Morning, beautiful brides-to-be! Today we’re super stoked to share a post that we hope will inspire, comfort, reassure and empower all the pregnant brides and baby mama brides out there who’re set to wed soon, or are planning their big day for the near future. We all know that planning a wedding is no mean feat. A lot of time, thought and energy goes into that one special day, but what if you’ve got a few tiny people in tow? Quite simply, how do you make it happen?! How do you find the time? How do you involve your babes in the wedding? Are there other things you need to consider? I mean, the dress?!
Well, I’m not by any means saying we have all the answers, but we have asked some of our favourite mama brides their thoughts, and gained some absolute pearlers (pearlers, I tell you!) of wisdom! In fact, can we just take a moment here to say a huge ‘Thank You!’ to our mama brides, your wisdom and experience has been just incredible and is what this post is built upon! Thank you!
So whether your 6 months pregnant, or have a brood of 3 under 5 (I’m taking my hat off to you, just so you know!) hopefully you’ll find some helpful ideas and considerations, as well as a tonne of gorgeous imagery to get you super excited to be a mama bride!
Location Location Location
Let’s kick things off with your venue, seen as it’s something you get set pretty early on in the planning! Location is key with little ones in tow, and whether they’re your little ones, or you’re hosting a fair few mini guests, the key is space.
Space to run, space to let out energy, to play, to be loud, to be away from the adult festivities for a time, and all while being perfectly safe.
‘We married right next to the beach, and the girls loved all the beach fun! All kids love the beach, surely?!’ – Brodie, mama of 2 (+ bump!), married 1 year
‘There was lots of room outside the church and the reception venue for children to run around safely and let off some steam…’ – Mel, mama of 2, married 8 years
The Dress Debate
This one’s a tricky one for sure! Because almost certainly you have at least two dresses in mind: the one you want to wear, and the one you think will prove the most practical/durable/sensible on the day, especially if you have little ones who want to be held.
From what we’ve gleaned from the wisdom of our mama brides there are several things to consider:
- Shape – I remember talking to one of our mama brides, Brodie, about a dreamy Houghton gown, the Galina. With it’s billowing fabric, flowing sleeves, and… plunging neckline! She loved it, but that neckline was not gonna work with two babes under 5, one of which wasn’t quite walking at the time. Instead, she opted for a have a custom gown created, very much inspired by the shape and style of the Galina, but with an alternative neckline that worked perfectly for her
- Movement – with that in mind then, when trying on dresses get moving in them! Can you bend down, squat, lean over and reach up while still feeling comfortable? Basically, do a mini workout in each gown you try on!
- Fabric – if having your dress in relatively good condition post-wedding is of importance to you, be aware of the durability of your gown’s fabric. Your boutique/designer will be able to advise as to stain removal on certain fabrics and the ‘snag factor’ of more sheer materials too
- Confidence – taking time to find a gown, and the headspace, to be confident and feel happy and whole with your body in your gown is of huge importance. We love Amelia’s retrospective comment below…
- F*** it – while all of the above are of great importance to make sure you’re as comfortable as possible on the day, there’s definitely an element of bullet-biting involved. It’s one day, and you wanna feel your absolute best, so do whatever you need to do, mama!
‘Definitely a dress that won’t be revealing if the kids are pulling on it!’ – Brodie, mama of 2 (+ bump!), married 1 year
‘I’m happy that it reflected where I was in my life’ – Amelia, mama of 2, married 5 years
‘Have a good long think about whether you want to be feeding on the day. Due to unforeseen circumstances, I fed our little one a lot more than was anticipated, so I was in and out of my dress all day! If you think there’s any chance you may need to feed your babe, really carefully consider that when choosing your dress’ – Ruth, mama of 1 (+ bump!), married 4 years
Mama’s Little Helpers
The Help. Invaluable and absolutely necessary. Whether it’s friends, family or hired help, and whether you schedule them to the minute, or just play it cool with them on standby if needed. Having organised/agreed help is top of the priority list, even if only for your peace of mind.
Don’t be scared to ask family, in fact if anything, you’ll probably find they’re gagging to help with the little ones! And don’t be afraid to ask for help with the little practical things (like moving a travel cot) so that you can continue to enjoy your day and your babe.
