Wedding woes: Pregnant pause

Last updated 09:46 02/07/2012

Here's this week's wedding woe - and it's one I'm sure a few couples have dealt with:

Hi Greer,

I have been following your blog, and a lot of the topics that you discover tend to parallel my own wedding woes, highs and lows.  However I now have a wedding woe myself that hopefully none of the other brides-to-be out there have to experience. Or if they have, maybe they can shed some ideas on how to deal with this one. Let me outline quickly the background to give all the facts.

I have been with my partner for coming up 7 years. We have been engaged for almost a year, with our wedding planned for early next year. Now, initially we were going to elope. Given we had been together for so long, we didn't see the need for a huge wedding. We had all the paperwork sorted and even the time off work and holiday destination sorted. Preg BM

But we thought we'd at least give our parents a heads-up so if they had any strong objections we would change our plans and have a small, family only ceremony. As it happens, both sets of parents were totally OK and in fact supported the notion; my sister, however, had a HUGE objection to us eloping. So we didn't, as we did not want to cause any permanent family rifts. We got on with organising a small wedding. My sister was so excited we were going to go ahead with a ceremony that she then nominated herself as bridesmaid. We weren't planning on having a bridal party; having less than 20 guests, we thought it would be a bit silly. But either way we weren't fussed so we went with it. 

Well, now my sister is pregnant. She is due the day before our wedding. I know that babies can come early, I know they can come late. But you never really do know, and the thing is, now what do we do?  Are we supposed to change our wedding date? Am I selfish for not changing it and saying "if you can't come, so sad, too bad". Do I have a bridesmaid who has just given birth and can barely stand up for the length of the ceremony, or for photos? Not to mention leaky boobs and having to duck off and breastfeed and deal with diapers etc. Or one who might have her water break during my vows?? How on earth am I meant to get a dress for her?

The date was picked by process of elimination. Over a four-month period it was the only date that worked around other people's commitments, other weddings, birthdays, work commitments, and two of the other guests' due dates (a month either side of the wedding), the best man's own wedding, so if I change it, I have to have it in three months' time!! Has anyone else been in this situation? I feel like we have done everything to please everyone else, and maybe that makes us foolish. But now this has happened? 

Bearing in mind that if it wasn't for her strong objections we'd have eloped already and saved thousands of dollars?!!! Does anyone else have any ideas about how to deal with this?


*** Pregnant

I think you kind of answered your own question here: you simply CANNOT change the date because there will always be something else that "pops up".

It's a scary thing, though, locking in a date. You do have to consider things like pregnancies and other events planned around the time that might clash. Even now I still think to myself "Agh, maybe I should have insisted on such and such a date." But at some stage you just HAVE to lock in a date.

The simple truth is: your sister will get over it, and you will get over it. She is not, and will not be, the first or last bridesmaid to be pregnant - or in labour - on the big day.*

If her waters break during the ceremony, just think of it as one of those hilarious family stories that will live on for generations.

All she has to do is keep her legs crossed for a couple of hours and your wedding will be drama-free. Don't waste too long on the "what ifs".

If she chucks a hissy fit because she thinks the focus is away from her for a day: smile, be gracious and move on. They say you can choose your friends but you can't choose your family and sibling rivalries are right up there in awkward and sometimes unavoidable situations.

I would say definitely give her the option of backing out as a bridesmaid, but if it was her idea in the first place and you're not that bothered about your bridal party, don't stress about it. Put the ball in her court and just see what happens closer to the time.

There are some things in life you simply can't plan for so just accept it for what it is. One positive being that because you're not eloping, there's still a chance she'll be there and can take part in the day. That wouldn't have happened if you went overseas!

So good luck and if all else fails, tell her to put her big girl pants on and relax a bit before her life gets flipped upside down. 

So anyone else got any ideas? Do you think they should change the date or stick with it? Anyone had a similar experience to share?

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* Of course all this goes out the window if the BRIDE is pregnant. I'm all for preggie brides but at least choose a date that's not as close to the little one's arrival!

Post a comment
M   #1   10:01 am Jul 02 2012

This happened to my sister, my other sister got pregnant and was due the same day as the wedding. She ended up 5 days or so early and was able to make it to the ceremony as a bridesmaid. But we were all just playing it by ear and if she made it, awesome, if she didn't, still awesome because she had her brand spanking wee girl.

