What Do I Say to My Pregnant Bridesmaid Who Wants to Bow Out?

Bridesmaids, Etiquette
Purple Satin Vera Wang Bridesmaid Dresses

Photo: Olivia Leigh Photographie

Being a bridesmaid is both an honor and a responsibility! But when other life factors—like a pregnancy—enter the picture, being in the bridal party can also feel like a burden. Our wedding etiquette experts are here to answer your bridal party questions in our daily post.

One of my bridesmaids is pregnant and wants to bow out. What should I do?

First you need to find out why your friend wants to bail. If she feels bad because she won't be able to dress the part, you've got options: If she'll be only a few months pregnant by your wedding date, a seamstress might be able to let out a bridesmaid's dress enough to fit her; if your maid will be very pregnant on your wedding day, give her a swatch of the other maids' dresses and ask her to look for a maternity dress (or have one made) in the same color; or have all of your maids wear the same color, but different patterns. If your friend's afraid her stomach will take up too much space in your wedding pictures, fear not. Your photographer can arrange people around her so her belly's not front and center. If your friend still feels she just isn't up to the task, tell her it's okay to back out and that you won't take it personally. Dub her Honorary Bridesmaid and get her a corsage to seal the deal.

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