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Due Dates, Weddings & Crystal Balls

Jun28

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Hi Amalah!

Advice Smackdown ArchivesI have a small dilemma, a tiny one really, but I thought given your expertise on weddings *and* babies, you might be able to help me out, especially since I seem to be suffering from pregnancy idiocy at the moment and can’t seem to think clearly….

Here’s the deal: I’m pregnant with my first baby and due Sept. 7th.  (Yay!)  I’m invited to a close family friend’s wedding on Sept. 4th.  I would really, really love to go, because I not only love the groom (and have known him since he was born!) but I love his entire family, and I know the wedding will be superfun.  Obviously, however, I don’t know when the little peanut plans on arriving, and whether or not she or he will come before, on, or after the due date.  So what do I do about responding to the wedding invite?  I live in the NY metro area, where weddings are *insanely* expensive, so I don’t want to say yes, have the couple pay for my and my husband’s meals, then not go.  One thing I was considering was to say that yes, if the peanut stays put, we’ll be at the ceremony and will swing by the reception, but just to visit, and not to eat or drink anything (or just go to the ceremony, if “swinging by” the reception seems a bit rude and presumptuous).  The ceremony/reception is about 1 1/2 – 2 hours away from where we live, but I’d still be willing to go to the ceremony if it’s feasible.  The whole family is just warm and wonderful, and I’ve known them forever, so I don’t think they’d find that weird, but I know that weddings sometimes get people a little crazed, and I don’t really know the fiancee that well, so I don’t know if this plan will send her into a tizzy.

*Sigh*  I know I’m making a mountain out of a molehill, I just really wanted to go to this wedding because I’m so incredibly happy for the groom and his family, but I don’t want my desire to go to turn into any sort of inconvenience for any of them.  I also realize that I may be being ridiculously optimistic about how I will feel 3 days before my due date, and perhaps should turn to more experienced mamas (like yourself!) for advice as to whether or not I’ll actually be up for any sort of trip/lengthy sitting-down experience at that point in time.

Thanks,
Bustin’ a move while bustin’ at the belly

TALK TO THE GROOM. Put down the laptop and pick up the phone. Explain everything you just said to me: You’d really love to come but understand the timing could be dicey and you don’t want to inconvenience them or cost them money. These are some valid, thoughtful concerns, though I’m guessing IF YOU WERE INVITED, your friend will consider it PERFECTLY OKAY for you to RSVP as a yes, with an asterisk. If having a guest in the “maybe” column wigs him out (or more likely, his fiancee), that’s when you can suggest one of the compromises you mentioned (ceremony only, perhaps). Maybe ask him when their final headcount and deposit is due to the reception site, so you can have a little breathing room to make a final-final decision based on how you feel and what your doctor says.

Or, if he says that you’re being silly, OF COURSE he wants you to come, please don’t give a second thought, just RSVP yes and don’t give it a second thought. What happens…happens. Just have this discussion with him, not via some scribbled notes on an RSVP card. (He might not even see it, honestly, if her family is handling the planning or compiling the guest list, and they might be confused by anything that’s not a clear yes/no.)

As for whether you’ll feel like attending a wedding three days before your due date? I have no idea. That’s absolutely impossible to predict. You might feel great and be in the mood to dance your way into labor. You might feel like a bloated beached whale or hate everybody.   You might be on bedrest, or too far dilated for your doctor to give you the greenlight to be an hour and a half away from the hospital. Your next ultrasound might change your due date to September 1st or 3rd or the 27th. You might already have the baby.

I feel like this important thing to note here is that your friend invited you. Maybe it’s possible that you were invited merely out of courtesy and he never assumed you’d actually be up for attending. Or maybe he didn’t know how close the dates are, or maybe he did but invited you anyway because — oh my God — he values your friendship and wanted you to know that due date or not, he’d love to have you at his wedding. So don’t feel like you can only talk the groom via a checkbox on a formal RSVP card. Pick up the phone and talk to your friend. It’ll be fine.

About the author

Amalah

http://www.amalah.com
Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy's daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it's pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to amyadvice@gmail.com.

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.


