If, like Lily Allen, you know you’ll be pregnant at your wedding, how do you prepare for the big day? Or perhaps you’ve had everything perfectly planned up until now, and surprise, surprise, you’re pregnant! Whatever the circumstances are, rest assured you can be a gorgeous pregnant bride.
We asked MFM users how they coped with being pregnant when they married and how they found a bump-accommodating wedding dress, plus got the lowdown from a maternity dress designer.
Finding a wedding dress
“I was six months when I got married, but only found out that my eBay wedding dress didn’t fit 10 days before the wedding,” MFM user Susan Lowther reveals. “I then had a mad rush to get a new one for my big day!”
“I got married three weeks before my due date, resulting in a huge dress panic. I ended up wearing a beautiful, non-maternity dress and I just bought it one size bigger. I didn’t go up lots of sizes because it only needed to be bigger around the tummy area,” MFM user Rhonda tells us.
MFM user Natalie Luckett was also pregnant on her big day, and found it an expensive extra! “I was six months gone on my wedding day and had to sadly return my initial wedding dress and spent an extra £700 on a flowy one that would go over my bump!”
However, having a growing baby bump doesn’t mean you have to spend lots of money having your wedding dress altered, as maternity dress designer Tiffany Rose reveals.
“Whatever you do, don’t panic!” advises Tiffany. “Don’t feel pushed into buying a larger, standard ‘non maternity’ gown with the promise of expensive alterations leading up the wedding. This rarely works out and can cause a lot of stress and disappointment.”
Top tips for choosing the perfect pregnancy wedding gown
- Avoid stiff material with no stretch as this will be uncomfortable. Opt for breathable fabrics to help you keep cool throughout the day.
- If you go for a bandeau, strapless style, make sure the bust area has built-in support to accommodate your growing bustline.
- Steer clear of fussy styles or complicated cuts, hemlines, necklines and scratchy underskirts.
- Stick to classic styles such as the empire line – this is the most flattering shape as it skims baby bumps, rather than clinging to them.
- For gorgeous maternity gowns, check out Tiffany Rose, Crave maternity, Seraphine maternity and Amelia Classics.
How to deal with a changing bump size
What should you do if you’re in the early stages of pregnancy and don’t know how big your baby bump is going to blossom? Or how quick?
MFM user George Everett had this exact dilemma when she wed. “I got married when I was 19 weeks pregnant. The trickiest thing was that I didn’t know whether I would have a bump or not at that stage. I had to do lots of improvising on the big day with flowers and clever picture posing!”
So, when is the best time to purchase a wedding gown if you’ve just found out you’re pregnant and your wedding is on the horizon? “If you can, try and leave your purchase between eight to 12 weeks before your big day. As you grow, you may change your initial ideas about what you’re looking for,” recommends Tiffany Rose.
Another tip when purchasing your maternity wedding dress is to ask your dressmaker in advance if they can allow a little extra room around the tummy area to accommodate your growing bump. “Well designed maternity, and non-maternity, dresses not only offer specific tailoring for pregnancy, but include hidden stretch and fastenings to accommodate any last minute growth spurt,” explains Tiffany. Ask your dressmaker for advice on this, or simply take it to your nearest dry cleaners, who should be able to do the alterations for you.
How to enjoy your (pregnant) wedding day
- Sip plenty of water and allow yourself a little sit-down break for every 20 minutes you’re on your feet. Use this time to sit and chat to your guests.
- Let your bridesmaids/new husband/relatives do all the fussing around and step back as much as you possibly can.
- Make sure you’ve pregnancy-friendly food and drinks for you to enjoy.
- Try and keep as cool as possible. Perhaps change into something more comfortable after the wedding ceremony. If you can’t bear to take off your beloved dress, remove anything that could cause aches and pains, like heeled shoes, heavy tiara or veil.
How to hide your pregnancy on your wedding day
What if you wake up on your wedding day and find you’ve got an extra special surprise – a baby on the way? This happened to MFM user, Festival Kidz. “I knew I was pregnant on my wedding day. I just woke up and had a feeling, but was way too busy to do a test. It would have been a nice surprise to announce it during the wedding, if I had been brave enough!”
If you’re newly pregnant or suspect you’re pregnant on your big day, but haven’t shared the news with anyone yet, here’s how to not give the news away…
- Keep your flower bouquet cleverly placed across your tummy at all times!
- Wear flat or very low heels during the day. This will keep your feet comfy, plus you won’t suffer from pregnancy foot fatigue and arouse any suspicions about why you need to keep sitting down.
- Stock up on non-alcoholic drinks and cocktails. This way, no one will know that you aren’t drinking. Or, if you choose to sip on soft drinks, have the excuses at the ready. “I want to remember the wedding in the morning,” is always a good one!
- Choose a loose-fitting style for your dress, or simply change into a maxi-dress or something floaty after the ceremony. Lots of brides change their outfit, so not only will you get away with it, you’ll also be able to hide your bump in something more comfortable.
- If your wedding menu plan includes foods you need to avoid, and people notice you’re picking your way through the courses, use the “I’m too excited to eat!” excuse.
- If you’re suffering from nausea, just tell your guests that the excitement/tiredness/emotion is overwhelming and excuse yourself.
If you are to marry just after you’ve given birth, it can be equally as tricky to find the perfect wedding dress, as MFM user Zoe Ellis-Martin found.
“I got married five weeks after I had Charlie. My post-baby body made wearing a wedding dress awkward,” Zoe says.
Top tips on post-baby bridal fashion
- Cover up your upper arms. Opt for a stylish shrug or choose a dress with gorgeous lace sleeves, or even a dress that’s an off-the-shoulder design. This will conceal wobbly arms and make you look instantly slimmer.
- Choose a dress that suits your new figure. If you’re an hourglass shape, pick a dress with wide shoulders and cinched in waistline. If you’re apple-shaped, opt for a dress with waist detailing to add more shape. Pear-shaped brides should opt for long, empire line dresses that skim bum and thighs. Lower necklines flatter bigger busts and halter neck styles give smaller busts a boost.
- Go for a darker shade of white. Not all of us suit bright white and it can be unflattering to some skin tones and shapes. Opt for a cream, oyster or cappuccino shade if you still want to look traditional. Or go the complete opposite and choose a shade you know suits your colouring. It’s your wedding – do it your way!
- If you’ve got a problem area you can’t bear to show, use accessories to divert attention. Opt for a fabulous veil or tiara, or an oversized bouquet.
- Most importantly – choose something you feel 100% comfortable in.
Have we missed anything? Add your pregnant wedding day tips below!