Outfitting your bridesmaids for the big day could be a little daunting, especially if one of your girls is pregnant. Don't stress! You are not the first bride to have a pregnant bridesmaid in the wedding party and you definitely will not be the last. Whether the dresses have already been ordered or you’re still deciding on what your squad will wear, your mom-to-be ‘maid has lots of choices for her perfect maternity bridesmaid dress. We've covered all possible scenarios, along with expert tips and a few recommendations, to make the process of helping your expecting bestie find the right frock and maintain the cohesive look of your bridal pack as smooth as can be.
Talk to your bridesmaids about dresses that will suit all of them. Empire-waist dresses and A-line silhouettes with a full skirt flatter almost every figure and are especially accommodating for a growing baby bump. Also consider having your girls wear coordinating, instead of matching, dresses. “This is one reason why the mix-and-match ‘maid trend is so popular,” says Caroline Dilsheimer, former BHLDN styling manager. “If you allow each bridesmaid to wear a different dress in the same color or palette, the mom-to-be can select one in a silhouette and fabric that lets her feel and look her best.”
Meet the Expert
• Caroline Dilsheimer is the former styling manager for BHLDN.
• Chelsea Turner is the retail sales and brand experience manager for Jenny Yoo.
Some designers, such as Hayley Paige and Jenny Yoo, offer their popular dress styles in a maternity version, making it easier for all of the bridesmaids to match. “Typically, a bridesmaid should go for a maternity dress if she’ll be five months pregnant or more by the wedding date,” says Chelsea Turner of Jenny Yoo retail sales. For a smaller bump, she can choose any style that allows room for her belly and hips and fits well around her bust. And just because she’s pregnant doesn’t mean she’s limited to certain styles.
Check out some of our favorite maternity-friendly bridesmaids dresses, below, for all the bump-flattering inspo you need.
For a Black-Tie Wedding: Tiffany Rose Galaxy One-Shoulder Maternity Gown
Gear up for a wedding under the stars with this sparkly one-shoulder gown that calls to mind a fancy gala. Pleated details and a column skirt allow you to comfortably show off your bump.
Most Regal: Amsale Autumn Maternity Dress
Pull out all the stops with this royalty-approved maternity dress that deserves its own moment in the spotlight. With a streamlined off-the-shoulder silhouette and artful pleats, this gorgeous gown is roomy enough for a growing bump.
Most Versatile: Jenny Yoo Delphine Convertible Dress
Calling all blushing bridesmaids! This adorable convertible dress can be styled a multitude of ways thanks to interchangeable strap and neckline options. Whether you go strapless or opt for a one-shoulder look, the ethereal chiffon material will have you channeling your inner garden nymph.
Most Romantic: Show Me Your Mumu Jess Ruffle Midi Dress
Flouncy ruffles and a high-low hemline come together to create a look of heightened drama. We recommend this playful emerald chiffon midi for the expectant mama looking to hit the dancefloor in style. Bonus: The mock wrap dress silhouette featuring an elastic waist will keep wardrobe malfunctions at bay.
Best Halter Neck: Jenny Packham Beaded Shirred Halter Dress with Sash
For the trendsetting bridesmaid, look no further. This alluring silverstone gown includes a beaded halter neckline that would look dazzling with chandelier earrings. A matching sash will allow you to accentuate the smallest part of your waist.
For a Seaside Ceremony: Jenny Yoo Cerise Convertible Print
Whether for an enchanting estate ceremony or Montauk nuptials, this blue and white floral print is utterly dreamy. If you're looking to show off your growing bump, then the empire waist on this floor-length strapless gown will make you feel like a queen.
Most Girly: PinkBlush Lavender Chiffon Long Sleeve Maternity Maxi Dress
For the blushing bridesmaid in search of a flowy maxi dress with feminine appeal. We just love the mauve pink hue, especially for a secret garden wedding. A cinched elastic waist and tie-front detail allow you to dress your bump in style.
Best Maxi: Azazie Annabelle Maternity V-Neck Dress
Channel the look of a Grecian goddess with this effortless floor-length gown that's made from a soft and stretchy mesh material. Between the vibrant blue hue, empire waist, and side slit, this pleated stunner is ready for a destination wedding. Pssst: It even has pockets!
For the Glamorous Bridesmaid: Maya Maternity Bridesmaid Off-Shoulder Maxi Tulle Dress
Bring on the sparkle with this enchanting midnight blue maternity dress featuring a sultry off-the-shoulder neckline. Hand-embellished shimmering sequins and layers of tulle will have you making a beeline for the dancefloor in no time.
Unsure about the type of dress to get? Here are some commonly asked questions when shopping for the perfect maternity bridesmaids dress.
• What type of dress material should I be looking for? Dresses made of stretch cotton, lace, jersey, and stretch crepe are more breathable and make for comfortable maternity bridesmaid dress options, while styles with elastic, adjustable, or no waist require little or no adjustments. Dresses that incorporate a stretch lining can also make for relaxed options that don't require heavy alterations.
• How do I estimate the correct dress size? When shopping for her maternity bridesmaid dress, your pregnant bridesmaid can consult with a bridal stylist about picking her right size. Depending on the dress, she’ll want to go at least two sizes bigger than her current dress size.
• What should I do if the bridesmaid dress has already been ordered? Your bridesmaid should contact the dress designer or boutique right away. Some shops will allow exchanges for another dress style or size. “If the dresses were ordered far enough in advance, there may be enough time to order a new dress or the designer can check to see if there is a larger size in their inventory,” Turner says. Your bridesmaid should also ask if the designer offers the option to purchase additional fabric. Usually, you can order an extra yard or two in the same fabric of the dress for alterations.
• What happens if I need to alter the dress? Your bridesmaid should have the dress tailored by the boutique’s in-house seamstress or go to one recommended by the designer, as they’ll be familiar with the designer’s dresses and know creative fixes to make the dress fit. For example, the seamstress can add a shawl across the back and shoulders if the dress can't be zipped up or cut a too-long hem to add panels to the side seams of the bodice. Other adjustments like adding tulle straps to a strapless dress can help provide support for an expanding bust.