How to enjoy your wedding as a pregnant bride

Gone are the days when the pregnant bride had a rushed, quiet wedding to cover the “shame”.

Realism and relaxed social mores have set in and many brides are pregnant; indeed, in 2001, one London dress shop estimated that almost 20 percent of its customers were expecting.

Both pregnancy and marriage are occasions for celebration, so the pregnant bride has every right to stand tall and feel proud, as well as looking very radiant on her special day.

Don’t act ashamed This unhealthy externally-induced emotion is one of the things that has the potential to ruin everything for you, your spouse-to-be, and for your child when he or she grows old enough to understand how the wedding was and how you felt about it. Be proud of the decisions you make in life. Pregnancy and marriage are two states to be very excited about, so stay proud!

Be aware that there may be a special challenge with those who were coerced into marrying young in the past because of pregnancy. They may resent the fact that you’re glowing and proud to show off your bump while they had to slink around and quickly get the marriage over and done with.

Deal with the “white dress” issue. White dresses are a Victorian invention following the fact that Queen Victoria was married in white(her example was always followed at the time); later, the idea of white gained a strange moral overtone that wasn’t even the reason when white first became fashionable.
Today, white is simply viewed as a popular and traditional wedding color and not as a moral judgment. If you want to wear white, then wear it. Equally, if you’d rather wear any other color, go for that too. Don’t be hampered by a social convention that is confused and out-dated!

Talk to your officiant if you’re planning on a church wedding Some churches won’t allow a wedding with a pregnant bride but many churches will. Ask around and again, do not be ashamed. Some churches require pre-marital counseling. Ask about the requirements.Some chaplains/priests/other faith officiant may expect you to “tone down” the wedding to make it a more private affair. If that doesn’t suit you, then keep asking around or consider a compromise such as a private wedding and a large reception.

Understand the feelings of others around you For some people the cultural or faith beliefs and expectations that they hold may make it hard for them to accept your willingness to be a pregnant bride. Have compassion for them because they’re taking things very literally without thinking through the consequences, including that you’ve chosen to get married and live with your spouse and the child. Take some time to talk to them about their feelings, listen well, and then explain your own feelings to them. While you probably won’t see eye-to-eye completely, avoiding hurling your anger and frustration at them will earn you their respect, even if begrudgingly.

Explain to people who preach woe and shame that today’s attitudes are far more relaxed and compassionate. Sharon Naylor, author of The Bride’s Diplomacy Guide, suggests that if you’re confronted with thinly veiled criticism about getting married “in that condition”, respond by saying something along the lines of “We’ve been so blessed, and we’re happy to share our wedding with our entire family.”

Expect a few challenges with the dress but don’t settle for anything that looks like frump with a bump Find a good dressmaker and tell her the date of the wedding and how far pregnant you’ll be on that date. Your dress will need to be alterable as you cannot predict your growth rate or dynamics; ask your dressmaker to bear this in mind when making up the dress. Look for fuller gowns rather than tight fits, small waists, and anything figure-hugging. The right style of dresses include empire line, princess line or A-line dresses.

Place the accent on your shoulders and bust to draw the eye away from your belly zone.If buying a ready-made maternity bridal gown, it’s a good idea to try and leave it until much closer to the wedding date, to be sure of a comfortable fit.Avoid corsets, tightly laced bodices, or any other constricting gear. Flow is the go for a woman with a growing bubs and aching joints.

Forget the fancy high heels Go with comfortable flats that will allow you stand for a good period of time without feeling even more achy and tired than your pregnancy is already managing to do to you.

Have the usual accessories The veil, jewelery, purse, and bouquet remain unaffected by your belly size, so enjoy all of them as much as wished.

Consider having a mock wedding ring made up Pregnancy tends to make most women swell and your fingers won’t be immune to this! One neat answer is to have both your real wedding ring and a mock one, using the mock one for the wedding ceremony and then wearing your real wedding ring once your fingers are back to their usual size. If you want the real ring to be part of the ceremony, you could wear it around your neck or have it placed upon the ring cushion next to the mock ring and carefully stored after the vows are exchanged. You could also consider purchasing the ring fitted to your swollen fingers and have it altered later.

Plan the menu When pregnant you cannot consume certain things, so be sure that there are suitable alternatives available for you on the menu. This doesn’t mean you can’t let your guests, the groom and wedding party enjoy these things, it just means you need to find alternatives for you as well. Things that you won’t be able to share in include: Alcohol, seafood and any raw fish, soft cheeses, and anything your doctor advises against.

Plan a honeymoon that’s realistic and very relaxing You deserve double the pampering with wedding planning and baby growing contributing to your overall exhaustion. Find a place that isn’t hard to get to and that doesn’t require a lot of planning but that promises much peace, quiet, and pampering.If flying, check that both destination and return flights are able to take you; most airlines won’t let pregnant women fly after a certain period into the pregnancy unless it’s an emergency. Be sure that your insurance covers any pregnancy complications or even giving birth. Also know where hospitals are in case of an emergency. Another way around this is to simply postpone the honeymoon until after the baby’s born. You’ll deserve the rest and the babysitting!

Enjoy your wedding. Fatigue may be the biggest factor for you during the wedding, especially if it’s long. You may need to sit more than you expected, so be sure there are chairs placed in strategic places for you to rest when needed. Talk to the chaplain/priest/celebrant about the length of vows too, in case you’re worried about their length or about having a tall stool or something to lean off if need be. Try to do everything possible to ease the fatigue, including good shoes, plenty of water, and easy bathroom access. For the most part, concentrate on enjoying to occasion and shining because it’s your day and you deserve to have the very best day possible.