VAN ZANDT COUNTY — In the five weeks since Shelby Platter and her husband Garret said their "I Dos,” the 20-year-old newlywed says the days following her wedding have been anything but marital bliss.
"It's aftermath. It's putting a dark cloud on the day, on the memories,” Platter said.
She's referring to the social media firestorm that ensued after a Facebook post about her wedding went viral. The post featured a picture of a breastfeeding station set up in the ladies room at Platter’s wedding venue.
Wedding guest Ceara LaFrance posted the picture, along with a slip Platter included in the wedding invitation to nursing mothers, requesting that they breastfeed in the designated area.
The note reads, "...we have designated an appropriate place for you to feed your baby so that you do not have to do so in public in front of our family and friends. For your convenience we are accommodating you with a comfortable and private area with chairs."
"We had photography and we have videography there too, so we didn't want anything to be not private,” Platter explained.
She says she and her mother came up with the idea together.
"We did have a 'Plan B,' but nobody asked, and nobody said that 'Plan A' was a problem.”
Platter said “Plan B” was an office space on the second level of the venue where guests would have been welcome to breastfeed.
"I know it's an important issue and that's fine. I'm all for breastfeeding,” Platter said.
However, she believes LaFrance was wrong for not addressing the matter with her directly.
"She had two, maybe three months to contact us,” Platter said. “She should have done that. She should have said, 'Hey look, you know, I don't feel like this is right."
Platter says LaFrance could have had her own husband relay the message -- he was the best man in Platter's wedding. Platter says he and her husband have been friends for a decade.
"That’s not how friends treat friends,” she said. “How would she feel if somebody did that to her? Blasted her and her newlywed husband all over the Internet and the news? It hurts.”
Since LaFrance’s post went viral, Platter says she has been bombarded with messages on social media, some of which have been hurtful. She says the controversy has caused her to lose focus on her studies and has left her unable to enjoy her first weeks of marriage.
"It makes me sad,” Platter said, crying. “Mom put a lot of time into this and [Garret’s] mom did too, and it just makes me sad.”
LaFrance never breastfed at Platter’s wedding. She left her children home that night. Platter says she's unaware if her request for guests to breastfeed out of the public eye impacted LaFrance’s decision to bring her children.
“When you spend as much money as we did for our day, you expect it to go the way that you wish,” Platter said.
She believes LaFrance used her her wedding to promote an agenda.
“It wasn't her day,” Platter said. “It’s not anybody else's day but the bride and groom."