Matrimony & Maternity – Surprise!

Not so long ago when an engaged woman found herself  pregnant, she had two options; move up the wedding date or push it back.  Lately, brides have decided that being pregnant is not such a big deal, you don’t have to rush to the altar and lie about the due date any more – just forge ahead, find a flattering gown and smile ( knowing that you are carrying a much more precious package behind the bouquet than anyone could ever imagine). The number of brides-to-be who are walking down the aisle with a bun in the oven has increased 6.2% in the past year alone and there is good reason: For women who are getting married older, the fear of not being able to conceive (tick tock) can send them into a frenzy so generally they stop using any form of birth control the minute the wedding planning process begins. The invitations are selected, the venue is booked and presto! The stick turns blue.

So how do you plan a wedding when you are pregnant? In addition to modifying the style of your wedding gown, there are a few other things to remember when you are an expectant bride:

Shoes – your feet may not swell until the final month, then again there is a chance they may start changing right away. Find a comfortable shoe with a heel height you can manage. An extra pair of equally comfortable shoes is advisable.

Gown – Find a gown that has a forgiving style.  Empire waist gowns can camouflage a pregnancy, a strapless mermaid gown … not so much! You don’t have to sacrifice your own personal style, if you want something non-traditional – it’s out there. Designers began including maternity options in their collections many years ago since trying to hide a pregnancy with a too tight dress is a mistake. Remember that you MUST talk to your bridal consultant at the time of purchase regarding your condition so he or she can help you select a style that has room for growth.

Rest – Wedding planning is stressful and being pregnant is an emotional time. You may find yourself on an emotional (hormone-induced) roller-coaster at times. Rest whenever you can and don’t sweat the small stuff.

Smile – Trying to hide a pregnancy until after the wedding is ridiculous and archaic. It is really your business to tell everyone in the way you see fit. Being pregnant can be the happiest time of your life and if anyone starts to ask too many questions  just smile and walk away. Babes are a cause for celebration, not shame. Tell people as much as you want them to know but don’t be surprised if some people make unflattering comments since we all know not everyone has enough good sense to keep their opinions to themselves.

Support – This is time when you will need your most trusted and wise family and friends to support you. Ask them for their help, include them in the process as much or as little as you like. There will be one day when everything seems to go wrong and you will need someone to lift your spirits. Make sure you reach out to your nearest and dearest and don’t try to keep it all inside; it is not healthy for you or the baby!

Speaking from experience, not everyone does things the same way. I got engaged on my honeymoon which was 4 months before our wedding. I gave birth three months after the wedding. If I had to go back in time, I would not change one thing. Being pregnant was not an inconvenience at my wedding, it was truly the happiest time of my life. I ignored all the comments and innuendos, I endured all the ‘shorgun wedding’ jokes with a smile, I married the love of my life and gave birth to my first some shortly after so, I figure – the joke was on them.

The most important thing about your wedding is beginning your lives together as a family and since you will have a head start on the family part, don’t let anyone or anything spoil your happiness.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago