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The Bridesmaid Mom to Be: Picking a Dress, Alterations Timeline, and More

Pregnant bridesmaid standing with other bride, groom, and other bridemsaidsPhoto: Bella Philly / Justin Johnson

It’s always an honor to be asked to be a bridesmaid in a wedding party.

You get to wear a pretty dress and make a grand entrance into the reception. You get to enjoy a super fun girl’s night out at the bachelorette party. And best of all, you get the honor of standing beside the bride as she says her I do’s!

But how do you take on the task of being a bridesmaid if you’re pregnant?

From how to choose a dress to when to get your alterations, here’s everything you need to know if you’re a bridesmaid that’s also a mom-to-be!

When to Tell the Bride That You’re Expecting

You find out you're pregnant. A few weeks later, before you’ve even told anyone, your best friend asks you to be a bridesmaid on her big day.

So … should you say yes?   

Many women choose not to announce their baby news until the end of their first trimester, which is about 12 weeks into their pregnancy. But this is not a rule. You can tell people whenever it feels right!

If you feel comfortable doing so, you can choose to let the bride know that you are pregnant when she asks you to be in her bridal party. But many people wait until after the first trimester, too. Choose what is best for you! 

Before accepting the invitation to be a bridesmaid, you might want to consider how pregnant you will be on the wedding date.

If your due date is several weeks or months after the wedding, say yes! Be a bridesmaid!

If that wedding date coincides closely with your due date, you may want to decline the invitation just in case you go into labor a bit early or a bit late.

In this scenario, let the bride know that it might be best if you attend her festivities as a wedding guest. You can still plan the bridal shower and help her make preparations for her big day!

Shop our full collection of maternity bridesmaids dresses!

How to Pick the Right Bridesmaid Dress for a Growing Belly

Pregnant bridesmaid standing with bride and five other bridesmaidsPhoto: Bella Raleigh / Samantha Floyd

Finding the right dress for a growing belly and waistline is a lot easier than you may think. When shopping for a bridesmaid dress as a mom-to-be, the most important things to pay attention to are the fabric and dress silhouette.

Choose a Flattering Silhouette 

If you feel comfortable doing so, let the bride know how pregnant you’ll be on the wedding day before you start shopping for bridesmaid dresses. Your changing body might actually help her in the dress-choosing process. 

Convertible dresses, A-line dresses, empire waist dresses, and wrap dresses are ideal dress styles for a pregnant bridesmaid. They’re comfortable to wear and flattering to a fuller waistline because they flow away from the body. 

Column dresses, bias-cut dresses, and mermaid dresses that fit snug to the body can be a bit trickier to pull off with a growing baby bump.

If your bride has her heart set on a more fitted silhouette, don’t worry — with the right alterations, you can make any dress fit well and feel comfortable!

Consider the Fabric 

Lightweight fabrics, stretch fabrics, and flowy fabrics, such as chiffon, stretch jersey, and stretch velvet, are ideal when you have a growing belly.

They move, they’re more forgiving, and they’re always more comfortable to wear than rigid fabrics or woven fabrics, such as sequins and satins that don’t stretch.   

Consider  Asking the Bride if You Can Mix and Match Dresses 

Mixed-and-matched bridesmaid dresses always look chic!

A lot of brides simply choose a fabric and color and let their bridesmaids decide if they want to wear a V-neck, cowl neck, off-the-shoulder, strapless, or halter neckline.

Many brides also leave it up to the bridesmaids to decide if they want to wear spaghetti straps, sleeveless dresses, or flutter sleeves. 

If your bride-to-be doesn’t have one specific dress in mind, let her know what styles you feel most comfortable in, then you can choose a dress that both of you love!

Related: Who Decides? Bridesmaid Dress Shopping Etiquette

What Size Bridesmaid Dress Should You Order if You’re Pregnant?

Jenny Yoo, Amsale, and other popular dress designers sell maternity bridesmaid dresses made specifically for pregnant bridesmaids.

But you may not need a “maternity gown" at all.

Depending on your usual size and how far along you’ll be on the wedding day, you may still want to order a “regular” dress style in a size larger than your normal/pre-pregnancy size to accommodate your new figure.

Whether you choose a dress that’s ruched, pleated, detailed with a high slit, or adorned with ruffles, here’s how to know what size dress to order:

- If you’re due within the 2-3 months before the wedding: Order 1 size up to accommodate your post-baby body.

- If you’re going to be 3-4 months pregnant at the wedding: Order 1 size up from your normal size.

- If you’ll be 5-6 months pregnant at the wedding: Order 2 sizes up from your normal size.

- If you’re going to be 7 or more months pregnant at the wedding: Order at least 2 sizes up from your normal size (or consider ordering extra fabric).

Bridesmaids that will be more than seven months pregnant at the time of the wedding can also benefit from ordering a yard of extra fabric, just in case more extensive alterations are needed at the last minute.

Certain brands, such as Dessy, offer a full range of fabrics that you can buy by the yard, including luxe jersey, soft tulle, chiffon, and stretch crepe. 

When to Order Your Bridesmaid Dresses

Pregnant bridesmaid standing with bride, flower girl, and fourteen bridesmaidsPhoto: Bella Boston / Tricia McCormack

All bridesmaids, pregnant or not, should order their dresses at least six months before the wedding day and should do so at the same time. 

It doesn’t matter if your color scheme is mauve and greyburgundy and blush, or light blue and sage green — it’s important that you place all of your dress orders on the same day.

Why?

Because ordering your dresses at the same time ensures that the dye lots and fabrics will match! Otherwise, you could end up with slightly different shades of the same color.

Dress Fitting Timeline for Pregnant Bridesmaids

Whether you order a maternity maxi dress with a full skirt, a midi-length dress slightly larger than your normal size, or a floor-length gown that’s two sizes bigger than what you usually wear, you can be certain that you’ll need some alterations.

Your first dress fitting should be about four to six weeks before the wedding, pregnant or not. This is the time when your tailor can do simple alterations, such as take up the hem, make sure long sleeves hit at the right point, or adjust short sleeves that hang too long.

Bridesmaids that are not pregnant typically schedule their dress pick up/final fitting two weeks before the wedding. But pregnant bridesmaids should schedule their dress pick up/final fitting ONE week before the wedding in order to get the most accurate fit.

Just be sure to book your appointment far in advance. Tailors book up quickly in the height of wedding season!

Two or three days before the wedding, try your dress on one more time, just in case you need some last-minute adjustments.

Want to schedule a fitting at one of our 60+ showrooms? Find a Bella Bridesmaids location near you and give us a call today!

Conclusion

With the exception of possibly needing more extensive alterations, being a bridesmaid who’s expecting is no different than being any other bridesmaid. Just support the bride, help her in any way that you can, and show your love and loyalty to her on the big day.

And just know this:

No matter how big your belly may be at the wedding, you’re going to look fabulous in that dress!

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