Though they’re supposed to be celebratory occasions, weddings have a funny way of bringing the worst out in people, or at the very least, their true colors and beliefs.
When it comes to brides wanting child-free weddings, sometimes it becomes clear just how blatantly child-free the bride is, side-eyed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Though she had discussed her potential pregnancy with the bride in advance, Redditor InfiniteCucumber907 was surprised by how the bride treated her after announcing that she would be pregnant during most of the wedding planning.
But when the bride lashed out at her about not bringing her baby to the wedding, the Original Poster (OP) began to wonder if it was worth being in the wedding party at all.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for reconsidering being a Maid of Honor (MOH) when my friend won’t allow me to bring my three-month-old child to her wedding?”
The OP accepted her position as Maid of Honor (MOH) but with one condition attached.
“I (31 Female) was asked a few months ago to be my friend’s Maid of Honor for her wedding which will be held in August 2024.”
“I accepted on the proviso that she was aware that my husband (35 Male) and I were trying for kids and, depending on when we conceived, I may be pregnant or have recently given birth which means things may change.”
“She accepted this and said she understood.”
After becoming pregnant, the bride made juggling MOH and mom duties difficult.
“Fast forward, we conceived in August 2023 and the baby is due May 2024.”
“This will be our first child and both my husband and I are elated as we were told that fertility may be a long road for us, as I have reproduction issues.”
“My friend told us that her wedding is strictly no children and that no exceptions will be made including my child who will be three months old at the time.”
“When she said this to me, I found her behavior to be quite smug and she looked directly at my stomach when she said it.”
“She has made other comments about how she can’t wait to have a ‘child-free wedding’ as they ‘take the attention from the bride.'”
“The wedding will also be interstate (roughly a four-and-a-half-hour drive away) and we have no family in that town who could help us.”
The OP and her husband had to make some tough decisions about the wedding.
“Discussing this with my husband, we both decided that it would be easier if he didn’t attend as neither of us is comfortable leaving a three-month-old child with a stranger or a family member (as it will be more than one night we would be away).”
“Whilst we are both a little sad, we respect my friend’s wishes for a child-free wedding.”
“I told her this the other day (roughly 10 months in advance of the wedding and prior to any invitations being sent out), and I got an upsetting message back, basically saying that ‘they want us both by their side as they get married’ and they ‘don’t understand the issue as our baby will be three months old.'”
The OP began to wonder if being Maid of Honor was even worth it.
“I am now considering not being MOH because of this comment and because of her behavior since I became pregnant.”
“I also worry I can’t give my friend a good experience of being MOH if I am being called away to feed my baby, comfort them, etc.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some reassured the OP that she didn’t need to juggle her MOH duties with her new motherhood.
“Apart from anything else, OP may simply not be up to doing all the MOH stuff. I think it’s worth taking into account that she has no idea how she’ll react to the birth, and it’s taking a big risk for her to be making plans to be a MOH so soon after giving birth.”
“We’re all talking about how she may or may not be able to leave the baby due to breastfeeding, but she may well still be in pain, bleeding, etc., as well as being exhausted. If she has an emergency Caesarean section, she will absolutely not be up for being an MOH after three months. And that’s if things go reasonably okay.”
“If things go badly (no horror stories here, but we know things can go wrong), she’ll have to back out at the last minute anyway.”
“I think it’s much more sensible to work on the basis that Bride needs to find a new MOH, and OP needs to be focussing on her baby and on her recovery at that time. H**l, in some cultures she would barely be allowed out of bed at three months!” – Enlightened_Gardener
“NTA. Just dip. It’s a lot to ask of you even with welcoming the child at the wedding. You will be tired enough, and then add travel, strange environment, and social obligations and almost no one who has had a baby will fault you.” – One_Classic4298
“NTA. I was a bridesmaid when my baby was two months old, and it was honestly awful, and she was a kind and understanding friend who let me have the baby with me whenever I needed.”
“I was still feeding so I was leaking milk, and it was so hard to breastfeed in the bridesmaid dress. I felt gross and sweaty and I was just not feeling in the mood to party. I was obviously sleep-deprived. I was also stressed about the baby as she was refusing bottles when my husband was watching her.”
“Add in the stress of helping to organize bachelorette parties and be there for dress fittings while not knowing what size I would be. I would never do it again.”
“Just relax and enjoy your time with your baby. Being your first they may even come late so the baby could be less than three months old, you may have a rough birth or c-section and not feel up to being on your feet all day anyway.”
