Mind the bump: advice for pregnant brides
When you’re planning a wedding, being pregnant means you’re always dealing with moving goalposts. You’re always getting bigger, often at an erratic rate. You may feel perfectly fine on the big day, or you could be dizzy, nauseous and longing for the couch. These are the variables you just have to prepare for as best you can.
So we had a chat with some of our friends who’ve braved their wedding days with-child. Here’s what we learned.
Here, we got a very strong consensus: don’t buy your dress too early.
Our friend Emily bought a dress when she was two months pregnant, and by five months, it didn’t fit her. Obviously it depends on how far along you are, but the trick seems to be buying the dress as late as possible – weeks rather than months before the big day.
This comes with the obvious stress of uncertainty, but think about what you’re risking. If you buy very late, you might be limited by style, but you’ll get something that fits. If you buy too early, you risk the far greater stress of getting very close to the day and finding it’s become too tight.
If you’re not too big, you can get away with a lace-up back dress, instead of a maternity dress. A lace-up gives you more adjustability than anything with buttons or poppers, which could give you the odd inch that’ll make the difference. Plus, compared to a maternity dress, you’ll have more to choose from and generally smaller price tags.
The heels really aren’t getting much love from pregnant brides. We’re hearing two main reasons:
- Feet swelling
- Low blood pressure means you’re already likely to be a bit clumsy
Both these things are exacerbated by long periods of standing still, which you can always expect plenty of at a wedding.
Even small heels seem to be deceptively tough to wear when you’re pregnant. Our friend Chrissy wore really small and says her feet were about twice the size at the end of the day.
If you’re really determined to get through the day a few inches taller, consider buying cheaper shoes and getting two pairs – one slightly bigger than the ones that fit right at the start of the day. It’s extra money and extra faff, but slipping on some bigger shoes as your feet start to swell could be cool-side-of-the-pillow levels of refreshing.
Food and drink
This seems to be the biggest moving target of all. You could arrive at your reception ravenously hungry or barely able to look at food without feeling vom-prone.
Our pal Emily seems to have been pretty organised here, so we’ll let her take over:
“Food and drink are a must. Most brides don’t have a handbag, but I think pregnant brides should. Use it to carry breakfast bars and a bottle of water, at least. It’s incredible how much wedding day nerves can worsen your nausea. You probably won’t eat the majority of your three-course meal because you just can’t cram in that much food at once – so you need snacks throughout the day, and when you need them, you need them now.”
If you’ve been pregnant for a while, you probably have a little list of dependable foods you can always eat, even on a bad day. If these foods take some preparing, it’s fine to ask your catering staff to have one or two on hand for you, in case you can’t force down any of the main menu. Catering staff are used to special requests, and who’s going to refuse the most important person at the entire event? (That’s you.)
One other little hazard you might face is forgetful guests buying you drinks and shots at the reception. Don’t feel bad or start profusely apologising. As long as you’re thankful, you can just remind them you can’t drink, make a cheesy joke (“do I really look so great that everyone’s already forgotten?”) and they’ll probably drink the shot themselves. Even if it’s a pint or a glass of wine, bought for you by someone who’s already got a drink, it won’t be hard to find someone willing to drink it. It’s a wedding reception.
Some quick-fire practicalities
Give yourself a very leisurely schedule, so you’re never rushing about. You can even plan a nap break if you want. You’re the boss.
Delegate. If you’ve planned everything well and you trust the people closest to you, there’s really no benefit to being a control freak.
Have a good chat with your photographer. One of the most helpful things you can do is show him or her some photos you really like of other pregnant brides. Be ready to answer questions about what you specifically like about them, so your photographer can get a good idea of what you want.
Don’t be scared to play the pregnancy card. The stiff upper lip approach doesn’t really benefit anyone. If you need a break or a bit of help with something, say so. Don’t worry about being a nuisance. Anyone who rolls their eyes at a pregnant bride gets immediately placed on the lowest rung of the moral low ground.
Have you walked a bump down the aisle? Been close to someone who did? If you’ve got any other good tips, write them in the comments.
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