Once upon a time, women who became pregnant before marriage had to rush into a first-trimester wedding with a loose hide-everything gown, then do a little fudging about dates when the baby arrived. Happily, times have changed, and now expectant brides can proudly show off their baby bumps in stunning wedding gowns that make them feel like princesses and moms. (As well they deserve to feel.)
When you're planning a wedding before the baby arrives, you can either opt for a loose gown that subtly hides your figure (which works well if you're in the early stages), or go with a closer-fitting style that tells the world that there's an extra member in the wedding party. Celebs such as Drew Barrymore, Alicia Keys, Jessica Alba, Bethenny Frankel, and Julianna Margulies are among the latter category, choosing dresses that displayed their growing bellies to full advantage. If that's the approach that appeals to you, look for gowns made with jersey, Spandex, or stretch lace, which will conform to your curves. Details like belts and sashes call attention to your middle. Mermaid-style gowns or short cuts tend to be more form-fitting than ball gowns, and some "maternity shoot" dresses designed for formal pregnancy photos can also double as wedding gowns if they're not too see-through.
These are just a few of the gorgeous options out there for women celebrating both their love and their growing families. Best of all, they're all budget-friendly (many are under $200, and the least expensive is $32!), which leaves more in your bank account for all those diapers and onesies.
1. Long On Glamour
2. Simple And Stunning
This simple style is made of a rayon/Spandex blend that calls attention to your belly area, and it's double-lined under the bust for coverage. Reviews on the site rave about its comfort and fit. It's also available in 13 other colors, and at this price, you could pick up a second dress in a different shade for your baby shower.
3. Country Style
For a wedding in a rustic setting (think: refurbished barn or mountain cabin), you can't get more perfect than this flowy romantic number. Featuring an A-line silhouette and a court train, it's available in sizes up to 26W and in four colors: white, ivory, champagne, and blushing pink.
4. Classic Elegance
5. Mermaid In Lace
6. Backless And V-Neck
7. Short And Sweet
8. Crystal Detail
9. Vision In Lace
10. Strapless Glam
Just about any wedding dress style can be adapted to a maternity gown; it just takes a little tweaking and some extra fabric. A strapless dress looks just as stunning when you're expecting; in fact, it helps accentuate your growing belly even more.
11. Beach Destination Ready
12. Bargain Bridal
Don't rule out the so-called "photo shoot" dresses — the long gowns designed for those gorgeous outdoor photography sessions. They're designed to show off your growing body to full effect, and they're often much less expensive than a salon gown. However, they're usually not lined, so you'll need to wear a slip and/or a strapless bra underneath.
13. Sheer Romance
14. Sophisticated Lace
15. Plus-Size Dazzle
The PinkBlush maternity line has some fantastic options for plus-sized brides, including this one with a fabulous lace overlay and semi-sheer sleeves that's available in sizes up to 3X. As one buyer raved on the brand's page, "I've never been so obsessed with a dress in my life!"