I got another phone call a few days later asking me to go buy my bridesmaid dress that week, to insure we all were able to get the same one. No problem, I went out the next day and purchased my obligatory satin gown.
A week later she texted me to see if I had found anything out yet about getting the day before her wedding off. Her wedding that was over a year away. I told her that I couldn’t request permission until the 2014-15 school year actually began, but that I’d let her know as soon as I heard anything!
In July, she emailed out a very detailed itinerary for her wedding weekend coming up in a quick 11 months. This included times for hair, makeup, nail and lash extension appointments, which were optional. I nicely opted out of the appointments because I always like styling myself, but I told her that I’d love to hang out with the girls while they got styled. In this email, she again wanted to know my travel arrangements for the big weekend. I responded that I still didn’t know, but that I’d let her know as soon as I heard from my boss. I also casually reminded her that I just found out that I’m pregnant with my first child and would need to figure out newborn arrangements. What does one even do with a baby at an out-of-town wedding when you’re still breast-feeding?
I then received another note asking me about her bridal shower in March. I told her I didn’t think I’d be able to make it because of cost and because I’d still be on (unpaid) maternity leave and a little strapped for cash.
I then received ANOTHER email suggesting a bachelorette weekend in Chicago a month before the wedding. She thought it would be fun to go out in a big city, but she said she and her friends would stay in a hotel and not with us. I responded by saying how fun it would be to go out in Chicago together. I also mentioned that they’d definitely want to stay in a hotel downtown because I just bought a house outside of the city. It would be way more fun to stay closer to the action. I said I’d be more than happy to give a bunch of fun planning suggestions to her maid of honor. She never responded. Was I supposed to host and plan the weekend?
Then today I got an extremely long text and don’t know what the hell I’m supposed to do now. She basically said that she had been wondering since our last set of emails if I thought that with a baby and work it would be too much to be in the bridal party. She said she’d, of course, love to have me, but that, if the stress of traveling and so forth was too much, she would totally understand if I would rather be a guest in the wedding and not a bridesmaid.
Is this a nice request to drop out of the wedding? Am I getting booted? I thought I was doing what was expected from an out-of-town bridesmaid. So what am I expected to do now? Drop out and try to sell the dress I had to purchase? I’m attending all I can and am acting VERY excited about all the pink-purple-flowerly weddingness that’s being sent my way! Is this text asking me to do more? Am I supposed to host a bachelorette weekend? I think even that, if I weren’t pregnant, I’d be doing the same amount. Even though I’ve planned my own wedding, it was a while ago and I don’t think I fully understand what’s expected of anyone involved. — Booted Bridesmaid?
First of all, congratulations on your pregnancy! Second of all, an out-of-town bridesmaid (not even a maid of honor!) should not be expected to plan a bachelorette weekend even if that weekend is in a city near where she lives or where she used to live. Offering to write up some fun suggestions is plenty! Thirdly: lucky fucking you! You get an easy out from being a bridesmaid if you don’t want to be one. Do you know how many women have signed on to be a bridesmaid, realized part-way through the planning how over-the-top things were getting and WISHED they could get out of being a bridesmaid without hurting their friends’ feelings or burning any bridges? YOU get to get out of this if you want to and your friend is handing you your excuses — new baby, work and travel stress, etc.!
So…knowing what you know about your friend and the way her wedding planning is going thus far, plus imagining what having a newborn baby will be like, which will be far more work and far more exhausting than you can probably even wrap your head around right now, really, really think about whether being IN the wedding is preferable to just being AT the wedding. If it is, great, go for it. Tell your friend you will happily continue being her bridesmaid (and then prepare yourself for more of those emails she’s been sending). If you think the combination of being pregnant, having a brand new baby, and dealing with a somewhat demanding bride is too much to handle, opt out now before there’s any damage to your friendship. Use the excuses she has handed to you on a platter and enjoy your pregnancy, free from the worry that you aren’t doing enough to accommodate and celebrate your friend who’s getting married 10 months from now.
And that dress she had you buy the week after she asked you to be a bridesmaid and like 16 months before her wedding? It’s probably not going to fit your postpartum body anyway. Don’t let a dress be the reason you stick with this bridesmaid role if you don’t want to. Your friend seems like the kind of bride who would find a replacement bridesmaid anyway, and maybe that person could buy your dress from you. Or, just to ensure continued positive feelings, you could simply ask your friend if she’d like to pass the dress along to another friend to wear in your place and call it a day. You’ll lose some money on it, but probably not quite as much as you might lose with whatever other extracurricular things your friend might expect of you as a bridesmaid.
P.S. If you’re breastfeeding a newborn baby, you probably won’t actually want to hang with the girls as they spend a whole morning getting their eyelashes extended and the hair blown out. You’ll want to nurse in the privacy and comfort of a cozy hotel room until you absolutely have to put on a dress and go out mingle with other wedding guests.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.