“Politely decline and if she argues, just keep repeating that you will regretfully be unable to attend.” – Nice_Option1598
“(As I am writing this, my two-month-old son is sleeping on my chest): You are not the a**hole. Your ‘friend’ is.”
“Childbirth and childcare are tough, both physically and mentally. Even if you have recovered physically from giving birth by the time of the wedding, you might not be able to mentally leave your child behind, even for a few hours, let alone days.”
“And the child might not be ready to be away from you or dad (a friend of mine nicknamed her daughter the barnacle for a reason. Some children need a lot of physical contact with someone they know to feel safe in a new and scary world).”
“And the bride expects the both of you to attend? Ridiculous! So small babies need their parents to feel safe and calm, the child knows the voices, smells, and faces of its parents and knows it is safe with mom and dad.”
“In the end, you will know your situation and your child best. But speaking from my situation right now, it would not be possible for me and my partner to leave our child with sitters (even grandparents) and be gone for days at such a distance nonetheless.”
“If your friend is really a friend, she would leave this decision entirely up to you and not make demands.” – Nala013
“OP describes the bride as smug, not wanting a baby to detract attention, gloating it will be child-free and setting impossible rules, the couple has to be there.”
“It comes across to me as a rather nasty power play by the bride.”
“If I was OP, I’d nope the heck out without a second thought. And I am very much child-free.” – Stella1331
Others agreed and also found the bride’s behavior too childish for a child-free wedding.
“The bride said she was looking forward to having a child-free wedding… so that there would be no children there to take attention from the bride. Oh, the irony. So what she is saying is basically that she wants to be the only childish person that day.”
“NTA, have a great time with your baby.” – Aggressive-Basil-857
“NTA. It’s perfectly natural that you don’t want to separate from your three-month-old baby to go to a wedding that’s nearly five hours away. Three-month-old babies are still very very young, and I wouldn’t feel comfortablem either.”
“Your friend seems very selfish and self-centered. Babies ‘take away attention from the bride’? (personally having a late party, or not having to adapt the event to children is more than fair, but ‘taking attention from the bride’ thing seems SO childish to me…) Maybe it’s a cultural difference but I really don’t get this ‘all about MEEEEE’ thing brides have in the US.”
“That said, she has the right to have a child-free wedding. But you 100% have the right to decide not to go, especially because if you do bend to her wishes and leave your baby, you probably won’t be able to enjoy the party anyway, and it will most likely be incredibly stressful for you. Also, it’s far, it’s not like it’s ten minutes from your home so you can be there in no time if anything happens.”
“And I honestly wouldn’t go out of my way to support a ‘friend’ who is showing so little support to me.”
“So I wouldn’t go either… she doesn’t get to be mad, and if she is, it says a lot more about her than about you. NTA.” – Dizzy_Ad5659
“She’s going to be pushing your buttons the whole of this year, making your pregnancy a battleground.”
“She’s going to want so much from you, like the bridal shower, the bachelorette party, dress shopping, etc.”
“You have no idea how you will feel at any given point; pregnancy can be exhausting. You won’t be drinking. You might not even feel like participating, much less have the physical energy or mental strength to plan events.”
“Even trying to size a bridesmaid dress only three months postpartum, especially if you are nursing, can become a nightmare because your body will be in a state of flux.”
“She’s already flexing unkindness.”
“Do yourself and your baby a favor and drop out of being involved with this wedding. Your future self will be so relieved! NTA.” – MonikerSchmoniker
“Rule Number One when it comes to child-free weddings: the couple is in absolutely no position to get upset when guests with children are unable to come.”
“NTA. I would not leave my three-month-old with anyone overnight, either.” – MarketingArtistic925
“NTA: people are free to have child-free weddings if they want but parents are also free to say they can’t make it. It’s especially understandable because a three-month-old can’t be separated from the mother for that long especially if breastfeeding.”
“Besides, three months is far far too young for overnight babysitters, even family, unless it’s an emergency. She’s talking like someone who clearly doesn’t have or understand children.” – Complex_Box_1336
“NTA. Just send back, ‘attending without our child is not an option for us, but we know you will have a wonderful time and we hope to see the photos when they come out.'”
“Them insisting that you attend is some sort of denial, just be firm and very clear about your decision. She needs to find a new MoH. You are not going to be there.” – atealein
The subReddit could not help but shake their heads at this one and simply encouraged the OP to get herself out of the situation now, leaving the bride with ten months to plan and find a replacement Maid of Honor.
The bride’s perception of weddings and babies was simply too different than the OP’s, and for the OP to take care of herself postpartum, as well as her still very young baby, it would be better not to juggle another big responsibility.