Tips & Advice
What to Expect When Your Bridesmaid is Expecting
Engagements take on a kind of an understandably self-centered feel, so it might never occur to some couples that one of their bridesmaids would do something like start a family before the wedding day. Yet, it happens all the time. When major life events collide, adjustments are required. Especially if you have never experienced pregnancy yourself, it’s important to study up on what to expect when your bridesmaid is expecting.
Ever since you decided to ask her to stand up for you, you’ve played and replayed in your head how she will swoon, accept, then leap with excitement at the thought of being part of your big day.
What really happens is that her breath catches a little and a moment of panic sweeps over her face. There is something she hasn’t told you yet, and now she’s worried that you might not have asked, all things considered.
Understand that any hesitation on the part of an expecting bridesmaid to commit can be traced to her own reasonable uncertainties. How far along will she be? Will her health permit her to participate? Will she find a gown to fit? Will a huge baby bump be an unfair distraction? Early engagement is a happy, exciting time full of optimism and planning. Early pregnancy, on the other hand (especially a first), is a nerve-wracking period of mixed uncertainty and anticipation.
If mom-to-be decides she cannot accept, please understand the magnitude of that decision for her. She is not only protecting her health, she’s likely choosing to keep you in the spotlight over herself. Return her sacrifice with love and gratitude, and know that life is made of more than just single days – you’ll have many together to share and celebrate each other’s milestones.
When Mom-to-Be is a Bridesmaid-to-Be
If she accepts, or if a bridesmaid who is already committed to your wedding discovers she is expecting, one of the first things you’ll both think of is her dress. Rest assured that maternity bridesmaid gowns are really a thing and that she’s going to look great.
Many wedding parties already wear different dresses in the same color, and this is the ideal situation for your friend. For example, your palette may be royal blue and coral. Choose her gown from high-waisted, flowing royal blue bridesmaid gown to accommodate her growing belly. If it is your maid of honor who is expecting, she could even choose a contrasting color or be the only one wearing a different style of sage green bridesmaid dress. If she is far enough along, it doesn’t matter which role she plays, no one will question if her dress is different at all.
Different stages of pregnancy are associated with different “fun” symptoms and challenges. You may need to allow your expecting bridesmaid frequent breaks for personal needs, access to fresh air to help allay nausea, or an opportunity to sit during a long ceremony. Don’t expect her to follow a photographer for miles, and make sure someone stays nearby who can help with need for water or small snacks. For that matter, squeezing into those bridesmaid dresses could be uncomfortable for some expecting women depending on their accuracy when they ordered alterations, so try to minimize the number of hours your bridesmaid has to stay completely dressed up. Someday you may empathize and will hopefully understand what a gift your VIP treatment was for your dear friend.
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