How to Enjoy Your Wedding as a Pregnant Bride

Three Parts:Pulling Together the DetailsHaving a Relaxed Big DayHandling Social Stigmas

A recent article declared “shotgun weddings” a relic of the past.[1] As society changes, it is increasingly common for couples to welcome children before their wedding and many brides even schedule the big day during the pregnancy. Since being pregnant can tax your body and emotions, you may not be sure how to enjoy the process of planning and enjoying your wedding if you’re pregnant. But by pulling together the details, having a relaxed wedding day, and dealing with potential stigmas, you can enjoy your wedding and your pregnancy at the same time.

Part 1
Pulling Together the Details

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    Take timing into account. Pregnancy comes with various physical changes from nausea to fatigue and feeling like a balloon. Think about scheduling your wedding during your second trimester when morning sickness is usually gone and your baby hasn’t grown to a size that makes you feel large.[2]
    • Think about factors like fatigue and any medical issues you may be experiencing as a part of your pregnancy, such as gestational diabetes. This can help guide elements such as the time of day for the ceremony and reception, your food choices, and even how big of a wedding you want.[3] For example, if you tire easily, schedule the event for the afternoon and early evening, which may also help save money that you can put towards your honeymoon or baby.[4]
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    Keep your wedding personal. Fatigue may be one of the biggest factors for you during the wedding, but you may also not entirely feel like yourself when you’re pregnant. Keeping your wedding personalized to your and your future husband’s wishes can help you enjoy the day to the fullest.
    • Concentrate on scheduling elements of the occasion that you are sure to enjoy. Remember that even because you’re pregnant, it’s still your day and you deserve to have the very best time possible.[5]
    • Stick to your wishes even if someone tries to sway you towards something else because you’re pregnant. You can say something like “I really appreciate your consideration on the reception and food, but I’ve had a chance to think about it and would like to do it this way.”
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    Find a wedding officiant. If you're planning on a church wedding or just a simple ceremony in another venue, you’ll need someone to officiate and validate your wedding. Consider a variety of venues, since some churches won't permit weddings of a pregnant bride.[6]
    • Ask church officials and potential officiants if that are able to marry a pregnant bride as well as if they feel comfortable doing so. Respect their decision and move on if necessary. Remember to not feel ashamed—it’s completely common in this day and age for brides to be pregnant.
    • Identify different types of venues you could hold your ceremony. Consider churches, hotels, and restaurants. Ask friends, family, and colleagues if they have suggestions of potential venues for the ceremony.
    • Be aware that some churches require pre-marital counseling. Ask about the requirements.[7] Some chaplains/priests/other faith officiants may expect you to "tone down" the wedding to make it a more private affair. If that doesn't suit you, then consider a compromise such as a private wedding and a large reception or find another officiant.
    • Talk to the officiant about the length of the ceremony and vows. Remember that you may be tired or have low blood sugar that may require having a tall stool or something to lean on if you get tired.
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    Book a reception venue. Planning your reception should be a relatively easy task for your wedding. However, there certain factors you may want to keep in mind when touring potential venues such as that you may need to sit or use the restroom more often.
    • Ask questions to the venue staff about access to restrooms and elements such as having extra seating so you can sit down if need be.[8]
    • Find out if the venue can accommodate your dietary needs. This includes making sure that there is food available to you throughout the event as well as if they can offer pregnancy safe foods.[9] You should also ask if they can make either bottled or filtered water available to you during the event.[10]
    • Consider how your decorations will fit in the venue or even ask the staff if they can provide decorations. You may find that you are sensitive to the smells of flowers during your pregnancy and want to avoid floral arrangements.
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    Get the perfect dress. You may encounter a few challenges with the dress as your baby grows, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for anything that looks like frump with a bump. Get a style you love and find a way to have it tailored to accommodate your bump.
    • Consider hiring a dressmaker to recreate a style you like that can be let out if you need. You can also think about a maternity specific bridal gown. These are usually designed with a growing belly in mind. Let either the dressmaker or bridal salon know in advance that you are pregnant, which may help them better prepare for your visit.[11]
    • Choose a style that is comfortable and accounts for the fact that you will likely need to use the restroom more frequently.
    • Avoid corsets, tightly laced bodices, mermaid/ trumpet cut, or sheath dresses. These may not only be hard to let out as you grow, but may also constrict you if you swell during your big day. In addition, they could also make it difficult to go to the bathroom.[12] If your still in the early stages of your pregnancy, these shapes may still be comfortable and can highlight a small bump if you want to show off your new feature.[13]
    • Consider styles such as A-line, empire or a dress with a tulle overlay for comfort.[14] It’s easier to alter these styles and they may also make it easier to get to the bathroom or accommodate for swelling on your big day. These more flowy styles can also conceal a small bump if you choose to hide your pregnancy.
    • Choose any color dress you like and that makes you feel comfortable. Don't be hampered by social conventions on white dresses and virginity.[15]
    • Plan more fittings for your dress to accommodate your growing bump. You may want to schedule fittings for every couple of weeks depending on how far along your pregnancy is.[16]
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    Wear comfortable shoes and accessories. Pregnancy often involves swelling, especially in the hands and feet. Get yourself comfortable shoes and put on other accessories that will not constrict you.
    • Consider getting several pairs of shoes so that you can wear what is most comfortable on your big day. You may want anything from comfortable flats, to kitten heels, or even flip-flops. Remember that your shoes should allow you to stand, dance, and walk around without feeling even more achy and tired.[17] Don’t be surprised if your wedding shoes are a bigger size than your pre-pregnancy shoes.[18]
    • Get jewelry that you can easily remove. For example, you may want to wear a large cocktail ring that you can easily switch between different fingers if your hands swell. Wear bracelets and necklaces that have clasps so that you can more easily put them on and take them off.
    • Remember that most accessories, such as a veil and bouquet, remain unaffected by your belly size, so enjoy all of them as much as wished.
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    Consider a mock wedding ring. Pregnancy tends to make most women swell, especially in the hands and feet. As a result, your wedding ring may not fit on the big day. You may want to choose a “mock” ring to use on your wedding day and then get the real ring once you’ve given birth.
    • Realize that you can also purchase your wedding band and then get it fitted to your fingers after the birth. Ask your jeweler what your options for sizing are if you are pregnant.
    • Keep your real ring part of the ceremony by wearing it around your neck or placing it on the ring cushion next to the mock ring. You could even wear your wedding ring on your pinky finger until your ring finger shrinks down to size.

