On the subject of bridesmaids with buns

…in the oven, that is. It must be hard to be an expanding entity in the WIC world, where dresses and accessories need to be ordered eons in advance. You don’t know precisely how big you’ll be six months from now, and yet you must place that dress order soon, lest you be left without something coordinating to wear on your friend’s wedding day. Buying a great dress when you’re not a size 2 is hard enough, so I can imagine the potent frustration of the pregnant bridesmaid!

What if one thinks all of the maternity bridesmaids dresses out there are utter shite? Does one buy too large a dress and have it taken in? Or something with an empire waist and a lot of flowing, gauzy fabric? Most of the maternity dresses specifically aimed at bridesmaids (and there aren’t all that many) are dull as doornails, cut oddly, or vaguely triangular in a way flattering no one.

I found only two I liked:

Gauzy and prettyNot for the body conscious

The main reason that I like the chiffon number from Eden Bridals on the left is because it doesn’t try to take a regular dress and fit a beachball tummy into it. As long as it’s tight enough around the bust and not some hideous color, it’ll make the wearer look like a very pregnant Greek goddess. The luminescent chiffon dress from Watters on the right will likely appeal most to those who either have a naturally smooth silhouette or plenty of smoothing undergarments. I like it because it’s unapologetic — the wearer obviously has nothing to hide.


There is one other alternative. As I’m sure you know, fabric can only be taken in so much before the seams get all wonky, which makes buying big a dangerous game. Depending on how a bridesmaid “fills out,” a dress that fits around the tum might be ginormous everywhere else and nearly impossible to alter well.

Two preggers brides I’ve known decided that they wanted regular (not maternity) dresses. One married at seven months along while the other married when she was just beginning to show. Neither knew how big she’d eventually be when it came time to do the dress shopping. Both bought extra fabric of the same sort and color as their chosen dresses so that when fitting time rolled around they could have their seamstresses embiggen the midsection of their wedding-day garb using well camouflaged panels.

The end result were maternity dresses that didn’t look like maternity dresses because they didn’t start out that way. I’d wager that bridesmaids with buns in the oven could do the same thing with regular dresses, though I’d suggest speaking to a seamstress about what sorts of fabrics and dress designs will convert well since not every design will be amenable to having a fabric panel added.

8 Responses to “On the subject of bridesmaids with buns”

  1. dr nic says:

    I’m the MOH in my friend’s wedding in May. I’ll be seven months pregnant when she gets married. I’m wearing the same dress as the other bridesmaids. I initially tried on the dress before I was pregnant, before we had decided on a style. After discussing it with the woman at the bridal store, I ordered it one size larger (giving me more room at the top, but not too much to take in if the boob fairy skipped over me). I also ordered an extra yard of fabric to extend the waistline. I’m also going to put off having it altered until the last possible minute.

  2. Never teh Bride says:

    That’s a great dress, dr nic! To my untrained eye it looks like one could convert it into something more empire waist-ish without too much of a problem, but obviously a seamstress will know best. I bet you’ll look lovely 🙂

  3. Rosie says:

    The Watters one is just gorgeous!!

  4. Mrs. A says:

    The pregnant bridesmaid issue can be really sticky. When the dresses had to be ordered for my brother’s wedding, I was six weeks pregnant, which was earlier than I otherwise would have made the pregnancy public, but I had to tell my future sister-in-law since I was going to be five months pregnant at the wedding and unable to wear my normal dress size. After ordering a much larger dress, I ended up miscarrying and having to deal with altering the way too big dress down to my regular size. I have also had friends who ordered larger bridesmaid dresses when they were trying to conceive in the hopes that they would be pregnant at weddings that were in the far future at the time that the dresses had to be ordered. There are so many uncertainties with pregnancy that it makes all of the lead time required for some bridesmaid dresses a real annoyance and creates the potential for the dress to be a reminder of a great loss.

  5. Never teh Bride says:

    You make a good point, Mrs. A. I’m sorry you had to go through something like that. I’ve never heard of anyone ordering too big a dress in the hopes of getting pregnant…that strikes me as silly. Just as silly as ordering too small a dress in the hopes of losing weight.

  6. Amanda says:

    I had this exact problem. When I got engaged, my sister was about 3 months pregnant and not really showing, but was 6 months when the wedding came around. I went for a less-traditional style of bridesmaid dress – just a skirt and nice top that was draped rather than fitted, and got everyone in to try them before I went with them (to make sure they worked for my non-pregnant friends as well as my sister). The bonus was the the store stocked them on the rack, so once my sister got too big for the dress we originally got her, we could just take it back and swap it. It looked great, and in the photos you can only tell she’s pregnant when she’s standing side-on.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I’m in a bit of a pinch with this situation myself. I’m due to be a bridesmaid in August, I’m also due to be a mommy in January so I’ll be about 4.5 months pregnant at the wedding. Unfortunately the bride(zilla) made us order our dresses in February, and I got it back from the shop in early May (before I found out I was pregnant). I tried the dress on last week and its TIGHT, and I’ve still got about 3 weeks to go. I’m really concerned that I’m not going to fit into the dress, and there’s not much of a seam allowance. What am I supposed to do?

  8. Anon: A very pregnant bride I knew had a seamstress put a diamond-shaped panel over the tummy of her gown. Now, you’re obviously not very pregnant, but a panel — perhaps in the back? — might still work if you could find a fabric that is very similar to the fabric of your dress.