sheesh. Know it's very likely it might not happen, but don't bow out now when, who knows, you might be absolutely up for shaking your 9 month pregnant self on that dance floor.

  15. Of course being due the same week as the wedding trumps being a bridesmaid on the day. Any friend would understand that. Maybe she can change your role to an 'honorary' bridesmaid, where you attend as many activities as you can in the lead up, but if you can't make it on the day it won't be the end of the world.

  16. Crazypants all around! The only reason I would take multiple 10 hour car rides and flights for someone would be if they were my immediate family and they were DYING. Seriously, that would be ridiculous even if you were not pregnant.

    Also, I'm guessing you submitted this awhile ago, because you are more than halfway through now, and probably much more realistic about what you can do. If it's helpful for brides with pregnant friends, here's what pregnant ladies did at my recent wedding:

    Cousin at 9 weeks was at a difficult part of pregnancy, but was able to sit and enjoy and not feel too sick.

    BFF from midwest at 20 weeks flew out here and was able to help out a bunch. She was going to pick up flowers the morning of but was feeling sick and I told her to rest. Stayed near the end of the party.

    Cousin at 35 weeks (lives 40 minutes away) was dancing and having a great time. Her husband got pretty wasted (common occurrence with expecting fathers!)

    Friend of my husbands (live in town) was set to be induced three days later, and they stayed through dinner. Hopefully they had/are having a baby right now!

    BFF with 3 week year old was able to come with husband and breastfeed/change diapers/etc... on site. It meant so much they were able to come, but I was prepared for them not to make if the baby was late, etc...Drove about 90 minutes and stayed with family 30 minutes away.

    I will end this super long comment with a promise that if my sister chooses an inconvenient time for her possible future wedding, I will threaten to have a "malicious baby" just to mess it up...lol tell your friend to "Deal with It"

  17. My 2 cents - as the mother of a 6 month old, having our wedding this August, whose best friend (and I really don't have a lot of friends - this girl is my BEST GIRL so much) is due with a longed for baby um, right on top of the wedding. She's my maid of honour - we are just kind of assuming she won't be able to make it on the day (and if if *if* she can - SO amazing, but pretty much just expecting her to attend the ceremony). I *am* really bummed that I don't think she'll make it (and so is she) - but...it is what it is you know?
    If this girl is your best friend, I'm pretty sure she'll be cool with it - otherwise, honestly, what the fuck?!
    I don't get either the people saying "of course you can go" nor those saying "dude, there is NO WAY" -- pregnancy is unpredictable, life is unpredictable. Friends deal with it.
    Don't discount yourself in advance maybe, but do speak to the bride ASAP so you are both on the same page re planning your role.
    Happy year for you and the bestie, no?

    1. By which I mean, I guess more helpfully, b) still be a BM with the best intentions - but bail on travels and "duties" (?) as necessary (and I would think you will know when 'necessary' is for any given aspect of things) and don't second guess yourself in that respect.

  18. I am going to be a bridesmaid in my cousin's wedding (a 7 hr drive away) 3 weeks before my due date. Obviously, I've told her that if I am on bed rest (drs orders) or the baby is in any way in distress in any of my appointments in the weeks before the wedding, I will have to bail, and she understands. But if I am able to be there I will be there. Ha...I am contemplating bringing my medical records with me, just in case. To be honest, earlier on I was really anxious about it, but now that it's a month away I figure I'll be fine (unless baby comes early and/or there's a complication that's out of my hands.)

  19. A friend of mine from childhood's maid of honor was due right before my friend's wedding. Baby arrived a week or two before the wedding and the MOH packed baby and husband up in the car and drove from several states away to attend my friend's wedding.

    Its doable.

    The biggest thing is that you're there for her. If the baby decides its going to make an appearance within a day or two of the wedding, well you won't be able to go. But be there for your friend in the ways that you can.

  20. As a bride I went through a similar dilemma - one of my bridesmaids was pregnant. She told me that she wasn't sure how the pregnancy/wedding would work out but that she still wanted to be a bridesmaid (a role she seriously wanted - it was a spot she didn't want to give up), but that she also understood if I decided I wanted someone else as the bridesmaid because of all the unknown. Our wedding was not uber-structured, i.e. we had a large mixed bag wedding party of boys/girls on both sides, and nobody was "paired up" like the typical wedding party. So it wasn't a big deal to me if numbers were off or whatever. So I said, if you can make it - great - you'll be a bridesmaid! If not, don't fret. Disclaimer though, I may have been one of the most laid back brides I've ever known. Tell your friend and let her decide, because some brides are much more structured and need perfect numbers and perfect symmetry! To each their own!

    My friend ended up having her boy two weeks before the wedding and wasn't able to make it. She was WAY more upset about it than me. There's no way she would've been able to travel with a fresh baby several states away, and of course I more than understood that. Quite honestly, I was so busy before/after the wedding and so overwhelmed by massive amounts of people and attention during the wedding, that I hardly even had time to catch up with my other bridesmaids (the majority of whom made the several-state-travel to attend).

    We also had a couple attending our wedding who was VERY pregnant, as in, baby could arrive at ANY point. They had traveled three hours by car to make the wedding. They made preparations as if baby might come. Luckily baby stayed put until their return home. I was very honored that they made it to the wedding, but they are also very laid back and were fine with having to leave to the nearest hospital had baby decided it was time.

    Just do what you can, and let baby decide the rest.

  21. Why is it that when someone gets married, everyone who knows her is supposed to put their lives on hold and "attend" her? Your friend's expectations are ridiculous at best.

    The comments here seem to be from people who have not been pregnant. No one in her right mind would plan to be away from her doctor so close to or on her due date.

  22. Make the best calls you can, but it sounds like planning to be at the ceremony isn't likely. Just do the best you can, given the circumstances. [And by the way, "I don't feel good" or "I need to put together a crib" really isn't any more and excuse than "I can't do "x" because I have a hangover." My doctor is concerned about the drive is a VERY good excuse.

    And in my case, my (local) minister gave birth 5 days before the wedding and still did our ceremony while her mom hung out in the church office with the newborn. She then went home and collapsed--and a mutual girlfriend packed up her dinner for her. Another minister friend served as backup and did our rehearsal, but she did our ceremony, which was just an amazing gift. She wanted to be involved in whatever ways she could--we just made sure that all the options we could give her were available that day - and make sure that she took care of herself and made the best calls she could on the day of. It was an amazing blessing to have her there, AND we made sure that every "out" was available to her that day and week.

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