Tuesday, March 30, 2010

mother of the bride....style

I never, not once, ever thought about mother of the bride dresses...or if my dad would wear a suit or tux... or what Tommy's parents would wear to our wedding. I barely care what my bridesmaids wear!

Until, that is, they asked my opinion. And I drew a blank. I have no idea what mother's of the bride wear...no idea. Does it matter? Not to me....in the sense that I don't want to micromanage the details of such things. Except, this is an important day for my mom too, and she wants to wear something appropriate for our outdoor wedding. And she wants my opinion. I want to help her.

So she subtly asked me what Tommy's mother was wearing. I didn't know. Tommy didn't know either. A few days later I was talking to my future mother in law she asked me what my mother was wearing! It was then I realized that this must be tough.

Long skirt? Dress? Informal? Casual? Or black tie? It's going to be outside, so should they wear a jacketed dress? Or a shawl? What colors? Should they match the bridal party? Or not?

Seriously I had no idea. And seriously, as far as I was concerned, they can wear whatever they like!

So I did some online searches. Found a fab site that has deals on mother of the bride dresses from major brands: DesignerApparel. Some are really high fashion, with sequence and tulle and all the designer details a black tie affair would necessitate. And some are more casual - perfect for a breezy afternoon up in the mountains for our low-key outdoor event. I have noticed that their inventory changes...so many of the links I sent my mom aren't there anymore...but loads of new ones are up.

If your mom requests some help....send her the link!!


  1. To avoid some of the confusion, traditional etiquette calls for the mother of the bride to purchase her dress first, and then inform - whether it be by e-mail, hand-written note, or phonecall - the mother of the groom of her gown choice. Basically, the MOTB gets first pick as to the color, etc.

    I helped my mom pick out a not-so-traditional MOB gown... she isn't the type to wear wrap tops and such... so she purchased a "bridesmaid" dress from David's Bridal: http://bit.ly/23OoNx. She'll be wearing it in lapis. I instructed my mom to then let my future mother-in-law know of the decision, and a few days later she ended up buying her dress, too. Both consulted me on color/length/etc., which I appreciated.

    My FMIL actually informed me of the etiquette - but in a very, very nice fashion. It actually helped a lot.

  2. The mothers are supposed to coordinate/blend with each other and/or the bridal party.

    But there is absolutely no reason you have to. It's just meant for pleasing pictures of the families grouped together.

  3. Here is what we all wore for our outdoor mountain wedding. http://lilapuppy.blogspot.com/2009/10/rendezvous-ranch.html
    My mama's was from JCrew. She picked it out with no direction from me. Penny LA is right about the etiquette.

  4. My Mom wore the second one on the bottom row and she loved it. Very flattering. Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/costumedivasdirtylaundry/4022551398/in/set-72157622485845945/.

  5. My mom wore the champagne-colored tiered dress you have at the bottom left. She bought it... and then J's mom bought an identical one with a jacket even though I'd already told her what my mom bought. I like to think she picked it subconsciously... :)

  6. This was the hardest thing for me! I really just wanted both moms to feel pretty and look nice - how ever they wanted to interpret that. We suggested that they choose one of the wedding colors: persimmon, pomegranate, and cobalt. (Wow - I forgot that last one and had to look it up - goes to show how important those colors that we angst over for months really are.)

    My mom wanted GUIDANCE - though ultimately she chose the dress on her own. It ended up being knee-length (more practical for outdoors) and with a shawl (to adjust to changing weather conditions). here



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