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16 Responses to “Due Dates, Weddings & Crystal Balls”

  1. Mazlynn Jun 28 at 12:10 pm Reply Reply

    My cousin attended a wedding the day before her baby was born – she did manage to boogie the baby out. :) I was personally two plus weeks late, and would have felt absolutely fine about going to a wedding a couple of days before my actual due date. But chances are you won’t make the final decision until the day before or even the day of – every woman reacts differently in late labor.

    So I’d agree to talk with the friend and see what they think. Personally, when I was planning my wedding the only time the maybe would have been an issue for me would have been if we had to limit our guest list, and you not attending would mean we could invite someone from the “second tier” list. Otherwise, I would have already been planning to spend the money – it wouldn’t matter to me if you didn’t make it. Especially with a great excuse like “OMG, baby coming!” I had many last minute cancellations for my wedding with much less impressive excuses!

  2. LeeBH Jun 28 at 12:15 pm Reply Reply

    I would second the suggestion of checking with your doctor. Mine won’t OK travel that is more than an hour away after 34 weeks.

  3. Jenny Jun 28 at 1:06 pm Reply Reply

    I was in a similar situation (as the bride, dealing with a very pregnant wedding guest) and agree with Amy — pick up the phone! My cousin was due the week after our wedding was to take place. She had the same concerns as you, she really really wanted to be there, but didnt want to cost us money if they couldn’t be there last minute, she was worried about being an horu away from the hospital if she went into labor at our wedding, etc etc. I told her that if she woke up on our wedding day and felt like coming, she could. I also told our caterer ahead of time, and they completely understood the circumstances and said that we could just let them know that morning if they’d need to make up a plate for my cousin and her husband. They noted that they had to prepare the same amount of food for 198 guests as for 200, and if the two plates went unused, they would just put them in our hotel room for a midnight snack. Well, my cousin actually delivered her 10.5 pound baby boy two weeks ahead of her due date, so they all came to our wedding, even baby in his car seat (who found the whole thing a complete bore and slept through the whole event).
    Just call your friend and let him know what is going on with you — I am sure he will gladly tell you what will work best for him and his fiancee.

  4. Jenn Jun 28 at 1:45 pm Reply Reply

    Also, I know with my own wedding I was able to make changes to the actual number of guests up until just a few days before as long as it was just a minor change. Maybe see if that’s an option, RSVP yes, and if Sept 1 rolls around and it seems unlikely that you’ll be able to go you can give the groom the go-ahead to knock your name off the list.

  5. Jenn Jun 28 at 1:46 pm Reply Reply

    I know with my own wedding I was able to make changes to the actual number of guests up until just a few days before as long as it was just a minor change. Maybe see if that’s an option, RSVP yes, and if Sept 1 rolls around and it seems unlikely that you’ll be able to go you can give the groom the go-ahead to knock your name off the list.

  6. deezyw Jun 28 at 2:31 pm Reply Reply

    OMG why! You shouldn’t be expected to show up for your own twin’s wedding under these circumstances! If you’re still preggo, you’re probably not going to want to go, and even if you do, no OB in their right minds will clear you to go 2 hours away from home while 9+ months pregnant. If you’re not preggo, you’ll be way, way, way, way (add 10 zillion more ways) too busy, tired and overwhelmed to go. This is a good friend. Take your good friend and his bride-to-be out to supper a month before the wedding. Listen to them complain about the stress and why it’s hard to seat Grandma next to crazy Uncle Joe. Give them a gift and a hug and a wish we could be there. Let them rub your belly if that’s your thing. But going – no, just no. You’ll enjoy it a lot more to meet with them beforehand anyway. Waiting that last month is so boring that anything you can do to fill up the hours is good. And the month before your wedding is similarly harried and impatient. It’ll make such a good break for both of you, and then you don’t have to stress out about attending.

  7. Melanie Jun 28 at 2:33 pm Reply Reply

    I just got married in November and we had a somewhat expensive wedding for the area we live in. I feel like there will always be discrepencies in the number of people to rsvp and the number who attend and you just go with it. We had a few no shows and even a couple of people who showed up that did not rsvp. I think you should give him a call and rsvp yes unless he seems stressed about it. Chances are, you will know more before their absolut last deadline for numbers. And unexpected things always happen if you say yes and then can’t go at the last minute. It’s just all part of having a wedding!

