We’re in the midst of one of my favorite times of the year — wedding season. And as someone who absolutely loves attending weddings, I’m beyond excited for three family members and friends who are getting hitched this year! Over the past year of celebrating with engagement parties, showers, bachelorette parties, and the actual weddings themselves, I’ve come to realize one major theme: Being a bridesmaid or wedding guest after having kids is majorly different. And that’s an understatement. Let me elaborate.
The seamstress has become my new best friend
When purchasing a bridesmaid’s dress postpartum, I have found that regardless of how many sizes I order up from before I had kids, my body had changed so much from pregnancy and nursing that the seamstress truly has to tailor the dress to my new shape — meaning, essentially take the dress apart before taking it in and out in all the necessary places. I have her on speed-dial now, and she has even been so kind as to make visits to my home to help me out.
My breast pump became a necessary accessory
I was just two months postpartum last summer when my sister-in-law’s shower took place in Connecticut, but I was so anxious to leave my baby home during the quick trip. As a nursing mom used to feeding every few hours or less, I knew I would need to pump often. But having never really pumped outside my house or office, I had no idea how this would turn out. Well, I found myself seated in the middle of a public bathroom, close to the only outlet, my modesty thrown out the window as I was exposed from shoulders to waist (since I was wearing a dress, of course), and fielding questions from the elderly women attending the shower as they entered and exited the stalls. I thought I learned my lesson about NEVER leaving my newborn for more than a few hours, but a few months later at the wedding…
I had to schedule pumping breaks in between champagne toasts
And in between getting my hair and makeup done at the salon, and right before the ceremony, and in the bridal suite at the reception venue, and in between songs while dancing to the awesome band. And so on. The icing on the cake was when my pump parts, situated on the top tier of the party bus carrying the entire wedding party from New York City to the Long Island Sound, fell into one of the groomsmen’s laps after we hit a bump in the road. That surely got a chuckle from the entire bridal party, including the newly married couple.
“Partying” at a bachelorette party feels a little different
I planned my younger sister’s bachelorette party on Nantucket, and I was the oldest of the bunch by about 7.5 years. “Partying” — meaning going to bars and staying up ’til the wee hours of the morning — was something that had pretty much left my vocabulary as soon as I had my first child. With my eyes closing before 10 p.m. the first night of the weekend, I skipped the “party” part. After one of the first full nights of sleep I’d gotten in nearly three years, though, I was able to rally a bit longer the next night!
Bringing the littles to the wedding is no small feat
My older son was the ring bearer in my brother’s wedding last summer and my sister’s a few months ago. Both of my kids were included in all wedding festivities, pictures, etc., which has been an amazing way to capture such a special moment in their lives, connected to their uncles and aunts. However, with the kids as wedding guests, luxuries like hitting the dance floor whenever a favorite song starts playing, hanging out by the bar, or staying up for the after (and after-after) parties are not all that doable. But having my kids there with me, and watching them experience a wedding, is priceless. Thank goodness for grandparents there to help out!