“First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes Katie with the baby carriage….” While this old rhyme used to reflect tradition, it’s not so these days. Many of our brides have a child or children already and sometimes, when we meet them, they’re expecting a child. Love is love and we’re excited to be a little part of this amazing journey! P.S. We’ve had a few babies of our own so we understand the pregnancy experience too!
In order to make the shopping experience enjoyable, here’s a few tips to keep in mind when bridal gown shopping with a baby on board:
1. Shop for a Flexible Silhouette. The most obvious challenge when shopping while pregnant is clearly that a woman’s body is shaped very different. If it’s a first pregnancy, this can be a bit of a guessing game on how much the bride’s body will change during and after the pregnancy. When a bride is not very far along in her pregnancy, it’s easy for a professional to get an idea of body shape and size in order to make recommendations on gown silhouettes however if mama is closer to her due date, sometimes it’s just helpful to be able to show a picture of her pre or post-baby body shape. Gown silhouettes like an empire waistline allows for a woman to either conceal her bump or if she isn’t sure what shape she’ll be at the time of the wedding. If the bride is happy to flaunt her baby bump, choosing a silk jersey or satin underlay with lace overlay can accentuate the baby-to-be. A few features that offer a variety of fits are corset backs and straps. Corsets can easily be adjusted by lacing different or creating a different panel. This is helpful if a bride finds herself bigger or smaller than expected. Straps can easily be lengthened or shortened. This can be helpful if a bride finds her “girls” to be bigger or smaller than expected.
2. Take it Easy. A pregnant bride is shopping for two so it’s important not to get worn out by shopping all day. Take shorter trips and make an appointment during a time a day when energy is at it’s highest and morning sickness has passed. (By the way, morning sickness can occur any time of day. Been there, done that. It can be survived! Just pack some crackers.)
3. Take Your Time. The due date clock is ticking so it’s important to get to shopping for the perfect gown however that doesn’t mean the big decision should be hasty. When shopping with less than nine months to the big day, understand that some lines or custom options may not be available. On average though ordering a bridal gown will take 4-6 months so the dream dress should still be available. If shopping with an even shorter time-frame, like less than a trimester, know that there is always an option to purchase directly out of the store and when designers have lines in stock, those dresses will ship quickly.
4. Consider the Budget. The bride / mama-to-be now has baby outfits and her own bridal gown to purchase. It’s important to be take the big budget into consideration. Preparing for baby and the wedding at the same time may change what a bride wants to spend. This is also a perfect spot to share a quick reminder. When setting the bridal gown budget, remember alterations. On average alterations can run $100-$300. Be sure to add the alterations budget into the bridal gown budget in order to avoid any surprises.
5. Go For Comfort. Brides should go for as much comfort as possible on the big day. Choose comfortable shoes. When a woman is expecting her center of gravity changes. In order to be comfortable to dance the night away and to easily walk down the aisle, flats are key. Don’t worry, style doesn’t have to be sacrificed for comfort! There are lots of beautiful choices for bridal flats.
6. Find Your Color. In the past, tradition would say that white is reserved for virgins only. These days, there is so much more than white or ivory to choose from that tradition has gone by the wayside. A bride should choose the color gown that best compliments her skin tone and the style of her wedding, if that happens to be white, go for it!
7. Trust the Professionals. Fear not, the professionals (that’s us!) are here to help create the best plan for getting the perfect gown with the best fit for our mom/bride-to-be. Also we’ve had babies so we’ve been there too!
If you’re a bride with a baby on board, we hope these tips have provided some great ideas so you can “Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful.”