Maternity Wedding Dresses: The Pregnant Bride’s Guide To Finding Your Dream Dress

Don't think you can't find a beautiful wedding dress just because you're pregnant...

The Pregnant Bride’s Guide To Wedding Dress Shopping - Grazia

by Grazia |

What do Drew Barrymore, Heidi Klum, Jessica Alba, Lily Allen and Gwyneth Paltrow have in common? They all got married while they were pregnant and looked fabulous. Now, there’s no denying that shopping for a wedding dress while you’re pregnant is more challenging than it might otherwise be – after all, you’ve got no idea what size you’re going to need by the time the big day arrives – but if you choose your gown wisely you can celebrate your new shape and look chic in the process.

Before you start, it’s worth bearing in mind that it can take up to six months to order a wedding dress so you’ll need to start very early and your bump will have grown a lot by the time you actually receive it. Not all bridal shops carry a maternity line or have the facility to fit a bump, so make sure you call in advance and check this when making your appointments as there’s no point booking in with a store only to discover they’ve got nothing that would fit. You’ll also begin to get a feel for which boutiques have the most experience in this area – don’t be afraid to ask them if they’ve fitted for many pregnant brides in the past.

Lily Allen was pregnant when she married Sam Cooper in 2011
Lily Allen was pregnant when she married Sam Cooper in 2011

READ MORE: What To Wear To A Wedding If You’re Pregnant

If there aren’t a lot of bridal shops that stock maternity lines near you, it’s certainly worth looking online. Tiffany Rose stocks a wide range of maternity bridal gowns online and has a 14 day returns policy, so you can buy a couple and try them on at home if you prefer. ASOS has also launched a bridal collection, including some fantastic maternity options that won’t break the bank and can be delivered within four working days. If you have a last-minute dress dilemma it could be a wedding life-saver.

Once you’ve narrowed down your search and are ready to start shopping, here are a few tips to help you shop smarter…

Top Tips On Choosing Your Maternity Wedding Dress

Shop By Shape

Your body shape is changing all the time while you’re pregnant, so your usual style rules may not apply. When shopping for a wedding dress, silhouettes are very important – try to think about how that line will change as your bump grows. Empire lines (where the waistline cuts just under the bust) are especially flattering and comfortable, too. Lace or tulle overlays can add interest to a simple empire line style if you prefer your gown to be a bit more detailed.

Watch The Fabric

Now, more than ever, your body will thank you for choosing a forgiving fabric. When you’re pregnant it can be tempting to go for something slightly rigid that you feel will hold it all in, but in fact, softer materials like silk jersey, English netting and some varieties of lace are much more bump-friendly and have the necessary elasticity to allow a bit of give. After all, you want to enjoy your big day, not spend it feeling uncomfortable.

Keep It Minimal

While your usual style may be a bit more detailed, clean lines generally work best for pregnant brides as they don’t compete with your bump. That doesn’t mean the overall look has to be boring – there are lots of accessories that can be added to style it up – but there’s a lot to be said for keeping it chic and minimal.

READ MORE: 10 Of The Best Maternity Jeans

Rihanna maternity style
Rihanna attending a Fenty Beauty/Ulta event ©Getty

Think Outside The Maternity Box

While a designated maternity bridal style is a failsafe way to ensure a good fit, you don’t necessarily have to restrict your search to maternity only ranges, just think of Rihanna as your inspiration. A designer dress, in the right style, might still work for a burgeoning baby bump, provided you choose the right fabric and brief the sales assistants on what you’re after. The key to getting this right is to study the sizing carefully and go for the size up where you can. Also, make sure you schedule your fittings as close to the wedding as possible so that there’s time for alterations if needed.

Customise To Fit

When deciding how much to spend on a wedding gown, make sure you build in some slack for additional tailoring into your dress budget. You may need to add in a side seam, extra panel or corset back to make sure you’re comfortable – it’s amazing what a good seamstress can do – but you won’t know what you need until you have that fitting.

Now, it's time to get shopping. Here’s our pick of bridal gowns for pregnant brides.

SHOP: Best Maternity Wedding Dresses


The best maternity wedding dresses to shop 2022

Hope & Ivy Maternity Bridal embroidered plunge maxi dress in ivory
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Embellished with sequins and beads, this Hope & Ivy maternity wedding dress is luxe and loose, making a perfect fit for that bump whilst also giving a sophisticated look.

Taller Marmo Piccolo Ubud One-Shoulder Feather-Trimmed Dress
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CREDIT: MatchesFashion

Feather trim makes for a unique and stylish wedding dress. With extra room in a crepe material, this will fit loosely perfect for any pregnant mum-to-be.

Seraphine Ivory Lace & Silk Maternity Gown
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CREDIT: Seraphine

If Ivory is your colour, this silk chiffon maternity wedding dress is made for the most feminine bride. It drapes nicely over curves and baby bumps, with a silk sash at the waist.

Club L London White Maternity Long Sleeve V Neck Maxi Dress
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CREDIT: Club L London

Club L London is elegant and sleek, with long-sleeved balloon features and a v-cut that will make any mum-to-be feel sexy.

Tiffany Rose Verona Maternity Floral Lace Wedding Dress, Ivory
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CREDIT: John Lewis

Lace is a classic wedding dress feature, so if you want it to be a big element of the dress for you, this Tiffany Rose option is sweet and subtle. Finished with lace all over, a scoop neck and lace overlay sleeves.

Self-Portrait Asymmetric Gathered-Jersey Dress
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CREDIT: MatchesFashion

Maternity wedding dresses don't have to be simple. This asymmetrical bridal dress is unique and the gathers will fit smoothly over any bump no matter the trimester.

boohoo Maternity Wrap Pleated Skater Midi Dress, £30.40
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CREDIT: Debenhams

If you'd rather dangle your hem with a midi dress, this option from Boohoo at Debenhams may be a good fit. It has a wrap pleated top with a hanging skirt to be fresh and flowy.

Snowdrop London Tulle maternity wedding dress
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You'll look like a princess in this maternity wedding dress with tulle features. Silky to touch and decorated with an applique top, it can be custom made to your fit.

Gu00f6r & Sin White Maternity Dress
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CREDIT: Modanisa

Hotter weddings can be hard to find bridal dresses for, but a wrap dress with simple features will make you stand out. With bow detail, your little one will be comfortably showing.

Seraphine Long Sleeve Lace Maternity Wedding Dress
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CREDIT: Seraphine

Want a long-sleeve option? This lace dress from Seraphine has stretch floral lace with a peplum feature under your bump to really accentuate a maternity figure.

Halston Heritage Draped Satin Wrap Gown
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You don't have to have a dress that's specifically maternity to wear a wedding dress. This Halston Heritage draped wedding dress leaves enough room to move smoothly.

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