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Life happens and sometimes we can’t always plan around some of life’s biggest milestones. My brother got engaged in October 2018 and I was asked to be a bridesmaid in the wedding. They set the date for May 2020 so there was plenty of time to plan for the biggest event of the year.
There was also plenty of time for me to *surprisingly* become pregnant! Already having a son who was turning two years old, we didn’t know if we were going to be able to have any other children. I had trouble getting pregnant the first time, which I ended up with an infertility diagnosis.
Always having that on the back burner, I didn’t think I would be able to get pregnant again without intervention methods. Well, viola! It happened naturally with no intervention this time and we were so happy and shocked to say the least.
After the excitement came the calculation of when our due date would be. Then came the realization that I would be eight months pregnant for my brother’s wedding! Whoops!
For my own wedding, one of my bridesmaids was eight months pregnant standing up there with me in the heat of the summer. I remembered the sacrifice she made for me to make sure my day was perfect. I appreciated her friendship even more. Therefore, I knew this unexpected pregnancy of mine would be a great addition to my brother’s bridal party.
Does your role change when you’re a pregnant bridesmaid?
The short answer to this is, “No.” Your role does not change. There was a reason the bride/groom asked you to be part of their day. That reason doesn’t all of a sudden change because you’re now pregnant. You still hold a special place in the bridal party with or without that baby bump.
The role of a bridesmaid includes:
- Help plan the details of the event;
- Assist with the bridal shower;
- Be part of the bachelorette party planning (even if you’re not going to attend);
- Chip in monetarily if you can to help with the wedding event;
- Assist with hostess duties on the day of the event;
- Meet with the bridal party to discuss ideas and options for the celebrations.
Unless you are on bed rest, have complications with your pregnancy, or are on strict orders from your doctor, these duties should not be difficult to complete if you are pregnant.
When should I tell the engaged couple of my pregnancy?
I would assume that if you are in a friend’s or family member’s wedding party, they would be thrilled for you about this exciting life event! Holding back on sharing your exciting news will only make you feel more anxious and could back fire down the road.
Something to consider is whether the wedding you’re involved in will be held at a destination resort in another country. As a guest or as a member of the bridal party, it is always important to take into consideration the area you are traveling to.
Being pregnant means you have to take extra precautions for things like the Zika virus. Many doctors will advise you to stay clear of areas known to having this virus, thus putting you and your baby in harm should you visit. It is best to be up front with the bride and groom about your pregnancy so that they can plan accordingly should you not be able to travel.
Additionally, most doctors advise against traveling away from home once you hit that 36 week mark. If the wedding you are in is close to your due date and you have to travel far to attend, this is also something you should consider bringing up with the bride and groom.
What about my bridesmaid dress?
Nowadays, a pregnant bridesmaid is not unusual. Many dress shops have maternity style dresses that give you some extra flow and expansion for your growing bump.
Depending on how far along you are with your pregnancy compared to the wedding date, it can be difficult to predict how much your body will change. Therefore, a maternity bridesmaid dress is the best route to take. They also take into account the breast changes that happen in a pregnancy.
Talk with your bride about the dress. Some brides want all the bridesmaids to be uniform with the same exact style and color dress. However, not every style of dress comes in a maternity style. Communicate your needs and see if you can find a maternity style dress that is similar to the dress style she wants the other bridesmaids to wear.
How can I make the most of being a pregnant bridesmaid?
Here is the fun part! You can do pretty much everything the rest of the bridal party can do (except the drinking part… boo!). However, being pregnant doesn’t make you any sort of taboo to have in a bridal party.
If you are feeling up to it and your health is taken into account, why not participate in the bachelorette party? Be aware of the activities you will be doing. If the bride-to-be wants to go bungee jumping off bridges or mountain climbing, it’s probably best for you to avoid those activities. Just sayin’!
In my experience, bachelorette parties typically involve clubbing, bar hopping, limo rides, and wine tasting. While you should not be drinking while pregnant, there is nothing saying that dancing, riding in a limo, or walking through beautiful vineyards isn’t fun to do. Note how you are feeling and go with that.
The bachelorette party for my soon to be sister-in-law is taking place near my home and there will be a fancy dinner outing, bar hopping, and some wine tasting. If all is well with baby at my next check-up, I will be attending all those events and enjoying a much needed girls’ weekend (SANS alcohol)!
How can I prepare for the wedding day?
With all the hustle and bustle the day of the wedding, make sure you listen to your body and treat your body well with these tips on being a pregnant bridesmaid.
The number one thing you can do as a pregnant bridesmaid on the day of the wedding is to make sure you get your rest. Consider the time of day the wedding will be taking place and plan accordingly.
Is it an early morning event? Carve out a full night’s sleep the night before. Is it an evening event? Schedule a nap or a time to lay down and put your feet up during the day. Being exhausted before the event even happens will surely put a damper on your experience as a pregnant bridesmaid.
Regardless if it’s summer or winter during the wedding, it’s important to stay hydrated. The days leading up to the event are also busy. Staying hydrated before and during the wedding day will be beneficial to you and your baby.
I get that staying hydrated will also make you want to use the restroom 45 times in an hour (exaggeration, of course), but the contrary response of being a dehydrated pregnant bridesmaid is something you want to avoid. Keep note of where the nearest restroom is to you and all will be well.
If water gets too bland for you, enter in some sugar-free drinks or even Gatorade to restore and improve your electrolytes. Hydration is key to having a great time as a pregnant bridesmaid!
Take it Slow
Yes, everything is busy, busy, busy on the wedding day and everyone is in a tizzy. However, your sanity and stress levels are important to maintain. Take caution to not over exert yourself or cause yourself any unnecessary stress. There is nothing like the stress of a wedding that can bring out the drama and madness in people who are over stressed.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, take a break and walk away for a few minutes. Some meditations in the bridal suite or even in a bathroom stall can help recenter you.
The bride is stressed on her wedding day and there is much happening all at once. However, this doesn’t change the relationship you have with her and she should most definitely want what is best for you as well.
Communicate with her if you aren’t feeling well, if you need a break, or if you’re too uncomfortable to handle something at that time. It is best to step back instead of putting your health or the baby’s health on the line.
Miscommunication is one of the top reasons for hardships or problems on a wedding day. If you can have someone else help in your place on the wedding day, coordinate these things correctly. The saying, “Don’t come to the meeting with problems; come to the meeting with solutions,” applies here.
Communicate with the bride that maybe you can’t do this or that, but you found someone else who can help. Her stress level and yours will thank you for it!
Have you been a pregnant bridesmaid?
Tell me about the time when you were a pregnant bridesmaid! What did you do to make your experience a positive one? Is there anything you would have done differently?
Or… did you have a pregnant bridesmaid in your wedding? How did you feel when she told you she was pregnant? I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below!