It’s the most exciting day of your life and you’ve been planning it for ages. You’ve got your dress, the cake, booked the venue, nailed the food and you’ve asked your closest friends to be bridesmaids. Then you receive the news that one of them is pregnant. Of course you’re delighted for her. She might well have been trying to start her family for years, but there’s a small part of you worried. You don’t want to look selfish but you recognise the reality of the situation – her pregnancy may affect your day. What do you do?
This is such a tricky topic to handle. You don’t want to look like a Bridezilla, yet the pregnancy might require some extra planning before the Big Day. Depending on how far along she is, she may not even want to be a bridesmaid anymore. The idea of waddling down the aisle eight or nine months pregnant in front of a large crowd may seem unappealing to her.
Start the conversation
As the bride you should get the conversation started. After all, its traditional wedding etiquette for you to be considerate to your guests and to all members of your bridal party. Invite your friend over for a cup of tea or out for lunch then gently ask her how she feels about being pregnant on the day. Don’t forget emotions can be sky high during pregnancy! Firstly check how many months she will be on the day. If you’ve decided to get married abroad this could also be an issue. The Zika virus is apparently on the decline, but there’s still a lot of concern surrounding infection rates. This virus is particularly dangerous for pregnant women and women trying to conceive.
The number one thing to remember is that although it’s your day, you asked her to be a bridesmaid for a reason. She’s one of your closest friends, so don’t forget it now. Every woman’s pregnancy is completely different. She might have had children before and sailed through each of those pregnancies but this one might be a constant struggle. She might be exhausted, nauseous, have swollen feet and horrendous back pain. She needs a friend to provide some moral support and a few comforting words as much as you do right now.
Supporting each other
Make sure your friend knows that you still want her to be your bridesmaid. Explain that you’re only checking she still wants to be one and how you can best accommodate her. She needs to tell you what she wants to do. If she would normally be the person running around overseeing makeup artists, floral arrangements, canapés and making sure everyone’s champagne is topped up, then this might no longer be the case. If she still wants to be a bridesmaid and still wants to take a more active part in your wedding have a think about what smaller aspect of your Big Day she could monitor. Maybe she could oversee morning drinks, ensuring that everyone has a cup of tea, coffee or Bellini the morning of your wedding? Or maybe you could take a leaf out of @PynesHouseDevon’s book by running croquet and other garden games at your wedding to keep your guests occupied. You could put your friend in charge of making sure that the venue has set up the games and the guests know that they are there.
Then there’s the bridesmaid dresses. If you’ve already bought her dress this could be a bit annoying, albeit completely fixable. You could sell her dress and buy another one if it’s not a style that will suit a growing bump. An empire cut full length dress is both extremely flattering and because the waist is cut under the bust, will accommodate most swelling stomachs. Most bridesmaid dress stores stock maternity lines so you should be able to find something to suit her easily. If your dress store does not stock a maternity line then the advice is to go up two dress sizes.