Weddings

I Looked Pregnant in My Wedding Dress

Pregnant at Wedding

This story originally appeared on Elle.com.

During my wedding reception my seven-year old cousin came up to me and said, “when is the baby coming?” There was no baby. There was only beer and champagne in my belly. I considered taking an Ambien and going to sleep at 8 the night of our rehearsal dinner. Instead I ate a cheesesteak with my girlfriends.

Pregnant at Wedding

That time I looked a little bit pregnant at my wedding reception.

I was really skinny at my wedding and I still looked a little pregnant.

I’m not saying I was skinny to toot my own horn. I ate well for the month before the wedding, drank a little less and ran a couple of miles a day. When I got measured for my wedding dress at BHLDN they put me in a 0 and I had a little room to spare. A size zero seemed crazy to me, but I wrote it off as vanity sizing and bought the dress anyway.

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I bought all of the shapewear, but decided to forego the corset on the wedding day and just Spanx it. The corset made me feel like Scarlett O’Hara, but not in a good way and it was itchy. The dress wasn’t too tight and it lay flat on my stomach when I left the hotel to go to my ceremony.

Still, there are at least 11 pictures where I look full-on pregnant on my wedding day My seven year old cousin, bless her little heart, asked me when I was due. I had a glass of champagne in my hand.

Why bring this up at all? I want to talk about it because brides are given an unreasonable set of expectations for their wedding day. We are supposed to look perfect and act perfect and smell perfect and be perfectly smooth and hairless like a baby seal. Meanwhile my husband trained for our wedding day by drinking beer. It’s too common in the weeks leading up to a wedding for everyone to assume that you simply aren’t eating anything at all—because that’s what brides do.

“Of course you’re on a diet.”

“Working to fit into that dress?”

“You must be STARVING!”

Everyone naturally assumes you are waging a daily battle against armpit fat.

I had a micro baby bump at my wedding because I insisted on having a good time. I considered taking an Ambien and going to sleep at 8 the night of our rehearsal dinner. Instead I indulged in a beer flight and ate a cheese steak with my girlfriends, staying up well past midnight.

I ate lobster mac n cheese and Veuve Cliquot for lunch before walking down the aisle.

On my wedding day I wanted to drink all the champagne and eat all of the cheese (we had an entire cake made out of Wisconsin cheese wheels) and the cake from Momofuku Milk Bar and the delicious pulled pork sliders. In all of the pictures taken that day I look the way I look when I am happy. When I am happy and relaxed I slouch and let my tummy pooch out a bit. Since my wedding day was the most joyful day of my life it makes sense that my belly swelled in proportion to my delight.

Happy brides have bellies. Happy brides are at ease and a little tipsy and not worried about sucking in their guts. Happy brides may have forgotten to shave above the knee. There is nothing wrong with that. We should celebrate that!

I want to make every bride feel a little bit better about that little bit of back fat that creeps up over a strapless dress and the inevitable side boob.

For every not-pregnant woman with a burrito baby who has been offered a seat by an insensitive man on the subway, I hope these photos of me looking a little pregnant in my wedding dress offer some comfort.

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