A Unique and Special Wedding Dilemma

In the back of your mind you know he is going to propose any day. Maybe he is waiting for a special event, maybe he is waiting for a certain holiday or maybe he is still picking out the ring. You have merged your lives already and perhaps bought a home or moved in together. It is all happening, and it’s all good. Then, unexpectedly you get the news that you are not only going to be husband and wife, you will also be ‘Mom & Dad”. SURPRISE! Now, what?  Basically you have two choices, get married ASAP or wait until after the baby is born to tie the knot. Either option has a multitude of pros and cons.

Option #1) Get married right away –

Pro – You can have a smaller, more intimate gathering with just your closest friends and family. This way you don’t have to worry about who to invite and who to cut from the list,  the list is your nearest and dearest only.

Con– Most couples begin planning their wedding well in advance and can still experience difficulty getting vendors and booking a reception venue. Booking even a small venue at short notice can be tricky. Be willing to compromise and consider a Sunday or Friday event.

Pro- You can find a beautiful gown now that designers have recognized that a lot more women are getting married while they are expecting and not hiding it from anyone.

Con – You may not be feeling your best and trying on clothes is the last thing you want to do. (This goes away in the 4th month and euphoria kicks in)


Pro – If you plan quickly, you can get married before most people even know you are pregnant and avoid answering a lot of pesky questions. 

Con–  Who cares what other people think? This is your life, not theirs! 


Option #2)  Wait until after the baby is born.

Pro – Your child can be a part of the ceremony and weddings are about family, after all.

Con – Children can be unpredictable, even tiny ones.


Pro – You will have plenty of time to plan your dream wedding and spare no expense.

Con – Babies are expensive and your priorities change after giving birth , you may not want to spend a lot of money on a wedding.


Pro -You can wear that strapless mermaid dress after you’ve lost the baby weight.

Con – You can’t predict how your body will change and how you will feel about those changes, especially if you are breastfeeding.


For some women, getting pregnant before they are married is a source of shame and embarrassment, even in 2012. For some, it is a statement of fact and nothing to hide. Speaking from experience, I had no reservations about being 6 months pregnant at our (casual) wedding, I have no shame that one of the great loves of my life was born 3 months after his father and I tied the knot, I don’t think my son cares or even wonders if this is normal or not. This is our family – there is no normal. How you handle the news is a personal decision and one that should not be made without a great deal of thought and consideration but, don’t wait too long or you won’t have a choice. If you are pregnant with twins, may the force be with you – you will need it!

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago



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



Here Comes the Mom – Maternity options for Brides to Be

It was not that long ago that an unmarried woman who was pregnant was expected to rush to the courthouse with her fiance and tie the knot via quickie ceremony and subsequently lie about the baby being premature. As odd as it seems, the idea of a pregnant woman wearing a (white) wedding gown or having a large wedding was just out of the question, even though it happened all the time…just ask anyone in my family. For me, I never understood the big deal.

In 2011 brides have the option of waiting until the baby is born to have their fairytale wedding or just wearing a gown that embraces their pregnancy. After all, the important thing is that you are building a life together, not  a few mismatched dates on a calendar. In time, no one will care which came first and your child will always be more concerned about being in a loving family than whether mommy & daddy had the honeymoon before the ceremony.

Option #1 –Wait until the baby is born to have your fairytale wedding. Local singing sensation and Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson will be marrying her son’s father in a fairly lavish ceremony this summer and has hinted that her 2 yr old son might walk her down the aisle. Waiting 2 years to have the wedding might sound extreme but, it has allowed her the time to lose the baby weight – and more! Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise made their daughter part of the wedding and she certainly looked adorable  in her Armani gown.

With this option you may have to do some explaining but, it is well worth it. You get it all, the husband , the babies, the wedding. What could possibly go wrong?  The only glitch involved is losing the baby weight and adjusting to some figure changes. Yes, your figure will change (even slightly) after you have a child. The main reason that women wait until the baby is born is so they have time to shed the pounds and trust  me it generally takes almost a year for things to go back to normal. Don’t count on being one of the fortunate women who pop out a baby and are back in a bikini within weeks. That does happen but not as often as you would think and you can’t compare yourself to other women.. we are all different.

Option #2 –Have the wedding while you are pregnant.  We are all not blessed with the kind of genetic makeup that allows our pregnancy to go unnoticed until after the 6 months mark so don’t be surprised if at first  you have a difficult time finding something where you look as good as you feel. Although there are several companies that design specific gowns just for mothers to be, you aren’t used to shopping for this figure. Your waist may be non-existent and your curves may be  curvier than before. This is only temporary, I can assure you. Certainly, it is not likely you will want a strapless mermaid style gown. A better option would be something with at least spaghetti straps, probably an empire waist like the one Jennifer Garner wore when she married meg-star Ben Affleck in a private cermony.  Remember that a lot of this depends upon how much you are ‘showing’ and how soon the wedding will be. If you plan to have the wedding less than a month before your due date, take that into consideration when selecting size as your size will more than likely increase as the due date draws closer. You will want to make concessions in the shoe department as well since at 8 months pregnant your feet will be swollen possibly beyond recognition and 3″ stilettos are almost always out of the question.

Once you decide which option works best for you, stick to your guns. Some people (usually over-concerned and probably bored) relatives might begin to question your decision. Planning  your wedding while managing your pregnancy sounds a lot  harder but it is not. Why? Because all of a sudden your prioirities change (maybe it’s the hormones) and you could care less what other people think. You care about your family and how they fit together, not the  details of pew decor. I was personally blessed with a 6 month euphoria which allowed me the luxury of being very agreeable to a difficult mother-in-law. It wore off.

To pregnant brides and brides who are already mothers I extend my best wishes and congratulations on all of the joys in your life!

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago