Embrace Being a Pregnant Bride

Being a pregnant bride is a time for twice the celebration. Check out our tips for embracing your baby bump, and having a magical day as an expectant bride.

By Emily Forrest

closeup up on pregnant bride
Photo by Banera Wedding Photography

It sounds like double congratulations are in order. Joining futures with your partner can't get more real than raising a child together, and being a pregnant bride gives you all the more reason to celebrate with your friends and family as you exchange vows and prepare to start a family.

Whether you or not you expected to be pregnant on your wedding day, you can embrace the beauty, grace, and gentle power that all pregnant women possess as a bride on your big day. And, since you're probably planning more than just a wedding right now (hello, nursery, birthing classes, and doctor's appointments), you'll definitely appreciate how Zola makes it so easy to plan your entire wedding in the same location where you can register for everything you need for your new, baby-ready home.

That being said, as a pregnant bride, you’ll want to consider a few extra details for your big day to ensure that it’s just as magical as the life you're nurturing inside. We've compiled a few pointers to assist our mommies-to-be in this doubly exciting time.

The Wedding Dress

One of the most expensive, and perhaps most important, parts of any wedding is your dress. It’s no secret that nearly all brides stress about the fit and feel of the gowns, but getting married while pregnant will present some more particular challenges. When you’re expecting, weight gain is inevitable, but donning a jaw-dropping dress is still totally possible.

Embrace Being a Pregnant Bride Photo Credit // Pamela Renee Photography

How to Size for Your Pregnant Body

The key for any expectant bride to finding the perfect dress is sizing. As you begin your search, consider how far along you will be at the time of your wedding. When it comes to your baby bump, a few months (and even weeks) can make a big difference. Though you’ll never be able to perfectly predict how your body will change, there are a few things you can do to estimate what size you’ll need more accurately.

First, measure your bust. This allows you to see where you currently fall on a dress designer's size charts. Then, add one inch for each month of pregnancy that remains between now and your wedding date. With that new number, see where you now fall on the size chart, and then go up one more size. This will give your seamstress plenty of room to alter, as needed, and give you the peace of mind you deserve.

As you shop for your dress, be sure to communicate with your designer or seamstress that you are expecting. This will help him or her guide your dress selections and give him or her reasonable expectations about the type of alterations that he or she may have to do later.

The Baby Bump

Depending on how far along you’ll be, you may have to consider whether or not you want to show off your growing baby bump. If you’ll only be a few months along, certain dress styles—like an a-line skirt or boho maternity dress—may conceal the conception, especially with the right seamstress making alterations. However, if you will be closer to the end of your pregnancy, this will become more difficult. Ultimately, the choice is yours as to if you want to embrace this magical gift or keep it under wraps for your big day.

If you decide to downplay your baby bump, making it less noticeable to guests, a wedding gown with an empire waist is the best option. With a wide, flowing skirt (and a belt or sash underneath your bust), you can avoid any unwanted accentuations. Plus, a v-cut neckline can also help to elongate your body.

If you’d like to show off your stunning new silhouette, a sheath, trumpet, or mermaid style dress should be your top choice. These snug-fitting gowns embrace your curves and play up the drama of your bump. However, the key to these dresses is to have a good seamstress capable of making any last-minute alterations to ensure that your dress fits your changing body perfectly on your wedding day.

On that note, don't count out maternity wedding dresses. A maternity wedding dress can be just as beautiful as a regularly marketed gown—and, often, is twice as comfortable for your growing bump. Consider looking into designers and bridal boutiques that produce them, as they're likely to be very familiar with making alterations to a wedding dress for a pregnant bride.

Comfy Kicks

Though not part of your dress, your shoe selection is equally as crucial to creating your final wedding day look, especially for pregnant brides. When it comes to your footwear, comfort is the only option. Depending on how far along you’ll be on your wedding day, your feet may already be swollen and sore. So, don’t subject yourself to discomfort.

Consider wearing ballet flats or sneakers to keep your feet happy throughout the day. However, if you’re wearing a flat shoe, be sure to tell your seamstress so that he or she can hem your dress to the appropriate length. In some cases, he or she may be able to hide your choice of footwear, if you so desire.