Part 2
Having a Relaxed Big Day

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    Get plenty of rest. Weddings can be very stressful and cause you more fatigue if you are pregnant. In the weeks before your wedding, make sure to get enough sleep and other rest so that you can fully enjoy your big day.
    • Recognize that pregnancy can change your sleeping patterns.[19] If this is a problem, talk to your doctor before your wedding for tips to help you de-stress and get enough sleep so you can enjoy your wedding. Take naps if you need to get you through the day.[20]
    • Go to bed early the night before your wedding so that you can enjoy your day with minimal fatigue. Take a nap before your ceremony if you can.
    • Consider getting a pregnancy massage either the day before or morning of your wedding to help you rest and relax.
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    Build extra time into your schedule. Most brides are given this advice, but it’s especially important when you’re pregnant. You’ll likely be more fatigued and may even have to deal with feeling sick. Give yourself some extra time throughout the day, which may make you less tired and more able to enjoy it.[21]
    • Make sure there is time between appointments such as hair and makeup or any other events for you to sit down and have a moment alone.[22]
    • Consider building in some extra time for a nap between the ceremony and reception. You can offer guests games or cocktails during this time.
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    Ask for help and delegate. Weddings are stressful events and generally require coordination with several different people. Whether you are having a wedding with a planner or family and friends are there, don’t be shy about reaching out for help or delegating tasks to people.[23]
    • Avoid being a bridezilla, even if your hormones are raging. For example, you could say “Mom, I feel very overwhelmed talking to the officiant. Will you go with me or talk to him yourself. You know what my wishes are.”
    • Keep your fiancé in the loop and ask him to help, too. Your partner can often be a calming force who helps you relax and refocus on the importance of the day—the two of you.
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    Take breaks whenever you need. Recognize that you will in all likelihood get tired during your wedding. Allow yourself to sit down or catch your breath whenever you feel necessary. Don’t feel ashamed—your guests will probably understand and may even help you find a seat or dote on you.[24]
    • Make sure there is always a chair in your general area so that you can sit down if you get tired or woozy. Grab a chair if you’re talking and get tired. You can say “I’m so sorry, do you mind if we sit and chat, my feet are killing me and the baby is kicking me so hard.”
    • Step away for a few minutes if you need a break. You may be emotional and need to gather yourself. Let your fiancé know and ask someone to come along with you if necessary.
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    Eat throughout the day. You’ll need to eat to keep up your energy throughout the day. Having a healthy breakfast and lunch as well as snacks on your big day can not only keep you feeling well, but may give you’re the same type of culinary enjoyment your guests are experiencing.[25]
    • Start the day with a healthy breakfast such as toast with peanut butter and some fruit. Have snacks that contain protein and complex carbohydrates like whole-grain crackers and cheese.[26]
    • Make sure that you eat lunch or dinner at your reception and feel free to “snack” along the way. Many people can get caught up in the celebration and visiting with people and forget to eat. Have your fiancé or a friend or family member remind you to sit down and enjoy some food.
    • Keep yourself hydrated with water throughout the day.[27] Use your own discretion on enjoying a sip of champagne, but you should avoid alcohol at the reception for the health and safety of your baby.[28] Consider sparkling cider or grape juice if you want to skip the champagne.
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    Plan a honeymoon with baby in mind. One of the parts of your big day that you can look forward to is the send off to your honeymoon, or babymoon as many people call it now. Take a honeymoon that's realistic to your pregnancy and promotes relaxation and couple time.
    • Select a location that isn't difficult to access as well as doesn't require a lot of planning. Aim for a place that promises peace, quiet, and pampering.
    • Check with the location and any places you might stay to ensure they have hospital facilities or infrastructure to transport you in case you have an emergency.
    • Be sure that your insurance covers any pregnancy complications or even giving birth in other locations.
    • Consider postponing the honeymoon until after the baby's born. You can go as a family or take a couple of days away from your new baby if you like.

