Stigmas around pregnant brides somehow continue to persist, despite the myriad of ways people choose to start families today. Women often bear the brunt of that negative energy since they carry the babies, being shamed or made to feel like they cannot enjoy their celebrations as much as brides who don't have children. But these 20 photos of pregnant brides show that bearing a bump on your big day can make you more beautiful than ever, redefining the concept of "something new."
Prejudices against pregnant brides have their roots in outdated beliefs about women and virginity that promote the image of the "pure" bride who hasn't had sex before she gets married, as an article on Blood and Milk detailed. There's no right or wrong time to be intimate with a partner, and both brides who have had sex before they get married and those who haven't are entitled to celebrate their weddings with equal joy. Plus, it's no one's business what you and your partner do in the comfort of your bedroom. But because a baby bump acts as an indicator to the public that you have clearly been intimate with a partner before your wedding night, pregnant brides become subject to judgement from others, leading to stereotypes about "shotgun weddings" that can make couples feel like their weddings aren't as valid as other people's, as USA Today reports.
Changing the narrative around pregnant brides starts with representation, which is why these photos are so important. The photographers who took them went out of their way to highlight how pregnancy can add to a wedding experience rather than detract from it, emphasizing the beauty of the bump. These women have chosen to spend their lives with their partners, and the people they are growing inside of their bodies is just further proof of the commitment they're making.
The quiet elegance of this bride is overwhelming, and her pregnancy is a key part of her beauty. She stands on a beach in her wedding dress, looking off to the left with a hand pressed to her bump. The ambiance of the sunset behind her saturates the shot, giving everything a romantic glow. Photo by Tiffany Watts.
2. Three Generations
Le Image Inc. snapped this photo of the mother of the bride helping a mother in the making. The bride stands smiling at the camera with her pregnant belly in full display with her mom behind her, helping her with a necklace. The connection between mother, daughter, and life on the way shines through.
Bride and groom are all smiles in this photo taken by Bronwyn Tod. The groom has his arms wrapped around his wife from behind, and they both rest their hands on her pregnant belly. She has her mouth open and head thrown back as she laughs, and the groom grins over her shoulder. Their joy is palpable.
4. Show Time
Baby takes center stage in this shot by Ralf of Eppel Fotografie. The bride-to-be is stepping into her gown with the support of two others, and Ralf captured her before her bump was covered by the dress. The life growing inside her just makes this bride more beautiful.
5. Things Are Lookin' Up
The Cannon Wedding Photography team captured this joyful bride as she holds her baby bump. She seems to be mid-twirl, her dress billowing around her as she looks up and rests her hands on her stomach. You can see her excitement for the day and everything else coming her way.
6. Baby Love
Dr. Kristian H and Eats N Beets's wedding joy almost seems to come from their baby in this shot by Erika Layne Photography. The groom wraps his arms around his bride from behind, and they both have their hands on her bump. Kristian's head is turned to the side in a laugh, and her eyes close as she luxuriates in the moment. It's marital bliss.
7. You May Kiss The Bride
Jennifer Widmann of Weddings by Jane caught this couple mid-embrace, and their body language brings their baby into every gesture. The bride leans into her partner with her face pressed against his, and they both have a hand on her belly. His eyes are closed as they hug, a soft smile on his face.
8. Power Stance
This shot by Caribephoto is refreshing in its conscious effort to put focus on a bride's pregnant belly rather than attempting to downplay it. The bride stands on a beach, her dress and floor length veil billowing behind her in the ocean breeze. Her legs are exposed, and her hands rest on her stomach, calling attention to the person she's growing. The bride's face turns slightly upward, radiating grace.
9. Facing The Future
Alexandra Cohen captured the quiet joy of a family in the making in this photo. Bride and groom stand together, looking off camera, and mom's bulging bump presses against her partner. Her subtle smile is effortless in its happiness.
10. Keeping You Close
You can feel the love in this shot by Brâulio Bacc. A bride and one of her wedding guests share an embrace, smiling as they presses their faces to one another's. The bride presses her hands to her stomach, calling attention to her growing baby.
In the words of Marie Kondo, this photo by Lilith In Bloom Photography sparks joy. A bride and groom share a nuptial smooch while surrounded by the glow of sparklers, with the bride's baby bump being framed by the firework display. They're in a literal bubble of happiness.
12. Almost Ready
This bride takes one last peek at her pregnant belly before she zips into her wedding gown. She stands with her dress around her hips, grinning as she looks at her stomach and dress, with natural sunlight giving the whole image a hopeful glow. Captured by Eilish Burt Photography.
13. The Scenic Route
This shot taken by the Sojourner Society stands out because the couple's pregnancy is as part of their wedding day as any other aspect. The bride and groom pose in front of the NBC Rainbow Room Studio, holding hands. They stand slightly apart from one another, showing the bride's baby bump off in all its beauty. Their eye contact and the groom's smile highlight the love these two share.
14. Sister Approved
Elope Asheville snapped this sweet shot of a bride and her growing family, where we see a big sister press close to her soon-to-be sibling. Mom is in her wedding gown, and she looks down at her daughter with one hand resting on her pregnant belly. Her elder child has her arms wrapped around mom's stomach with a big grin.
15. Walkin' The Walk
Who knew pregnancy could look so easy? Courtesy of destination wedding photographer Motiejus, this picture shows a bride and groom strolling together. The bride's dress shows off her growing belly, and she looks down and smiles as the duo walk. The groom gazes at her.
16. Just You And Me
A bride shows off her bump in this picture taken by Eulalie Varenne. She stands in a field, holding a bouquet to her belly. The flowers match those that make up her flower crown, and she looks at her pregnancy with a soft smile.
17. A Quick Dip
These newlyweds rejoice in their marriage and their baby on their way in this photo by Dustin Brady. The groom wraps his arms around his bride, with one hand on her back and the other resting on her belly. He dips her as he kisses her, and she rests her hand on his cheek. You can't miss their love for the bump.
18. Waiting On You
The bride is usually the star of the day, but these little wedding guests are more excited for her built-in plus one. The bride has stepped out of a car, and a group of children have gathered around her. They all reach their hands towards her baby bump, feeling the life growing in her as she grins. Romina Key took the shot.
19. On Our Way
Dustin Ling had his camera trained on this bride and groom in this photo, but they've only got eyes for their growing family. The group has his hands on his wife's baby bump, and he's kissing her forehead. She leans into his lips and holds his wrists gently, taking in the moment.
20. A Little Help
Subtle elegance gleams in this picture, taken by Izabel Rachwal Photography. A bride stands in front of a window, cradling her pregnant belly. A woman fluffs the lace train of her dress behind her, the glow of the sun shining on them both. The bride looks down, calling more attention to her bump.