Head Over Heels

by admin on March 12, 2013

One of my best friends, Maria got married this past spring. At the time I was 6 months pregnant and was having a pretty rough pregnancy (had to quit both of my jobs because I kept almost passing out and had gone a few times to the ER to get checked out because of the pain I was experiencing). Mostly she was a great bride and wasn’t very picky or anything. She had asked me before the New Year to be in her wedding after kicking one of her other bridesmaids out.

All was great until her bachelorette party. At that time she got extremely offended that I (at that time I was 5 months along) couldn’t go to her bachelorette party at a bar. I had just been in the hospital 2 nights before because of the pregnancy! I figured if that was the only rough spot then I would be ok. She was very laid back about everything else. She didn’t care what jewelry we wore to the wedding except no bracelets (that was our attendants gifts) and told us she didn’t care what shoes we wore as long as they were black and had some sort of a heel. She then told me I could wear flip flops to the ceremony since she knew of my pregnancy issues, which her mom immediately vetoed. Oh well, I have a few pairs of short-heeled black shoes I could wear.

The day of the rehearsal dinner I showed up wearing the pair of shoes I was planning on wearing to the wedding- about 3 inch high wedges that I never would have worn except they were extremely comfortable. She then tells me she doesn’t like them and doesn’t want me to wear them. Ok whatever. I have another pair of shoes in my car- black leather kitten heels- that were admittedly nicer looking. Nope. No go. She doesn’t like those either. She then tells me she wants me to wear my black leather 4 inch high heel pumps. I almost smacked her. I wore them to make her happy but almost passed out during the wedding because I wasn’t used to the height of the shoes. I’m getting married within a year and I know they’re planning to start trying to have a baby before then.. If it does happen I sure as hell won’t be asking her to wear 4 inch high heels to my wedding!! 0307-13

{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

Lo March 12, 2013 at 7:53 am

This person and her mother are nuts.

I once had to wear heels (2″, which might as well be 6″ to my poor feet) as a bridesmaid (not the bride’s request, my fault for not having the dress hemmed to flats) and as soon as the ceremony was over I was barefoot. I can’t walk in heels. I don’t wear them at anyone’s request..

No one outside the wedding party cares what you’re wearing on your feet when you’re standing at a wedding. Literally, no one has ever even noticed in the history of wedding photos what the bridesmaids are wearing on their feet. As long as the shoes match and they aren’t sneakers or something it shouldn’t even be an issue.

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InNM March 12, 2013 at 10:18 am

Actually, if they are sneakers, who cares? I’ve seen wedding pictures of the whole wedding party in colorful converse sneakers, and the reactions were more along the lines of ha-ha-how-cute/funny than OMG-how-tacky.
I do agree with the rest of your statement.

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Clee March 12, 2013 at 11:39 am

I really can’t believe that “no one’s noticed in the history of wedding photos what bridesmaids are wearing on their feet.” Given the OP’s descriptions of her shoes, I can absolutely see how either pair could be inappropriate. I think it’s absolutely bad form for a bride to insist her friends and family teeter around in heels that cause them pain or that otherwise make them uncomfortable. But I also think it’s bad form–outside of a medical problem–for a bridesmaid to insist that she’ll be only able to wear shoes that are different from what’s normally appropriate or from what other women in the wedding party are wearing. Heels of some description are almost universally a part of women’s formal wear, even in this casual age.

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Surianne March 12, 2013 at 1:35 pm

Clee, there are quite a few women (myself included) who don’t wear heels at all. To suddenly start for hours at a wedding would be very painful. I don’t think it’s reasonable for a bride to expect this. Other shoes of a similar level of formality shouldn’t be an issue. Heels aren’t mandated in any dress code I’ve ever heard of.

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Lo March 12, 2013 at 2:34 pm

Take my statement with a grain of salt as I work in a job that requires dress shoes, yet only own 2 pairs of shoes, period. That being said, I would still argue that shoes are the least noticable thing in a photo as long as they’re not clashing in color. If it is vaguely in the shape of a heel/flat, you know, not combat boots, not sneakers (unless as pointed out, that’s part of the theme), I highly doubt anyone would even notice for all the beautiful dresses and the bride all dolled up.

For my own wedding I bought low heels that I thought I could manage, but because I could not walk down the aisle in them, I swapped out for my battered black ballet flats with scuff marks that couldn’t have cost more than $10 from Payless. They were visible under my dress but the dress wasn’t white so no one in my wedding party even noticed.

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technobabble March 12, 2013 at 3:02 pm

Clee, I am 6’1″ tall. I can count on one hand the number of times in a year that I wear heels. I own many pairs of pretty, flat shoes that I wear to formal events that prevent me from towering over others any more than I normally do.

Also, I don’t see why you wouldn’t consider being pregnant enough of a “medical reason” to not want to wear 4-inch heels. Seems like a pretty logical reason to me.

