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How To Find A Stylish Maternity Wedding Dress

Whether you want to conceal your baby bump or show it off on your big day, we've got all the tips and tricks you'll need to find the perfect dress!
How To Find A Stylish Maternity Wedding Dress
Updated: December 15, 2022

Your big day is on the horizon. No, we don’t mean your due date. We’re talking about your wedding day. And this means you need a maternity wedding dress that shows off your bridal (and soon-to-be new mama) glow! 

Gone are the days when maternity wedding dresses looked like over-sized mumus ala Mrs. Roper on Three’s Company. Today’s maternity bridal picks are chic, stylish, and even versatile. Whether you’re all in for a maxi dress, love a long sleeve type of design, want a chiffon dream for your wedding day, or have a boho sense of style, you can find a maternity wedding gown to match your personality and aesthetic. If you’re not sure where to start your search, read on for more info on finding a stylish maternity wedding dress that makes you feel cool, comfortable, and like the beautiful bride you are.

Do You Already Have a Dress? 

Every pregnancy isn’t planned or timed to fall after a wedding. Maybe you were already in mid-wedding planning mode when you got your baby news. Chances are you have already spent hours pouring over pictures and trying on wedding dresses. It also might mean that you’ve already chosen a winner, put a down payment on it, and had your first fitting.

Before you panic, stop and take a deep breath. Even though you’ve picked out and paid for a dress, you don’t need to toss the chiffon, tulle, lace backless or strapless dress into the trash just because you will have a noticeable baby bump on your big day. The key is to get creative. 

While you may not have the sewing skills to cut and stitch a bridal gown project runway-style, there’s a professional somewhere who can. Find a trusted tailor who works extensively or exclusively with bridal-wear. Discuss ways to alter your existing gown to fit your growing belly—and the rest of your changing body. The tailor may need to add extra fabric, reinforce the straps, let out the waist, or make other changes to fit your new shape. Not only can this strategy work for a bride-to-be who bought a pre-pregnancy gown, you may also want to tailor your mother’s or grandmother’s keepsake dress to fit your baby bump body.

Do You Want to Show Off Your Bump or Not? 

Do You Want to Show Off Your Bump or Not?

This is a purely personal decision. If you don’t already have a gown and need a maternity wedding dress ASAP, you have plenty of options. But the first step is to decide whether you want to highlight or camouflage your bump!

Either choice is an equally valid one. Never allow anyone to make you feel bad or guilty for deciding to show off your belly bump or hide it behind chiffon, tulle, crepe, sequins, or a creative mommy-to-be camo design. 

The choice to either highlight or hide your belly bump will guide the cut, material, and overall style you choose for your maternity wedding dress. A sheer or body-hugging fabric with a slim cut will make it impossible to hide your second or third trimester bump. But a flowing gown with a lace overlay, ruched fabric, or an empire waist may make it easier to keep your pregnancy under wraps for your big day.

How Should You Start Shopping for a Maternity Wedding Gown?

How Should You Start Shopping for A Maternity Wedding Gown?

When is your big day? If you’re still months away from your nuptials, wedding dress shopping may include some serious guesswork. A first trimester bride won’t know what her body will look like several months from now. It’s possible you’ll have a sweet, teeny tiny belly bump that looks like a softball under your shirt—or you could have more substantial body changes. 

Even though you might want to focus on your mid-section, your abdomen isn’t the only area that would or could change over the next few months. You could go from a barely-there A-cup to a generous C or D, grow a temporary Kardashian-style backside, or have other changes in your hips, thighs, and arms. The total changes you’ll go through make it important to consider whether you really want a staples, long sleeve, short sleeve, sleeveless, or back-bearing maternity gown.

Given the uncertainty in your wedding day size, you may want to choose an option that has room to grow (everywhere) and is easy to alter. Think about where your body is right now and go from there. If your newly sprouted C’s-on-their-way-to-D’s or fuller are already falling out of a strapless number, you will need something with more support. Likewise, if your belly, hips, and butt are bursting through a tight lace gown, the dress won’t get roomier the further you get into your pregnancy. 

