One of my Southern Brides approached me anonymously the other day. She’s just found out she’s pregnant and planning a wedding – her wedding is all booked and deposits all paid, 16 months away.
This will make the baby around 5-6 months old at the wedding, and she’s asking whether it’s possible to have a baby, organise a wedding and get back into shape (oh, and pay for everything!).
I didn’t have my wee boy until after I got married, so I haven’t been in this situation, but I knew a couple of the ladies from the Southern Bride Community had, so I asked for their help. Here’s a quick video I made of the main points, but check out the expanded notes below if you’re interested in more:
Things to consider if getting married with an infant in tow:
Here’s the tips and advice they shared if this expectant mother goes ahead with her wedding:
- Hire a nanny for the day to help. As well as keeping bubs close, it frees up friends and family to see the baby, but allows them the flexibility to share your special day without baby duty (changing nappies, burping and rocking the pram!).
- An anonymous bride said she’d wished that she’d incorporated baby into the wedding a bit more. Her baby was very spilly so it was difficult for her to hold baby in her dress though.
- Some advice on the baby weight topic from another bride: “I know a wedding is about love and the two of you starting your life together, but also most brides have a vision of what they want to look like. If you will be happy on your day no matter what weight – then go for it. If you see yourself a specific size (knowing losing weight is extremely tough and time consuming sometimes for some people) hold off and give yourself a chance to get in shape safely and enjoy your little one without the pressure.”
What to wear to your wedding when you’re breastfeeding?
A major point that came up in most pieces of advice was the dress. You won’t know for sure how breastfeeding will go, till after the baby arrives (if you are planning to try, that is – no judgement here if you want to bottle feed). But it does leave a little uncertainty about what you’re going to wear and how you’ll manage on your day.
- Natasha, Southern Bride Verified Dressmaker from Beau Couture said: “I have previously worked with new mothers quite often breastfeeding on their wedding day. Working with your dress designer you can discuss all issues and concerns surrounding the day and make sure your dress is designed to meet your needs as well as look fabulous. In my experience designing a beautiful dress with functional details that allow for breastfeeding and comfort is all part of ‘getting to know your bride’. After all, good design meets the needs and desires of the customer. I found the challenge is often the ever-changing body shape from birth and continuing on through actively breastfeeding. Working closely together and meeting for dress fittings, we can observe changes and plan, design and enjoy the journey to making a beautiful (and practical!) wedding dress.
The beautiful bride pictured above is wearing a custom designed wedding dress from Beau Couture. It was designed with a low-v at the back of her dress, and a side zip enabled her to slip the front of the dress over her shoulder to breastfeed during the day. Structurally designed into the dress was bust-shaping and comfort so that a bra did not need to be worn. It was important to her to have a dreamy, floaty romantic lace and chiffon dress that was not compromised by breastfeeding. More pictures & information here.
- Holly shared that: “the hardest thing was finding a wedding dress” – to get it on time, it had to be ordered 4 months out, so she had to try dresses on while bubs was only 6 weeks old.
- If you’re breastfeeding (and you may not know for sure till baby arrives how that’ll go) then that can make things a little tricky dress-wise! If possible, express milk in the lead up to the day, and try alternating a breast feed with a bottle feed so you’re not trying to get in and out of your dress every 3 hours (i.e. if on a 3 hour routine, if you breast feed at 2.00pm before you head to the ceremony, then bottle feed (formula or expressed milk) about 5.00pm, the next breastfeed would be at 8.00pm, so you’ve made it most the wedding without having to shrug out of your dress).
- Philippa’s youngest was 6 months old at her wedding. She had an empire-waist wedding dress and she was able to breast feed easily in it – so it is possible!
The other side: postponing a wedding till baby is a bit older
An anonymous bride contributed shared that her three month old baby was really spilly, so she wasn’t able to hold her while wearing her wedding dress. She also said “If I could do it again, I would have postponed. But everyone is different, and every baby is different. I thought I would have time to continue the wedding planning once having her, and that was out of the window. So in short: I would advise organising all of the wedding prior to delivery date, and try to think of how to include this baby. Small and intimate wedding may be less stressful too.”
My initial reaction was to postpone it as well – I had a colicky baby who wouldn’t sleep more than 45 minutes at a time. The sleep deprivation, along with being a perfectionist and control freak, led me to develop post-natal depression. Thinking back to that time, the pressure and stress would’ve been hard to manage on top of adjusting to life as a new mum. I don’t say this because I want you to put the wedding off or scare you off becoming a Mumma – but I know how hard it was and how tough I was on myself, and I hate thinking you would have to go through something similar.
Should you postpone your wedding just because you’re having a baby?
So much of what you do will depend on your baby’s temperament, and your adjustment to Motherhood, and you just don’t know how anything is going to go till baby arrives!
If you forge ahead, get as much planning done as possible while you’re pregnant, but leave sending out invites till the last minute (much easier to postpone the wedding if your guests don’t have an invite!).
If you decided to hold off a wedding because you’d have a young baby there, or you went ahead regardless – do you have any advice to add? Please leave a comment and share your experience, we’d love to hear more perspectives.