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manybellsdown March 12, 2013 at 4:21 pm

Look, it’s cute when people have matching or funky shoes. But it’s hardly of such deadly importance that you have to make someone who is supposedly a friend suffer for the sake of “cute pics”.

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AS March 12, 2013 at 4:51 pm

@Clee – Heels are a part of women’s formal wear because it is very hard to find flat but dressy shoes. I wore a very pretty flat sandal (less than 1″ heels) for my own wedding with my formal, full length ball gown. It blended in perfectly! But I had a hard time finding a dressy flats. I don’t see why a woman has to torture herself with heels just because shoe makers are unwilling to make flat heel shoes that can be just as formal; and society puts pressure on women to wear something that is often very uncomfortable just so that they can please others.

I also don’t see why you don’t consider pregnancy, a difficult one at that, as a medical “problem”.

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NostalgicGal March 14, 2013 at 1:02 am

When I had to wear suits and dresses to work (nylons) I would buy a brand called Cobbie Cuddlers. They had a line of closed toe dress flats, they were pricey and I had to go to Dayton’s to get them. I also learned that no two pairs fit the same and would have to have them bring out every pair in my size to try on each left and right to get two that fit good enough to wear. I don’t know if they make them anymore (and half the styles had that teardrop heel bit so you had to look and make sure they were truely flatsoled)

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NostalgicGal March 13, 2013 at 1:19 am

Clee, I beg to differ, I have weak ankles, no amount of exercise or physical therapy has ever gotten them strong enough to make it possible for me to wear anything BUT flats, and I do mean FLAT or else I will literally fall over. An ankle will turn and at very least sprain. For awhile the fashion flat were these shoes with a penny sized teardrop moulded at the back to balance on, and the salesperson helping me would be going ‘oh these are flats’ …uh no they’re not dearie. My ankle still wobbles and goes over in them. If I had to put on even those for a wedding, you better make sure the pair of crutches are decorated to match the outfits. Yes I walk normally but I buy my shoes for can I walk in them versus fashion; I am just glad to have shoes on my feet. The bride knew about the OP’s condition and it was totally out of it for her to make the OP wear the 4″. On the other side, perhaps the OP should have bowed out as bridesmaid because of health… Yes those shoes look gorgeous, and I know my wide toed feet won’t fit, and if they aren’t flat, I will rip out something when I have a foot flip and I fall. Most women wear a heel as ‘fashion formal’ but not all of us do, or even have the choice.

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Michelle C. Young March 20, 2013 at 5:23 pm

I once knew a woman who fell off her shoe, and broke her ankle. She was laid up for weeks! And the shoe wasn’t even very high, either.

Whose bright idea was it to make such narrow heels, anyway?

As for the pictures, why couldn’t they just ask the photographer to zoom in a bit, and cut the feet out of the frame? A bit of creativity and skill with a camera would be more valuable to “pretty pictures” than all the fashion footwear in the world, IMHO.

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Danielle March 16, 2013 at 10:49 pm

I think the idea that women should be forced to wear shoes that are known to cause long term problems with the back, knees, and hips in order to be considered” appropriate” is ludicrous. PPersonally, I’m unable to wear them because after a broken ankle some years back, and arthritis from childhood. However, those issues are personal… I should not be required to release my medical history in order to wear flats. My friends should care and respect me enough that just telling them I’m uncomfortable is enough.

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Michelle C. Young March 20, 2013 at 5:18 pm

I thought the bride said she could wear flip flops. Why go from that level of shoe-ness to the other extreme? And at the last minute, too! Bad form.

As for me, with my size 6-1/2 EEEEE (no, that is not a typo, my feet are ridiculous) feet, the shoe issue is basically – take what you can get. I have gone to specialist shoe stores and they couldn’t fit me. I generally have to buy men’s shoes, or unisex sandals. In fact, I do have two, count them TWO, pairs of feminine shoes, and I can’t wear either for longer than half an hour before I have to take them off, and they’re flats. My doctor long ago told me not to wear heels, and she was absolutely right. I even got a doctor’s note to wear athletic shoes to work, because of my feet. And I’m not even pregnant.

I once knew a woman who needed five different sized shoes over the course of a day, every day, because her feet swelled so much. She couldn’t wear any sort of heel, either, as she was even shorter than I am.

In short – your bridesmaid’s choice of shoe, especially if it is due to a medical condition, will NOT negate your marriage. If you force her to endanger her health or to cause herself pain by making her wear shoes that are not suited to her body, then it might just negate your friendship. Pick your battles wisely, people. Making a pretty picture is not worth endangering your friend or your friendship.

