What to Expect from Your Wedding as a Pregnant Bride

So, you've found out the good news and you and your partner want to solidify your commitment. Gone are the days of the "shotgun" weddings when a pregnant bride meant marriage through pressure or even coercion. Today, attitudes tend to be more relaxed, and there are no longer reasons why a pregnant bride should not have a typical "white wedding" like her peers. Pregnancy is considered to be a condition to be proud of, and not to be hidden, and there are more maternity wedding dresses on the market that are stylish and are not necessarily designed to conceal a pregnancy (however, wedding dresses can be made to de-emphasize a growing stomach, if this is what a bride prefers). There are more options for the pregnant bride than ever before, and since more people are appreciating the beauty of pregnancy, a pregnant bride can walk down the aisle with pride.

As a pregnant bride, your wedding planning should continue as you always dreamed with just a few tweaks to your schedule to account for your happy addition.

The Timing

If you have the flexibility, work hard to plan your wedding during your second trimester. The first trimester of pregnancy is full of morning sickness and fatigue, and that's definitely not the way you want to spend your honeymoon. The third trimester is full of discomfort, swollen legs and a changing body, and it can be difficult to feel comfortable with you during this time. The second trimester is perfect because you have passed all the yucky aspects of your first trimester but are not quite into the complete transitioning of your body. Many times, your belly can still be hidden behind the perfect gown. No bride wants to feel like a balloon, and getting married during your second trimester allows you to enjoy the wedding of your dreams.

Embrace Your Changes

When you start shopping for wedding dresses, it's not likely that you'll be showing as much as you will the day of your wedding. Pregnant bride weddings require you to be a little more upfront with your seamstress or dress designer in what you expect to look like on the day of your wedding. Discuss the situation with her and let her know how far along you'll be on your special day. Never fear going a few sizes bigger, as wedding dresses typically run a few sizes larger than normal clothing. Remember that it is easier to make adjustments to a gown that is too big than one that is too small, so always shoot high on size for your wedding dress. Never be ashamed of your growing curves, and embrace the miracle of life that is growing within you.

Certain styles look great on pregnant women, although at this point you can virtually choose any dress you want. With enough time and the right seamstress, you can have any dress fit you like a dream on the day of your wedding. The pregnant bride looks particularly stunning in dresses with an empire waist, which allows for more room in the belly and are snugger around the bust area.

When choosing a fabric, remember that your body temperature is more likely to run hot than cold regardless of the current weather situation. Choose light, loose fabrics like crepe or chiffon for your dress to offer you more ventilation when the room gets crowded and your body gets hot. Avoid heavier, stiffer materials like taffeta, tulle or satin, as they can increase the chances that you will be hot, dizzy and overheated during your special day.

Once you start shoe shopping, pay close attention to the size of your feet. Many women go up a half size in shoes while they are pregnant, and swollen calves and ankles may require you to pick an even bigger size. Don't insist on shoes that are the same as your pre-pregnancy size, and you may want to avoid heels altogether. As your center of gravity shifts, it becomes more difficult to stay on your feet, and pregnant women aren't known for their great balance. Keep it elegant and simple with a pair of sandals or ballet flats, and keep a comfortable pair of shoes handy for when the day becomes too much.

Work the Glow

You've probably heard it said thousands of times that pregnant women have a special "glow" about them. Unfortunately, this glow can often turn into blemishes on your complexion that make you feel like Frankenstein. If you're concerned about your skin on the big day, hire a makeup artist to handle your face to give you confidence and make sure that you look your best. Try to work a professional hair and makeup artist into your wedding budget.

Minimize Your Stress

The words "stress" and "bride" seem to go hand in hand. Telling a bride to unload some stress is similar to telling a zebra not to have stripes - it just isn't possible. As a pregnant bride, it may become necessary for you to unload some of your responsibilities and tasks to those who are willing to help you. The more prepared and organized you are, the less stress you will have on your big day. If your budget allows, hire a professional wedding planner to handle your wedding in order to take the load off you. If things seem to be overloading you, don't be afraid to back out of a conversation or put a decision off for your health and the health of your baby.

