Another letter in our series is from a bride to one of her bridesmaids. Much time has passed and Bride now has a Toddler of her own, but still hopes others will listen and learn!
We have been friends for years and I am grateful you said Yes to standing for me at my wedding. I was honored to do it for you as well. The difference: I did not have a child.
Thinking back to shopping for my dress and the maids dresses, the memories should be joyful. Instead mine are mixed with regret, stress, and anxiety because of Toddler.
I asked everyone to join me to shop for my dress and asked those with children to please have hubby/mom/sitter watch them since it was a full day and traveling to multiple stores with a girl’s day lunch planned. You couldn’t find anyone so Toddler joined us.
All I remember is you chasing Toddler at every store, the staffs of each asking you to please not let Toddler run through the dresses, grab headpieces, smear mirrors, and one asked you to take Toddler outside because of the crying and wailing. My other maids tried to help entertain Toddler which wasn’t what I wanted them to do, but they tried. When Toddler needed a diaper change other brides/groups were uncomfortable but polite about it.
I was upset and embarrassed. I could barely concentrate. We had lunch (also not what I expected with a highchair, goldfish being smashed, the sippy cup being thrown over and over) and I said yes at the next store without even going to the last appointment. I loved the dress, but I really wanted it over with. My anxiety was off the charts and my mom was very angry with you. I cried on the way home.
I booked the maid appointment months in advance with the same request for a sitter. Once again you couldn’t find one. I offered to do your appointment separately when you could find someone but you seemed offended and said it would be fine. It wasn’t fine, it was a disaster. While the staff mopped up the coffees that Toddler immediately knocked over, you were busy chasing and picking Toddler up while Toddler screamed to get down. Toddler ran into random dressing rooms with another bridesmaid group in them and you were surprised that they got mad at you. Toddler eventually sat still for a short time blasting Elmo at volume level 10 on an iPad. I will never forget how uncomfortable this was for everyone, yet you thought it was fine.
Fast forward and I now have a squirmy Toddler of my own. That’s how they are and it isn’t Toddler’s fault for being placed in stores where they should not be! Guess what I will never do?!
With love but regret that I did not handle this differently,
A Considerate Parent AND Bridesmaid