Sophie Devonshire – Founder of online parenting boutique Babes with Babies and expert in maternity and post natal fashion.
The fact is that a pregnant guest at a wedding is incredibly visible, this is in a nice way a lot of the time. It’s a happy occasion and people like the happiness associated with pregnancy and will want to chat to you and be interested in your bump. It does mean that if you choose the wrong outfit you’ll feel more uncomfortable than usual, and, of course, there are cameras all around at weddings. So it’s great to find something that makes you feel good.
Choose a well-cut dress made of comfortable fabric. These days high quality jerseys and modal mixes are an absolute winner for pregnant women. Luxurious material will hang beautifully, not crease, not show any sweaty patches (sorry, but it’s an issue when you’re pregnant and warmer than normal) and be gloriously comfy. Scratchy, creasy material and dresses or tops/skirts that dig in will distract you from enjoying yourself.
Try to avoid zips and buttons and badly-fitting dresses. Sometimes women see it as almost a point of principle to not wear maternity clothes, but there’s a reason why they work well – they are designed for your changing shape, to flatter it and to ensure you feel comfortable. Going one size up or breathing in to zip yourself into pre-pregnancy clothes at weddings can make you feel either like a tent or a squeezed sausage. During the day you’ll eat nice food, stand on your feet a lot and maybe even do a bit of dancing and get a bit hot… you’ll be hotter and have expanded slightly by the end of the day. So a dress made of ‘magic material’ which moves with you is a better bet than zips, buttons or an oddly-sized dress.
Avoid fussy prints and fussy detail. A very simple, well cut dress without lots of fussy bits will be more comfortable and will look more elegant. It’s definitely not the time to try wild prints or complicated fashion detail. Make your style statements with your accessories (you can justify buying great ones as they’ll last beyond your pregnancy) and instead choose a versatile dress that you can wear to other occasions or when you’re breastfeeding. Remember your bump is a key ‘fashion feature’ that everyone will notice, a beautifully cut, elegant dress will show that off nicely without you looking too fussy. To avoid getting confused with the marquee, we recommend you try and find something sleek that shows off the bump without trying to hide it away in lots of fabric.
A woman’s right to shoes. Don’t assume that because you’re pregnant you have to miss out on the foxy footwear that’s often such a fun part of a wedding guest outfit. Yes, of course skyscraper stilettos aren’t sensible (but then, to be fair, they normally aren’t at summer weddings as you get caught in the grass/tumble over the best man). Wedges these days can be very stylish and add a touch of sartorial flair to an otherwise simple outfit. Bright colours can look great on a wedge or metallic wedge sandals are fantastic (L K Bennett and Russell and Bromley both do plenty of options). If you’d prefer flats there are of course endless pretty ballet pumps still around to choose from, or you could wear cute metallic brogues as an alternative. Whatever you choose, remember your feet will swell a little during the day so do try to aim for comfort (or slip an alternative in your bag for the evening when everyone else will have drunk so much champagne they won’t notice what you’re wearing….)