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Rhoda March 24, 2013 at 7:27 am

I think it is rather rude of you to demand that women wear shoes which medical research has shown are damaging to the feet, ankles and back.
My sister is getting married this year. I will not be wearing high heels. She might not wear high heels. It’s an outdoor wedding with a ceidlidh at the reception and she want people to wear what they will be comfortable dancing in.
High heels are bad for you so it’s silly to wear them to conform to other people’s expectations.

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Heather April 1, 2013 at 9:45 am

Preach it. I had to stand up for an hour in high heels, which I’d never worn before, as a bridesmaid for a friend, and though it didn’t occur to me to think “She has no right to make us do this!” I did think “What a weird cultural tradition. I’ll think twice about being a bridesmaid again.”

I never was one again, and at my own outdoor wedding I was barefoot. Loved it.

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AMC March 12, 2013 at 9:02 am

This is yet another example of a bride treating her attendants like window dressing instead of friends. If the bride had cared at all about OP, she would have made her comfort a priority. Big news flash to all the brides-and-grooms-to-be-out there: Don’t treat people like props. If you’re going to ask someone to stand up with you at your wedding as a bridesmaid, groomsman, etc., do it because they are important to you and you want to honor them.

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Cat March 12, 2013 at 10:27 am

Your mistake was in showing her the second pair of shoes and giving her a chance to veto them. I would have said, “Ok, I have another pair I can wear.”, worn the second comfortable pair, and if, at the wedding she didn’t like them, it would have been, “I’m sorry but it’s these or barefoot.”
People would remember your passing out at the altar; they would not have remembered your shoes.

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Michelle C. Young March 20, 2013 at 5:28 pm

Yeah, I can really picture a pregnant woman, who has been struggling to hold onto her consciousness, to be given THE LAST STRAW of bad behavior from bride, Momzilla, or whoever, and then just decide not to fight the fainting spell, any more, as a form of passive-aggressive punishment.

“I’ve been biting my cheek, squeezing my nails into my palm, and doing every other trick I can think of to keep myself upright for your sake, but now, I’m just not going to fight it, any more. If I pass out, I pass out, and won’t that look good on your wedding video?”

Of course, my opinion is that if you actually are in danger of passing out, you should bow out, so that you don’t make a scene and embarrass the bride, and so that you can get whatever care you actually do need. Either don’t attend, if your health does not allow it, or else sit very close to the exit, with a strong friend to help you out, if needed. But that’s just me.

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InNM March 12, 2013 at 10:29 am

I had a friend who had a shoe issue with her bridesmaid as well. She was upset that our friend (the bridesmaid) got the exact same shoe as hers, and she was upset that our friend would copy her, to the point she kicked her out of the wedding party. In response, I told her that the fact that she *was* the one in the big white dress, not our friend, and her guest would not get confused by who was the bride on the wedding day. I added that if there was anyone on her guest list hat may get confused about this distinction, she may need to reconsider having said guest attend because clearly they did not have a good enough relationship with the happy couple.
That calmed her down, she brought our friend back into the wedding party. I would love to add they lived happily ever after, but upon future pregnancy, I already know there is going to be drama about who “owns” a particular name.

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Lilya March 12, 2013 at 5:53 pm

To be honest, I’m surprised the former bridesmaid accepted to come back.

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InNM March 12, 2013 at 11:44 pm

That’s what friends do, I guess.

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another Laura March 12, 2013 at 10:53 am

Maybe you could have said, these shoes make me nauseous. And I’ll be awfully close to your dress…:-)

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Michelle C. Young March 20, 2013 at 5:28 pm

LOL!

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Nancy March 12, 2013 at 11:27 am

Some brides need reminders that their bridesmaids are not supporting cast in a Broadway production. Between the time we agree to be your bridesmaid and until the time of the wedding, we have other things going on in our lives, like school, work commitments, family duties. Just because the wedding consumes one year of YOUR life does NOT obligate us to have the same level of commitment. If you’re requiring much beyond “buy this dress, wear these shoes, show up at no more than 4-5 events (shower, dress fitting, rehearsal dinner, bachelorette, wedding), and clear your calendar on this day” you are asking too much. Unfortunately, there is a whole cadre of vendors who pump up women into believing that this is the most important day of their lives ever, and if they DON’T get the extra fondant sculpted cake, their wedding will end in disaster.

IF this woman was going to be particular about the shoes, she should have picked everyone’s shoes and told them to buy it. I kind of think that some women do us all a disservice when they say that they don’t care when they really do. Either pick it out, or don’t pout when we pick it.

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Clee March 12, 2013 at 11:31 am

Honestly, I have a little empathy for both people here. If the bride’s childless (or even if she isn’t) she may simply not understand the extent of your difficulties. Women have very different experiences of pregnancy. Last night I was out (at a bar no less) with a group of girls including a friend who is eight month pregnant. She was drinking club sodas with orange wedges and having the best time of us all, so far as I can tell. She picked the place, actually. I can totally see how someone could miss the news of your hospitalization–or hear it as “trip to the doctor”–and expect it’s reasonable for you to tag along for a night out. Don’t get me wrong: I’m sorry you girls had a conflict, but I’m not at all sure that this conflict was “oh, she’s awful” instead of just “she doesn’t get it.”

