Girlfriend Math 101: Baby > Wedding (but Typical Pregnancy < Wedding)
Are you engaged? If so, let us first say, congratulations! And, of course, good luck. After all, there is absolutely nothing more exciting, and thrilling, and all-consuming than planning a wedding.
Oh, except for one thing:
HAVING A BABY.
Yep, that’s right. In the grand scheme of life, popping out a baby trumps getting hitched, both in terms of logistics and life importance. Here’s what that means for all of the blushing brides out there:
(1) Be Realistic About the Pre-Wedding Activities
According to modern day wedding etiquette, every bride is OWED at least one of the following, frequently held out of town and definitely on separate weekends so as not to take away from the importance of any one event individually:
Engagement Party; Bachelorette Weekend; Kitchen Bridal Shower (for parents’ friends); Lingerie Bridal Shower (for the younger crowd); Wedding Dress Shopping Trip; Bridal Party Luncheon; Rehearsal Dinner; Wedding; Post-Wedding Brunch
Do you know what that means for your friends with small children? Hundreds of dollars of babysitting and a hell of a logistical challenge – not to mention the wracking guilt that can come from leaving babies behind. And frankly, at this point in their life, watching you unwrap a pair of furry handcuffs and naughty dice is less important than caring for their sweet little love. So, what’s a bride to do? If a new mommy can’t make one or more of your special events, do NOT guilt trip them; do NOT pout; and certainly do NOT yell at them. Simply be a gracious host and say that you understand their situation and hope to celebrate with them when you can.
(2) Don’t Be a Party Tyrant
Whoa, boy, is planning a wedding TIRING. I mean, simply exhausting.
You know what else is exhausting? KEEPING SMALL CHILDREN ALIVE. Yes, finding the perfect shade of Essie to match your flower colors is a mental drain, but being responsible for another human being’s every waking moment is just beyond anything you can imagine until you go through it.
So, if your mommy friends aren’t still tearing up the dance floor with you at 2 AM, give them a break. If their baby is with them, they are going to have to wake up at 6 AM the next morning regardless of what happens that night. Even if their baby isn’t with them, they are probably so sleep deprived that even one extra hour of sleep sounds infinitely more appealing than watching you throw the bouquet.
(3) Don’t Take it Personally
Most new moms were in your shoes pretty recently, and chances are they feel pretty horrible about not being there for you 100% during your special day. And, in a lot of cases, they may be feeling pretty nostalgic for their old life – you know, the one where they had hours to spend debating the perfect heel height with their girlfriends, or when they could get dressed up and put on makeup without feeling guilty, spending a shitload on sitters or having to pump themselves over a toilet in a restaurant bathroom when they stay out later than expected. They aren’t being selfish, and they aren’t trying to tell you that they don’t care about you. They are just overwhelmed with their new life, and trying to deal.
(4) CAVEAT FOR THE PREGNANT LADIES
Note that all of this refers to women who are already moms (or will be) by the time the wedding rolls around. If you are having a normal pregnancy (i.e., not high risk, and not due immediately before or after the wedding date) the wedding trumps your situation.
This may sound harsh. But pregnant chicks, we understand you are tired. We understand that you spend every waking moment thinking about the little miracle you are about to birth. We also understand that all of the wedding hoopla may seem totally insignificant compared to what you are doing. But to the bride? It isn’t. So suck it up, find a good tailor who can add 5 yards to that hot pink monstrosity you’re expected to wear, and smile pretty for the pictures. But don’t feel bad about taking an extra dessert or sneaking out of the service entrance immediately after the speeches. After all, there is nothing “party” or “fun!” about a swollen, grumpy pregnant chick who is so, so over it.