An expecting bridesmaid is something to celebrate, and your friend deserves some extra big-day attention. A pregnancy will require a few special accommodations, including how you approach her bridesmaid's dress. Baby bellies should be decked out in style, which is where expert Kelsey Doorey comes in. We spoke with the CEO and founder of Vow To Be Chic—a rental site for designer bridesmaids' dresses—to learn just how to embrace your 'maid's bun in the oven.
Ensure your girl's still game.
Pregnancy's a joy, but it's also a pain in the neck. Swollen feet and strange scent aversions may make standing in the bridal party (and carrying a pungent bouquet) difficult. "As the bride, you should take the initiative and open the door to a conversation with your friend," advises Doorey, " and ask her whether or not she's feeling up to the task." Though your expecting lady may be a bestie, her needs should come first. If that means stepping down from her duties, she can still be included in other ways. "The important part is having your friend by your side on your wedding day, and taking her feelings into account will ensure your friendship doesn't take a hit."
On the flipside, a pregnancy's no reason to remove someone who's willing to participate. "There is nothing awkward about having a pregnant bridesmaid," Doorey promises, and giving an expecting friend the boot would just be rude.
Make renting an option.
Chances are, a bridesmaid isn't going to want to shell out major cash to buy a dress that won't fit as soon as the baby's born (or her bump grows). And bridesmaid gowns are pricey, pricey, pricey, as any former 'maid can attest. "Anyone who has been a bridesmaid at least once knows that the struggle is real and you will likely never wear the dress again, pregnant or not," notes Doorey, which is why rental sites can come in clutch. Vow To Be Chic, for example, "makes the entire process from reserving to returns as seamless as possible," and there's "no need for alterations." When your girls order from Doorey's site, they'll receive two separate size and length options to choose from in person.
Other notable benefits of Vow To Be Chic include the designer labels ("No more tacky, unfashionable options"), low costs ("No longer do bridesmaids have to spend $300+ on a dress"), and easy online availability ("No more wrangling your squad that is displaced all over the country").
Consider comfort a priority.
We'll say it again: A pregnancy's hard on the body. So search for comfortable options for your crew whenever possible. "An A-line skirt is always a flattering option and allows for plenty of room for a growing baby bump," suggests Doorey, while "light fabrics such as chiffon are great breathable options."
Vow To Be Chic offers a maternity option that meets these specifications to a T. "We love the Jenny Yoo Cerise maternity style since it's a convertible dress with panels that can be styled into 15+ unique looks," shares Doorey, "so each woman can wear the style that is most comfortable for her and her growing bump."
Don't abandon group cohesion.
Matching your 'maids can be harder when a member of your party is expecting. Luckily, "there is no need to compromise on your bridal vision!" Mismatching your gowns is both chic and accommodating, especially for this situation. Or, stick with the rental route—Vow To Be Chic has got your back. "The Jenny Yoo Cerise dress is the maternity version of—and perfect companion to—the [site's] popular Jenny Yoo Annabelle and Jenny Yoo Aidan dresses," explains Doorey. "It also complements the Jenny Yoo Nyla print dress beautifully, so expectant bridesmaids can look every bit as glamorous as the rest of the girl squad."
Leave a bit of wiggle room.
Finally, it's hard to know exactly how big a belly will get, which is why your dress choice should be flexible. "Brides need to be conscious of not choosing a style that is too tight or a fabric that is too heavy," reminds Doorey, because after all, your girl is growing.