Embrace Being a Pregnant Bride Photo Credit // I Heart My Groom

Creative Reception Ideas

Welcoming someone new into your family is a big deal, and as a pregnant bride you’re celebrating two-fold. So, consider incorporating your unborn child into the festivities. Of course, you will still want your wedding to be primarily a celebration of your relationship with your partner, but giving your baby a little attention on your wedding day will only amplify the merriment and create cherished memories. Here are some of our favorite ways to celebrate your new arrival on your big day.

The Wedding Cake

Cutting your wedding cake is already a special moment for most couples, but you can take it up a notch by using this part of the celebration to find out—or announce—the sex of your baby. A trick that has become a tradition at many baby showers is that you can have your doctor write down the baby’s sex and place it in an envelope. You can then give this to your cake maker and have him or her color the inside of the cake accordingly.

When you and your groom cut into the cake at your wedding reception, you and your guests will be tickled pink (or blue) by the color inside. This is such a fun way to extend the celebration of your matrimony into the next phase of your life as parents. Even if you have already announced the sex of your baby, you can still color or decorate your wedding cake according to the sex of your bundle of joy in honor of this next part of your journey together.

A Mocktail

As a pregnant bride you won't exactly be able to imbibe with bottles of champagne at your reception, so get creative with non-alcoholic cocktails. While you probably won’t want to spoil the fun for others, make sure that you give yourself some special attention, as well. Create a signature virgin cocktail inspired by your little one, and color or name it accordingly. This is a wonderful way to nod to your growing family while enjoying refreshing beverages with your guests.

Alternatively, if you’re keeping the news under wraps, your mocktail could be named after something meaningful to you as a couple and could be highlighted as an offering for those guests wishing to avoid alcoholic drinks throughout the night. You would be surprised by how many guests may appreciate having this option available.

Photo Displays

It has become a tradition for many couples to frame and display photos of themselves, their parents, or their grandparents around their guest book or reception entrance. So, you could include your baby's first photo in the mix. Guests will love seeing your sonogram and catching a glimpse at the soon-to-be addition to your family. Plus, if you haven’t announced your pregnancy to more than your family, this can be a fun way to notify others.

As a pregnant bride, you’ll obviously have to make a few adjustments to your big day, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be just as special and magical as you’ve always imagined. Throughout the day, give yourself grace and remember that your body is changing. If you need to sit down and take a break from dancing, do it. If you need to have a snack, have someone grab a bite for you. Just remember to keep yourself and your baby in mind throughout your wedding celebration. Now, put up your feet, grab some hydration, and relax knowing that you're going to glow your way through the elegant, personal wedding of your dreams, made all the more meaningful by your impending arrival of joy.

Wedding Planning While Pregnant

Planning and hosting a pregnant wedding can be quite the undertaking. On one hand, there's much to celebrate, but honestly, you may begin to wonder how you'll balance it all. First thing's first: It is possible. That being said, you'll probably benefit from remembering and acting on a few of these tips.

  • Delegate tasks and ask for help. We know, you have quite a bit going on. That being said, don't hesitate to reach out—to your partner, wedding planner, wedding vendors, bridesmaids,—for help tackling things. Wedding planning can be a lot to take on as it is. Enlist help from those around you; often times, it's what they're there for.
  • Prioritize your health. While planning a wedding can be a big deal, your health should always take priority. Whether you have doctor's appointments or routines that benefit your well-being (this includes your mental health), remember to put them first every time.
  • Don't make it all about the baby. With so much to look forward to, celebrating your wedding and the arrival of your baby can easily start to blend together. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. However, your wedding is a celebration of a huge milestone in your relationship—keep at least a few upcoming occasions wedding-specific to honor and enjoy that.
  • Prioritize your comfort. Though planning can be stressful, avoid pushing through any pain or discomfort to get things done. You're more likely to burnout (or hurt yourself) if you do. People are more willing to do what they can to make things easier on you than you likely realize.

Being a pregnant bride-to-be won't always be easy. However, knowing what to navigate differently and how to approach your planning will make the process significantly more enjoyable. Amidst it all, remember to slow down every so often and really soak in these huge life events. This is a beautiful time—for more reasons than one!

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