If you’re still at a total loss, start with the styles you already like and what feels comfortable. Instead of wedding dress shopping solo, bring a friend or family member who already knows (from their own personal experience) the ins and outs of dressing while pregnant. Speciality boutiques can also help pregnant brides-to-be find the just-right maternity gown. Schedule an appointment in advance and let the sales staff know that you’re pregnant, how far away your big day is, your due date, and whether you want to highlight or hide your bump. They’ll take care of it!

What Are The Best Maternity Wedding Dress Styles to Highlight the Bump? 

What Are the Best Maternity Wedding Dress Styles To Highlight the Bump?

If you’ve chosen to show off your bump with a dress that lets your pregnant belly shine through, while you don’t have to go the midriff route, you can pick a body-bearing style. Show off your baby bumping belly with these bridal gown ideas:

  • An empire waist. This high-waisted type of gown may seem like it could conceal a bump, but this pregnancy-friendly silhouette can actually highlight your abdomen area.
  • A tailored full length style. Forget about the glowing fabric. Instead of layer after layer of tulle and chiffon, choose a simple, sleek, tailored style. This option gives off old Hollywood glam vibes.
  • A v-neck dress. While the ‘v’ of a v-neck may not show off your bump, it does accentuate a pregnant mama cleavage.
  • Sequins and lace. The patterned texture of sequins and lace over the bodice can draw the eye to your belly area. 

What Are the Best Maternity Wedding Dresses That Don't Highlight the Bump? 

If you don’t want to highlight your bump, whether it’s because you prefer to hide it from your wedding guest list or you just don’t want it to become the main topic of conversation, or if you’d prefer not to wear a form-fitting bridal gown that screams, “Hey, I’m pregnant and in my third trimester,” explore these options:

  • Flutter sleeves and silky draping. The sleeves will draw the eye to your arms and the smooth curves the draping creates will help your bump to blend in.
  • A beaded-top empire waist dress. This maternity bridal dress is comfortable and chic at the same time. The beading (or sequins) will highlight your top half and not your waistline. 
  • An A-line bridal gown. This flattering shape creates a look that won’t exactly point out your pregnancy. Even though your guests will notice the bump in front, the silhouette will flatter your form.
  • Ruched top. A ruched bottom or full-length gown could fit tightly and highlight your belly - but a ruched top won’t. 
  • A pleated dress. A long pleated maxi dress can cover your belly in a strategically textured or patterned way. 

What Else Should You Look For in a Maternity Wedding Dress? 

What Else Should You Look for In A Maternity Wedding Dress?

The best maternity wedding dresses make the bride feel comfortable and special on her big day. The material, fit, shape, and accents should play up your personal style and have that magical ‘it’ aesthetic you need for your wedding. 

Along with form, you should also think about the function of a bridal dress. There are practical matters to consider when you’re pregnant. The more pregnant you are, the more uncomfortable you may feel. Don’t add to pregnancy-related discomfort with a too-tight dress, fussey fabrics, or too many layers of fabric. You also need an easy on and off design and a dress that won’t require four bridesmaids just to use the restroom. Avoid tight closures and tons of buttons!

Where Can You Find a Maternity Wedding Dress? 

You have buying options. Pamper yourself and spend a day shopping for the best maternity wedding dresses at a specialty boutique. You can also find these bridal gowns from larger bridal retailers and online. One caveat about online shopping—unlike in your pre-pregnancy days, it isn’t easy to ‘guesstimate’ what size will fit your changing body. It’s best to try on dresses in real life to find the right style, size, and shape.

Or if you have a limited budget, consider asking a family member if they’d be willing to share their wedding dress with you - you can then get it altered for your growing belly! 

Some of the top brands that cater to pregnant wedding-ready mamas include Tiffany Rose Maternity, Seraphine, and Asos

Are you looking for more info on maternity-wear? Learn how to dress for two here!

Erica Loop

About Erica

Based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Erica is a mom and former preschool teacher with degrees in… Read more

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