You’ve just announced your engagement and chosen your bridesmaids, when one of your bridesmaids says she has news of her own to share—she’s expecting!
While fitting a pregnant or post-pregnant bridesmaid can be tricky, it’s not impossible. You can still make sure her dress is in line with what the rest of the bridal party will be wearing while ensuring that she will feel comfortable and pretty.
Tips For the Pregnant Bridesmaid
Depending on how far into her pregnancy a bridesmaid is, there are many dress options. Typically, the bride makes the decision when it comes to bridesmaid dresses, but a pregnant bridesmaid should discuss her needs and wishes with the bride, so she can be both comfortable and stylish for the wedding.
A woman’s body goes through many changes when she is expecting a baby, and these new body measurements should be considered when selecting a dress, as well as how they will change leading up to the wedding. Generally, bridesmaid dresses are ordered five to six months prior to the wedding. Because a pregnant woman’s body can change rather drastically during this time frame, it’s a good idea to wait until as close to the wedding date as possible for your final dress alterations.
Usually, if a bridesmaid is up to four months pregnant, a standard dress can be ordered in a larger size to match the rest of the bridal party. If a bridesmaid is further along in her pregnancy, the best alternative and most flattering style is a dress with an empire waist. If your bridesmaid will be more than six months pregnant, there are many maternity styles available to choose from that allow for more room in the belly.
For the Post-Pregnant Bridesmaid
Post-pregnancy offers similar challenges in that a woman’s body is going through many changes including weight loss and an increase in bust size if she is breastfeeding. The rate at which a woman loses her pregnancy weight varies greatly for each woman. If your bridesmaid will have just delivered at the time of your wedding, she can expect to be the same size that she was at five months pregnant, so the tips recommended for this stage for pregnant bridesmaids can apply.
There are two options that are recommended: (1) estimate and order the dress a couple of sizes larger than what your bridesmaid is wearing and have it altered if closer to the date it is needed, or (2) wait and order the dress as a single order at a later date than the rest of the bridal party. With the second option, however, it is important to keep in mind that many bridal stores may not offer the group discount since it’s a separate, single order, and there may be additional rush fees depending on the time of order. You should ask what the latest date is that you can do a separate order if you chose to go this route and what any additional costs may be before making a decision.
If the wedding will be a few months after your bridesmaid’s due date, she may be tempted to order in her pre-pregnancy size, but it’s better for her to order a size or two above to be safe.
It’s much easier to take dresses in than to let them out.