First, wedges–especially those you wouldn’t normally wear but are extremely comfortable–sound like they might be a bit casual for a dressy wedding. I can see saying “don’t wear casual clodhoppers” could be outside the realm of Bridezilla. It seems like a normal request. She doesn’t like your kitten heels: okay that’s picky. Unless they’re a style that doesn’t work the best with dresses? So many kitten heels these days are little mules that really do look best with pants. So the bride asks you to wear another pair of shoes, a pair you own, and have worn in the past. Utterly unreasonability would be screaming “buy new, expensive shoes or the wedding’s ruined and I’ll hate for you forever.” Instead she suggested you wear something you do own and wear, albeit infrequently, and you didn’t say “I’d love to and would, but I’m feeling really, really awful and I’m afraid I’ll pass out or fall if I wear such heels. What can we compromise on?” Instead you “almost smacked her” and then did what she asked.

I can’t help but feel your problem isn’t poor etiquette on either part but on poor communication and maybe a lack of understanding.

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Tracy March 12, 2013 at 12:30 pm

I agree with Clee. If the OP didn’t say “I’m sorry, but there’s no way I can wear those shoes right now,” then she can hardly complain that the bride “forced” her to wear them.

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LovleAnjel March 12, 2013 at 1:58 pm

If one of my attendants were pregnant, even few weeks, I would not expect them to go to the bachelorette. And if I heard this person had been to the doctor because of a complication of any sort (and if it’s an attendant I would think we were close enough that I would have that information) I would be very concerned about them, and ask what I needed to do to accommodate them.

This bride sounds self-centered and oblivious.

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Erin March 15, 2013 at 9:06 am

Just because her 4 inch heels fit before she was pregnant doesn’t mean they fit now, and if they cause her problems, the bride should have let her go with the flip-flops she’d already approved. I mean, if the bride approved FLIP-FLOPS, of all things, she should have been OK with the other styles the OP showed her.

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Wendy B. March 12, 2013 at 11:39 am

I suppose this is when I would have said, “No, I can’t wear those. It’s these or nothing.” Or, “Would you rather I ruined your day by wearing the ‘wrong’ shoes or passing out during the ceremony?”

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Surianne March 12, 2013 at 1:36 pm

Yeah, there’s no way I’d have agreed. I’d let the bride kick me out of the wedding party if heels were that important to her.

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Ashley March 12, 2013 at 11:46 am

Wow, this makes me glad that all I care about is that my bridesmaids turn up in a black dress and black shoes.

I don’t even understand why shoes are such a huge deal at weddings. They don’t all have to match, and as long as they are in good shape/go with the dress, why does it matter?

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June First March 12, 2013 at 6:02 pm

@Ashley: This is what I did, too. I can’t really tell you exactly what shoes my bridesmaids wore. Maybe because I was too busy getting married that day. ;)

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Ally March 12, 2013 at 12:14 pm

I can’t wear heels due to a knee injury I had when I was a teenager. I can’t imagine asking a pregnant lady to wear 4” heels. Your friend is crazy.

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Angel March 12, 2013 at 2:28 pm

The bride is ignorant and thoughtless. I’m surprised that you remained friends with her after the wedding. I’m also very surprised that you caved and wore the shoes that she instructed you to wear. They are SHOES! Grown adult women should not be told what kind of shoes to wear. That is beyond ridiculous. And making a pregnant woman wear heels that high is just mental.

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Marozia March 12, 2013 at 8:16 pm

Bride and mother are crazy wanting you to wear those high heels.
After being in hospital with the complications, no matter how laidback the bride was, you should’ve backed out of being a bridesmaid. I’m sure they would’ve understood.

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Mae March 13, 2013 at 9:26 am

I agree with you, Marozia. I can understand wanting to honor your commitment to be a bridesmaid, BUT your health & that of your unborn child should have been your #1 priority, not worrying about what shoes to wear to make the bride happy or teetering around on heels, trying not to pass out.

Since she had already kicked one bridesmaid out, I’m surprised she didn’t do the same to you. Of course, that might have been meant an uneven number of BM/GM and Bridezillas got to have that symmetry, right??

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Sarah Jane March 13, 2013 at 7:58 am

Bride had already kicked out one bridesmaid out…you were a “Plan B” bridesmaid. Sounds like she’s a little childish, and you were WAY more accommodating than I would have been.

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Alison Randall March 13, 2013 at 2:45 pm

It’s stories like these that make me glad I got married in a courthouse.

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