‘Family were a godsend on the day! We did also book a babysitter through the hotel who sat the girls once my mum and dad had put them to bed’ – Brodie, mama of 2 (+ bump!), married 1 year
‘Family members are all fighting to look after Wilbur during the day!’ – Emma, mama of 1, getting married Sept 9th
‘It’s good to have that one-to-one time with your new husband, without any distractions, so you can enjoy each other’ – Jo, mama of 2, married 9 years
‘For the wedding breakfast Isla sat in a high chair between two of her uncles, facing us on the top table. She loved it, everyone obviously made a fuss of her! The ushers then carried her travel cot in so she could snooze through the speeches, and she slept right the way through! We did also have people on standby, who we’d asked if they would mind taking her for a walk if needed, but luckily it wasn’t’ – Amelia, mama of 2, married 5 years
Get them Involved
Oh yes. This is the super fun bit: figuring out how you’re gonna involve the kids in this glorious celebration! Will your little ones be part of your bridal party? What will they wear? (Oh the endless, infinitely cute possibilities are almost too much to bear!)
There are so many incredible ideas and ways to involved your kids, but be careful to listen to your mama + papa hearts. What do you want to see them involved with, and what do you think will work best for your babes? There’s no set recipe for success, and only you truly know your kids, so don’t feel pressure to include them in too much if you think it’ll overwhelm them.
The aim of the game is always for everyone to have a good time!
‘I think children should have a big part in their parents wedding, absolutely! It’s such a special occasion for them to see the beauty of their parents love for each other, especially older kids who would perhaps understand it more’ – Jo, mama of 2, married 9 years
‘Isla came wedding dress shopping with me, I even found my dress whilst she was in my tummy so I guess she tried it on with me! It was our first secret, my wedding dress. On the day, Isla was carried down the aisle by my mum before my bridesmaids. It was really lovely, and sent Matthew’s emotions into overdrive! Obviously her dress was a secret from him too!’ – Amelia, mama of 2, married 5 years
‘One of the nicest things is just knowing my little man will be there…’ – Emma, mama of 1, getting married Sept 9th
In terms of photos, the greatest wisdom we heard from our mama brides was simply to work with your kids; if it ain’t happening, don’t fight it!
Maybe you set aside a specific time slot to be photographed with your babe. You know them best, is there a time in their schedule when they’re most chipper? While feeding? Post nap? Or that lovely placid, sleepy moment just before bed…
Or maybe you could incorporate something you know your babes love into the day? Do they love animals, or bubbles or a specific song? Sneak the photos into the happiest moments of their day and you’ll be sure to get some beautiful candid captures!
And on the day, what if you just don’t have time, or babe just won’t play ball? Don’t fret it, and don’t force it. a) There’s almost always at least one good shot! and b) there’s always the opportunity to don your wedding gear another day, and book a post-wedding shoot with the fam.
‘The photographer had permission to candidly snap all the children playing at the wedding. It gave us some lovely natural photos’ – Mel, mama of 2, married 8 years
‘We’ve loved planning photo ideas… Including a nice breastfeeding shot in my wedding dress’ – Emma, mama of 1, getting married Sept 9th
‘We made sure we had a good few photos with Ollie, but the focus was always on him feeling as relaxed as possible, and not overwhelmed. That was our priority’ – Jo, mama of 2, married 9 years
No literally, take the time you would normally allot yourself to complete a task, and then double it!
One of the key bits of advice from our mama brides was to allow yourself time, and plenty of it! Carve out extra time in your planning schedule, carve out time during your wedding day schedule to simply allow for things taking a little longer with bub, and be sure to allow time for you and your new life partner to be alone, to just soak it all up.
It’s true what they say, Time is precious; and I feel like mamas know that more than most!
‘And some days you think “Right, I’m going to do x, y and z today”, but the reality is you don’t know how baby will be that day and how much extra attention they will need! For instance, I planned to finish my speech today… Reality? I wrote about 50 extra words! But I’ve given myself extra time to complete this, so no worries’ – Emma, mama of 1, getting married Sept 9th
‘On the bank holiday weekend, a couple of bridesmaids and I combined a visit to the park with some decoration making… Fresh air for baby and I, additional bonding time for my friends and baby, and weddings tasks done!… Lovely!’ – Emma, mama of 1, getting married Sept 9th
‘We really just had to go with the flow and the flow worked!’ – Amelia, mama of 2, married 5 years
And finally, we wanna hear from you, mama brides past and present! What was your experience like? Any do’s and don’ts you’d like to share? Comment down below – we’d love to hear from you!
Peace + Love