Your more "traditional" guests may struggle with the idea that you are expecting before you are married, and it's important that you come to the day ready to blow any negative comments off your back. Invite guests who are genuinely happy and excited for you and your baby, and simply ignore those who feel they need to pass judgment. Remind your guests that you are excited to have a baby and are looking forward to starting your life together as a family.

Avoid Risks

As a bride, you may be tempted to pick up that champagne flute and toast to your future. Remember that while you are pregnant, you need to avoid alcohol and stay hydrated throughout the night to keep you and your baby healthy.

Your wedding is technically no different than a traditional wedding other than the fact that a new life is being included into your special union. You are expected to be a beautiful, shining, glamorous bride as you marry your dashing Prince Charming and start your life together.

Take It Easy

Many people decide to get married as the result of a pregnancy, although fewer people are feeling pressured to make such a move. Many relationships grow stronger when a woman becomes pregnant, and these couples may wish to express their commitment through a wedding ceremony. In any case, a couple need not rush wedding plans just because a bride is pregnant. This means that you can plan your dream wedding, complete with custom handmade wedding invitations and your ideal wedding venue without having to make any sacrifices. You could have a Vegas wedding or a Paris wedding, and not feel stressed to get the big day in before you start to show.

Fast Plans

Although the social stigma of a pregnant bride has almost diminished, some women still prefer to be slender brides and to walk down the aisle without a protruding belly. For these women, wedding invitations, the wedding dress, the wedding announcement, the wedding registry and all other arrangements need to be made as quickly as possible. This may entail a lot of stress, but if you manage your time wisely, proper preparations can be made with a well-organized schedule and friends and family who are willing to help out. You might want to set up a wedding website with a chat that will enable you to communicate with those who are helping you.

First, you will need to contact the person who will be performing the wedding as soon as possible, and to make the officiator aware of your condition. Pick a date early and it might help to choose a Sunday or a less popular weekday to ensure a place at a wedding hall. A wedding locator can help you find the right time and place. Delegate tasks to others, and choose someone to come up with wedding shower games or unique wedding favors. Try to do as much as possible by phone and e-mail, and avoid working with caterers or musicians who will not quote a price over the phone. Keep your bridesmaids to a minimum, and let them choose their own dresses. Finally, you will need a honeymoon to unwind from the activity of planning a wedding on short notice, so enjoy.

The Dress and the Ring

As a pregnant bride, you might worry about whether or not the wedding dress and ring you choose will fit on the big day. Of course, pregnant brides grow in more ways than one, and you might worry that your belly or your swelling fingers may make those perfect items unusable. First, if you are planning your wedding before you "show" you will need to work with the best wedding dress maker or designer you can find. Tell her about your situation, and ask her to design something that can be altered. You might want to make more room in the dress and have her "take it in" a week prior to the wedding to ensure that it will fit. On other hand, if you do not mind "showing" and are taking your time, maternity wedding dresses are more widely available now than in the past. Then again, you will not know how you will be carrying the baby or how big you will be, so make sure that alterations can be made without a lot of time or fuss. A matching wedding veil, of course, is an easier matter, but make sure that you aren't in danger of tripping over it. You can also find cheap wedding dresses that are appropriate for pregnant women.

Your fingers will probably swell during pregnancy, so make sure that you are fitted for a ring before you start to get larger, if possible. This can be your "real ring" and have a mock, larger ring for the ceremony. If your hands are already swollen, go ahead and purchase a ring that fits and have it altered later on.

The Honeymoon

For any bride, the honeymoon is a time to relax and connect. A pregnant bride needs an extra dose of tender loving care, so you may want to find a resort with full spa treatment and massage to ease your symptoms and calm your mood. Think of a honeymoon as a personalized wedding gift to yourself, and enjoy your time alone with your spouse while you still have the opportunity.

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