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Pregnant brides now have their own shop


Pregnant brides, once stigmatised for immoral conduct, can now hold their heads up high after the first shop dedicated to maternity bridal wear opened in west London. 

Expectant Bride is a new service offering a full range of wedding dresses designed to encompass the growing bump of a pregnant woman.

The shop offers personal consultations to women who are planning to marry before the arrival, and its dress fitters are trained to estimate how large the bride will be by her wedding day.

Gowns are made longer at the front so they do not rise up over an increasingly rounded stomach, and pulled in at the back to give a flattering shape.

The sides are hemmed to allow for last-minute alterations, should growth exceed forecasts.

Tracey Wilkinson, 31, set up the shop in Chiswick, west London, after she experienced difficulty finding a maternity dress for her own wedding.

She has already helped more than 150 brides, most career women in their late 20s and early 30s.

Some have become pregnant after setting a wedding date, while others have decided to get married quickly after discovering they are having a baby.

Mrs Wilkinson, a mother of two, said: “I got married when I was seven months pregnant and found it very difficult getting a maternity bridal dress to fit.

“You can’t just wear a large sized normal dress as you look like you’re wearing a tent.

“The dresses I sell look like a normal bridal gown but they are discreetly made to fit a bump.

“The brides tend to come in about three months before the wedding.

“Times have definitely changed and it is no longer frowned upon to get married while pregnant. The business is doing really well.”

With more conceptions now taking place outside marriage than within, it was inevitable this gap in the market would soon be filled.

But for Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe, it is not an enterprise to celebrate. She said: “I think this shop is an extremely sad sign of the times.”

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2nd April 2008, 15:18
Page updated 5th Oct 2015, 13:25
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