As a first time momma-to-be, I'm trying to experience the plethora of pregnant possibilities, and this week, I had the pleasure of standing in one of my best friend's wedding. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine I'd find myself being a knocked up bridesmaid. In fact, I thought my bridesmaid days were over. As an ordained pastor, I assumed all my wedding responsibilities from here on out would begin with pre-marital counseling and end with, “I now pronounce you husband and wife.”
But when Candace, a former roomie and a member of a tight knit group of seminary (grad school for clergy and other church folks) friends of mine, called asking me to serve as a bridesmaid, how could I refuse? What the bride wants, the bride gets.
Over the course of the wedding festivities, I found that just as a bride is treated like royalty, so too, a pregnant bridesmaid is treated like the Queen Mother-to-be. This was very much a “do-it-yourself” wedding, but anytime I tried to do-it-myself, fellow maidens and men-folk would insist that I take it easy. Frankly, I'm surprised they let me carry my own flowers down the aisle! It was really sweet how loving and supportive my besties were to both me and bride. So much so, that I hope to be pregnant at all subsequent weddings I'm asked to bridesmaid for.
For those of you knocked up ladies asked to bridesmaid whilst incubating your baby in utero, here are some recommendations for having a blissful wedding experience:
1. Don't buy a maternity dress with spaghetti straps. Whoever thought that dental floss would hold up a pregnant set of breasts through a long day of photos, a ceremony, dinner, toasts, and several twirls around the dance floor has obviously never been pregnant! About halfway through the reception, one of the straps on my dress popped, but luckily there was a back-up strap that saved me from blogging about that time I threw caution to the wind and flashed the newlyweds during a rousing rendition of I've Got Friends in Low Places, whilst serving as their bridesmaid. I'm already self-conscious about my growing bosoms—no need to broadcast their growth to the entire world. I'd hate for tales of my dress to take center stage over the lavish descriptions of the bride's. Sure, it would have been a great story for the baby book, but I'll save the flashing for another day.
2. Speaking of your dress, start shopping early. Hopefully you'll have an open-minded bride like mine, who will let you pick out your own smock in some coordinating color. The color of choice this weekend was purple, so I hopped online and browsed for something eggplanty in my price range: cheap. This is definitely something I'll only wear once, so I wasn't interested in dropping a whole lot of dough on my dress. In time, I found something really cute that the bride approved of. I ordered it in two sizes, maternity teepee and maternity tent, and ultimately decided to keep the larger of the two (maternity tent), just in case my belly quadrupled before its wedding debut.
3. Take a disco nap on the wedding day. Sure, the second trimester has blessed me with a welcomed boost of energy after those draining first 12 weeks of pregnancy, but I'm still not operating at 100%. Even after a nice little natal nap, I still slipped away to a quiet place for some downtime during the reception. Sneak a few minutes here and there when you can get off your feet and rest your bod. Take care of yourself, and you'll be the adoring full-bellied bridesmaid the blushing bride imagined you to be.
4. Comfortable footwear is a must. I switched from my matchy-matchy wedding heels to sandals before I even left the ceremony site, and I'm so glad I did. I was able to gleefully dance for most of the reception. Swaying in time to the music is actually a little more accurate a description. I love to dance, so the combo of my pre-game nap and comfy footwear allowed me to indulge as the body and baby would allow.
5. Have your cake and eat it, too. It's safe to assume that you will be rewarded with some sort of delicious baked good at the reception for all your bridal party duties. Though you have to bypass the open bar this go round, I recommend sampling all the dessert finery of the festivities. You've forced your belly into a chiffon tent, waddled down the aisle in uncomfortable heels, and smiled for approximately 40 gabillion photos—you deserve Cake! Let the bridesmaids not sporting a maternity style do any lingering grunt work while you shovel another bite of cake into your mouth. Indulge like the Queen Mother-to-be that you are.
Whether you're planning your wedding, standing in one, or attending some nuptials this pregnancy, I hope you have as fantastic a time as I did last weekend. There's a lot of love being knit together in your womb right now, and what better way to celebrate that love than with a happy couple on their wedding day?