By now, you know that I have a special fondness in my heart for the pregnant bride.
Not only was I a pregnant bride, but I’ve also made it my mission to show that a pregnant bride can be beautiful. I think that so many pregnant brides — myself included — struggle with feeling like they are somehow less of a “real” bride on their wedding days. It can be hard to feel pukey, not pretty, and to wonder if all of the guests are secretly whispering about you and how scandalous you were for accidentally getting pregnant with the man you loved before your wedding day.
But I digress.
My cousin Mandy Lange, a teacher and blogger at The Amateur Mom, knows a little bit about what I’m talking about.
After she watched me go through a bit of unexpected pregnancy and pull off the classic Catholic shotgun wedding, she texted me one afternoon.
“Just wanted to let you know that I’m in the family way!” she wrote. “I’m due in December!”
I definitely felt like I was watching myself all over again. Mandy and her boyfriend chose, as we had, to tie the knot before they welcomed their new baby into the world. They pulled off a wedding in an impressively short amount of time, also as my husband and I had. But instead of trying to hide her baby bump or feeling ashamed (like I did), Mandy chose to make her pregnancy a part of her wedding in a simple — yet touching — way.
Because her soon-to-be-husband, Ethan, had missed Mandy’s 20 week ultrasound due to his rigorous school schedule (he was finishing up his last semester of classes at the time in a successful effort to graduate before the baby was born), Mandy chose to keep the baby’s gender a secret until the wedding.
She carefully chose a color-coordinated garter and slid it on the morning of her wedding day, anticipating her new husband’s surprise when he pulled off the garter.
Although Mandy only told her bridal party and a few family members about her big surprise, word quickly spread and her wedding guests were just as anxious to find out what the baby was as her husband.
“When Ethan took [the garter] off, he kind of stared for a minute at it,” Mandy said. “And then he looked up at me with tear-filled eyes and a huge smile. Everyone clapped and cheered and cried and it was honestly the first time I felt happy about being pregnant, with everyone around us openly supporting us.”
Unfortunately, as adorable as the moment was, some people missed the big gender reveal moment because they were too busy swooning over the incredible cannolis at the dessert table … that they may or may not still dream about to this day … omg, they were so good …
With Mandy’s refusal to feel ashamed on her wedding day and by letting all of her guests be a part of her and her husband’s excitement about their growing family, we were all able to take a day that could have easily went down as “Oh my gosh, did you hear about Mandy? She’s 5 months along!” to “Oh my gosh, did you see how cute Ethan’s face was when he found out what the baby was? And have you tried the cannolis yet? They’re to die for!”
I love how Mandy incorporated her pregnancy into her wedding with no shame and big smiles for all. It just goes to show what really matters in life — and nothing beats the love of a family, no matter how that family came to be.
Oh, and in case you missed —
Mandy had a baby boy.
Image credit via Mandy Lange