And for the dress - if she's your only bridesmaid then tell her the colour you want and let her choose her own.

Phyllis   #2   10:03 am Jul 02 2012

Don't change the date ~ you & your man picked it for good reasons. Leave it up to your sister as to whether or not she wishes to continue to be your bridesmaid; and, as she was the one who wanted to be a bridesmaid, leave getting the dress up to her but stipulate a colour (one you know will suit her). Then relax and enjoy the day.

Julie   #3   10:04 am Jul 02 2012

You're not the one who's pregnant. Too bad for you sister, I say.

Lauren   #4   10:26 am Jul 02 2012

DO NOT CHANGE YOUR PLANS FOR ANYBODY!!!!! We were going to Rarotonga - everyone was fine with this to our face and then starting whinging about it amongst themselves... we found out and changed our plans for wedding to appease, those who were whinging left before the reception, it really annoyed us as the wedding cost more than what it would have if we went to Rarotonga! never mind... But keep in mind that this is YOUR day, you're only gonna do it once and you may as well have it the way you want it! Your sister sounds like a princess - its not your fault she got knocked up, you have already made PLENTY of adjustments for her, and I don't think you should be making any more changes.. its not HER day!!!

dangermouse   #5   10:28 am Jul 02 2012

I'll be 6.5 months pregnant on the day of my sister's wedding in Perth - I'm the maid of honour. The first thing I did (after celebrating the good news) was check if I was still allowed to travel long haul at that time - I didn't want to upset my sister's plans!

The funny thing was that she had purchased our bridesmaids dresses off the rack several months earlier when she was last in NZ with all her bridesmaids together, and she purchased mine three sizes bigger than I am (was) because she was planning on having them altered, and there were only large sizes left - as I was the tallest of the three bridesmaids, I got saddled with the biggest dress (which was the longest). At the time she did joke that if I got pregnant we were all sorted - now it looks as though she'd planned it that way all along!

I think the pregnant bridesmaid should give the bride an easy out - if that was me and I either couldn't travel or it was in Auckland and I was due on the same day as the wedding, I'd bow out of the bridal party, I can't imagine she'd be feeling very comfortable at that stage anyway, and having to stand up for the duration a ceremony too!!

Ellen   #6   10:29 am Jul 02 2012

As someone who will be a pregnant bridesmaid (I will be 5 months along), one of the first things I did was give the bride the option of going with someone else as it makes finding dresses a bit of a nightmare, and she also gave me the option of pulling out as a bridesmaid. We're still going ahead, and I'm really looking forward to it.

Your sister sounds like a total pain. Don't change the date. If she can't make your wedding, then too bad. She'll probably be too busy looking after a newborn to be too concerned anyway.

I also have a friend who is getting married 6 weeks after having a baby!!! She's insane.

emm   #7   10:30 am Jul 02 2012

Elope! Stuff what your sister thinks you should do, it's not her wedding! Just pop off somewhere and get married. you already have your parents blessing. Then maybe have a wee party to celebrate it on the date you set for your wedding.

Ben   #8   10:33 am Jul 02 2012

Having followed this blog on and off for what seems like an eternity I have come to the conclusion that fornication has a lot going for it.

Anyone who voluntarily puts themsleves through this mental and physical torture must have a masochistic streak. By the time you get to the altar you would be about ready for divorce.

Marriage used to be a rather more simple affair (unles you happened to be royalty). It was about a commitment on the part of two people who, hopefully loved one another enough to want to stay together.

Now like so many other things it has become a huge commercial circus with any spiritual connotations lost. It is now about how much booze can be consumed straight out of the bottle. Given that most brides/bridgrooms have been shacked up together (and divorce rates show that commitment is a word no longer understood) the entire circus seems even more pointless. Get a marriage celebrant and a couple of witnesses. Bugger the hangers on, and spend the money on something useful.

FranB   #9   10:49 am Jul 02 2012

Elope! Before she gives birth. When she gives birth it will put things in perspective for her and she will get over the fact that you eloped. Or keep your date as it is and give her an out to not be BM anymore. Best of luck!

Jellybean   #10   10:53 am Jul 02 2012

Just ensure her bridesmaid dress isn't a rental. Who knows what could happen.

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