  8. Margie Jun 28 at 8:20 pm Reply Reply

    I have to respectfully counter Deezyw’s advice by saying that, for me, I was really happy to get out of the house a few days before my due date for a fun event we had scheduled, so it could be either way for you. (I definitely was relishing pre-baby ease of planning, going out, etc., even when quite pregnant and nicely swollen :) Also, since you don’t know how your labor will start, all I can offer on that is that it’s likely to start slowly enough that you could handle the car ride home okay, if you were in early labor for it (tho I’m not claiming that would be ideal and I’m not a child birth professional).

  9. lindswing Jun 28 at 8:54 pm Reply Reply

    I went to a wedding three days before my due date, and I had a great time.  Even better, my best friend was also pregnant, so I had a totally-sober person to hang out with the whole time.  It was so helpful for keeping my mind off the fact that any given day could be my baby’s birthday!  This wedding wasn’t formal, but it was way, way out in the country, up winding dirt roads and then walking up a gravelly driveway. 

    I know it’s always unpredictable, but the average (un-induced) first baby is eight days late, so odds are in your favor.  Mine was 14 days late, which was about as fun as you’d imagine, and things like going to the wedding were what kept me sane while I waited. 

  10. B Jun 29 at 10:16 am Reply Reply

    I personally would be really nervous to attend a wedding 1 1/2 hours away at 9+ months pregnant- but then my water broke movie-style for my first child 9 days before my due date. Definitely check with your doctor and get the official ok first! Then talk with your friend and get his opinion…

  11. christina Jun 29 at 11:25 pm Reply Reply

    I also respectfully (but strongly) disagree with Deezyw’s advice! I felt great and was definitely out on the town up until I pretty much gave birth with my kids. Just call the groom, explain everything, and then play it by ear! If you feel up for it, then go have fun!

  12. Kim Jun 30 at 11:13 am Reply Reply

    Expected to go? No. Even if you RSVP’ed yes, you need to be able to say no, labor or not, brand new baby or not. But leave your options open. Much much more polite to say yes with a caveat than show up unexpectedly. Just as you want the best for your friend, he wants the best for you, and I’m sure that includes his fiancee as well. My kids both came waaay early, so we would have been rocking the day of the wedding. You just never know.

  13. ElleDubs Jul 06 at 10:43 am Reply Reply

    Yay! Amy answered my letter! The advice to give him a call is a good one–don’t ask me why I didn’t think of this before. It’s a running joke between us anyway that I planned my due date in order not to make his wedding, since he missed mine b/c he was in college in the mid-West and didn’t want to miss a big football game…

    Anyway, it turns out I may not be able to go anyway, as my map-reading skills were off, and the wedding is more like 3 hours away than 1.5 hours, not including Labor Day traffic (he’s getting married in a beach area), which would put me about 4-4.5 hours away from my hospital…something that I think would totally freak my husband out!

    Thanks everyone (Amy & commenters) for your advice!

  14. stacy Jul 06 at 2:26 pm Reply Reply

    Say yes, and play it by ear! Like another commenter said — several people don’t show up at wedding who have RSVP’d, and for much less impressive reasons!

  15. stacy Jul 06 at 2:27 pm Reply Reply

    Say yes, and play it by ear! Like another commenter said — several people don’t show up at weddings who have RSVP’d, and for much less impressive reasons!

  16. Lydia Jul 07 at 4:00 pm Reply Reply

    I am planning my wedding for the end of this August. I will have 2 almost full term pregnant friends there and 3 new parent (as in, baby is less than 8 weeks) couples there. And I TOTALLY understand that even if they have RSVPed yes at this point, they could very likely change their mind later. I am SO flattered they all are even thinking of making the effort!! I mean, being a new parent or very near to giving birth is a much bigger deal than my wedding. People planning weddings aren’t all crazy! They love you and he is probably so excited to meet you little one. Call him and chat about it.

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