Fashion, Wedding Tips

Choosing a Bridesmaid Dress for Pregnant Women or New Mums

You’ve asked your best friend to be your bridesmaid and you’re both so excited about the wedding. Then, she tells you she’ll be eight months pregnant on the day.

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Don’t panic! This is common—often marriage and starting a family all happen about the same time in friend groups. Having your bestie pregnant is just going to make the day more special. With a bit of planning and empathy, you’ll both have an amazing day.

Thinking about maternity bridesmaid options

Depending on how far along she’ll be, there will be a bump to contend with. While up to four months she won’t have much to show and will probably fit fine into her normal-sized clothing, anything from there onwards there will be a bump. It’s not an issue except you don’t really know how big that bump is going to be. As a result, you can’t have fitted clothing unless it’s a generous stretch fabric. Some women have tiny bumps, others are more generous.

Talk to your bridesmaid first

Everyone is different. Some women are not comfortable showing off that bump and may prefer to accommodate it, rather than highlight it. Others will be proud to show off their beautiful bump. Also, the added bust size can make it uncomfortable to be in a strapless dress. It’s best to ask, as everyone will feel differently.

Think about fabrics

You want something light and flowy, or stretchy. Things like satin and lace don’t have much ‘give’, making them less suitable for a growing bump. Pregnant women have a slightly higher temperature than usual and choosing a fabric that doesn’t show sweat will be appreciated.

A chiffon dress flows beautifully

Order up a size

Pregnant women, generally, can go up two dress sizes when pregnant. It’s impossible to know how big someone will be in six months, so order up one or two sizes. The seam allowance on a dress means you can’t easily let out a dress, but it’s super simple to bring a dress in.

Extra length is important

That bump pushes fabric up and out. A short skirt may end up being shorter than intended and could be uncomfortable on the day. If possible, choose a longer dress and take it up, otherwise, the dress will be short at the front and long at the back.

What if your bridesmaid has recently given birth?

There are two things to think about if your bridesmaid will have a newborn. One is that her body will have changed during the pregnancy and her body won’t magically spring back into pre-baby shape or size. Order a size or two up- remember, you can always tailor down, but you will struggle to make it bigger.

If she’s breastfeeding, consider having a neckline that makes it easy to feed her baby. A halter neck that can be undone is a simple fix or a cross-over style that can be pulled down.

Dress styles to try

Mix-n-match: If you don’t mind your bridesmaids not being in identical dresses, this opens up a lot of possibilities. You can have the same colour but different styles, or the same dress with some stylish and functional additions. Also, consider having the same neckline for all your bridesmaids, but your pregnant friend having an empire line dress, while your non-pregnant friends can have another style.

Infinity dress: This offers maximum ability to make sure the mum-to-be has a dress style that accommodates the bump. An infinity dress means she can simply tie it in a way she’s comfortable, and it’s done. No tailoring, no measuring, no worries.

Empire line dresses: Typically, an empire line dress has a fitted bodice, comes in just under the bust, and then the skirt flows down from there. It’s particularly good for pregnant women as the flowing fabric allows plenty of room for a bump of any size, and it gathers under the bust, so she still has a shape.

Many pregnant women talk about feeling ‘fat and frumpy’, and this dress style makes it clear she’s not fat; just has a gorgeous bump. This Tasha chiffon maxi dress has flowing sleeves, and will easily disguise a bra.

A classic A-line dress gathers under the bust

Fitted dresses: These are a bit harder to get right, as they will need tailoring close to the big day to make sure they accommodate a growing baby. However, if you choose a stretch jersey fabric, this gives a lot of leeway. For someone with a small bump, this Zana jersey high-low dress would be perfect, but when the bump gets bigger, it will mean the front of the dress gets shorter. If that’s the case, this Rosetta jersey maxi dress gives a beautiful fit.

What if you already have bought the dress?

If the dress is on order, give the store a call and ask them what can be done. They may be able to exchange it. Otherwise, take the dress to a tailor and see if it can be altered to fit. Depending on how far along she is, it could be a simple as letting out the seams, or something more substantial like adding panels. A waistline could become an empire line, below the bust. There is a range of creative ways to accommodate a growing bump.

Think about the new Mum-to-be’s comfort

While some women seem to breeze through pregnancy, that third trimester, in particular, can be really problematic. Standing for too long, and her ankles swell. Too hot and she’ll be uncomfortable. She may not know what she’s going to feel on the day either, so try to plan in advance for her needs. That way, on the day, you can both focus on you.

Her body is going through a lot, but she still wants to be there for you on your wedding day. It will be an amazing day, and the excitement of a pending arrival just makes it more magical.

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