Part 3
Handling Social Stigmas

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    Deal with stigmas. Understand the feelings of others around you and that they may have cultural or religious that make it hard for them to accept you as a pregnant bride.[29] Try and have compassion with them and let them feel your joy. Reacting positively may help you ignore stigmas and truly enjoy your day.[30]
    • Remember to not feel ashamed at all costs. You’ve done nothing wrong and have the right to fully enjoy your day without judgment.[31]
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    Recognize generational or cultural differences. In most societies, it was relatively uncommon for women to get pregnant before marriage until recently. Among older generations, such as your parents or grandparents, stigmas about having sex and getting pregnant before marriage may linger.[32] Although their comments may hurt you, try to realize and acknowledge their positions.
    • Consider making a list of guests who may have a difficult time with your pregnancy at the wedding. Think about ways in which you can engage them without offending their sensibilities. For example, you could not mention the baby in their presence.
    • Acknowledge their position with respect. For example, you could say “Gramma, I understand that things were different in your time and respect your position, but attitudes towards being pregnant at your wedding have changed among my generation.” Likewise, you can say “Mrs. Smith, I know this isn’t common in your religion, but I want you to know how happy I am that you are here to celebrate with us.”[33]
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    Explain your joy. Just as acknowledging stigmas is important, it’s also a good idea to express your happiness to anyone who passes judgment. You might find that this relaxes the person—and you-- and helps them embrace your “condition.”[34]
    • Tell the person how excited you are to be a wife and mother. Mention that you feel very blessed to be able to have a baby.[35]
    • Let people who are judgmental of you know that today's attitudes are far more relaxed and compassionate. You can also say that it is acceptable within your social circle to be pregnant at your wedding.[36]
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    Incorporate the baby into the ceremony. You may want to find ways to acknowledge the obvious in your big day. From highlighting your bump to making a combined vow to your baby, you can have your baby a part of the ceremony to show that you are comfortable and happy with the situation.
    • Find ways to include your baby that make you comfortable. For example, you could keep it simple by tying a pink or blue ribbon around your waist.
    • Incorporate the baby more fully by giving a vow with your husband to the baby or singing a song about a little family or happiness. For example, you could say together “I take you, Jack, and our little bundle of joy in good and bad times.” Then have your husband-to-be make a similar statement. Think of songs about families or happy moments to acknowledge the pregnancy. For example, you might choose “This Little Light” or “We are Family.”
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    Hide your pregnancy. In some cases, you may find that it makes you most comfortable to hide your belly as much as possible. This can not only help you deal with the stigmas of other people, but also may help you relax and enjoy the day more.
    • Choose a dress that camouflages your belly.
    • Avoid mentioning that you are pregnant or pointing towards your belly.
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    Remember to have fun. Try and focus on enjoying each moment of your wedding day. Not only can this help you relax and have fun, but may be a great memory you can share with your child as they get older.[37]
    • Allow yourself to dance, chat, sit, eat and do other things any bride would do on her big day.
    • Let any negative comments roll off of you. Seek out people who will lift you up and remind you of the joyous occasions.


  • Avoid marrying quickly just because of pregnancy. Get married because you want to and not because you feel social pressure. Ask yourself if the stress of planning a wedding be better left off until 'after' the baby is born.

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