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Pretty and Pregnant

Unexpected guests can add a frustrating glitch to any wedding, but what if the bride and extra individual are sharing the same seat? Back in the dark ages, expectant brides hid their pregnancies and opted for small civil ceremonies so as not to “reveal their condition.” Shed some light on your wedding planning — today, guests don’t even raise an eyebrow over pregnant brides and bridal boutiques are catering to blossoming figures. On your wedding day, there’s no reason why both you and your bump can’t look stunning and stylish.

Timing is everything
Every body and every pregnancy is different. Some moms start showing a bump only a month or two into the pregnancy, others just thicken around the waist until month four or five. If you’ll only be in the first trimester of your pregnancy on your wedding date, there’s a good chance you’ll be fine in a standard wedding dress. If you’ll be into your second or third trimester come aisle time, a maternity bridal gown might be in order. For your child’s sake and your own, don’t try to flatten your bump or define your waist with body shaping garments. It’s uncomfortable and unhealthy to try and squeeze your pregnant body into another shape.

Many brides are, shall we say, surprised when they find out they’re pregnant. Since bridal gowns can take months to create, you may already own a gown when you realize you’ll be seven months pregnant at the wedding. Some brides will opt to postpone the wedding until after the birth, others are happy to celebrate a new life and new marriage at the same time.

Gown go-round
If you’ve already bought a gown that won’t fit your wedding day bump, you have a few options. You can ask the designer to add extra panels at the front of the dress to accommodate your tummy or you can buy a new gown all together. Your boutique may have made you sign a contract agreeing you’ll purchase the gown regardless of pregnancy or weight gain. If so, you’ll get your dream dress after all – you just won’t fit into it. If you choose to buy a new dress, try to recoup some of your losses by selling the original gown on eBay. Be sure to include the good news explanation of why you’re selling the dress - some bidders are hesitant about buying dresses from cancelled engagements or divorced women. Your good news will help calm shy bidders.

Style wise
You’ve got your dream dress and you don’t want to give it up for anything. The option to sew additional panels of fabric into the front of the dress definitely exists, but don’t forget that your bust line and back will also grow with your pregnancy. Depending on how far along you’ll be at the wedding, you might have to let the dress out too much for it to still look lovely.

Most bridal boutiques offer a few selections for pregnant brides, but the designs might not fit your tastes. If you’re looking for a standard wedding gown, opt for designs with loose, flowing skirts and an empire waist line. The empire waist sits just below your bust offering much more accommodation for your growing bump. It’s also a very classic, Shakespearean look that’s popular for any bride!

Maternity gowns come in all different styles from sexy and stunning to classically chic. Most maternity gowns use loose, layered skirts to make room for baby, but others offer form fitting lines that flaunt your new found curves. On average, the most you’ll gain in measurements is an additional 1.5" per month on your waist, bust and hips. For example, if your wedding will be three months from when you order your gown, you can expect your measurements to increase by 4.5" each. When you order your gown, keep these measurements in mind and remember that it’s easier to take a dress in than it is to let it out. If you want to enhance your silhouette, look for designs that offer tabs that tie at the back. This will allow you to make wedding day adjustments to how your gown fits.

And one last note: let’s forget this nonsense that a pregnant bride can’t wear white. White isn’t just a symbol of virginal innocence. White means fresh beginnings, new life and purity. A pregnant bride is just as entitled to a white gown as anyone else.

Shoe sense
Weddings call for a lot of time on your feet, so you’ll want to be comfortable. Opt for low heels or flats to give you extra stability. Swollen feet are one of those cute little side effects of pregnancy, like morning sickness and stretch marks. Combat foot fatigue by purchasing two pairs of wedding shoes, one half a size larger for later in the day when your feet get fat. A pair of ballet slippers will give your feet a comfy break when the dancing gets started.

Pregnant women have a natural glow about them that makes them beautiful no matter what they’re wearing. On your wedding day you should look as beautiful as you feel. Shop for dresses that you’ll feel comfortable in. The happier you are, the more perfect your day will be.

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