Wedding woes: Pregnant pause

21:46, Jul 01 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. 

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?

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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?

Thanks!!!

*** 

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!