Mother of the bride dresses are important. In May of this year, I will be turning 30. In all of my thirty years on this planet, I have seen my mother in a dress exactly one time – at my wedding. When you look back on your wedding day, you don’t want to feel like you forced your mother to wear something she wasn’t comfortable in. You also need to work with the overall theme of your wedding. A good mother of the bride dress will compliment your bridal party attire but will stand out as separate from the bridesmaid and maid of honor dresses. Because picking the perfect mother of the bride dresses can be difficult, I’ve come up with a list of ten things to help make it a little easier so you can pick a dress you and your mother will both be happy with.
10. Stay away from busy patterns.
Busy patterns are loud and attention grabbing. You want your mother to stand out but you want her to stand out because she’s the mother of the blushing bride, not because you’ve dressed her in something that draws negative attention. Stick with a solid color or something with complimentary tones.
09. Consider color.
White mother of the bride dresses are frowned upon because, well, white is for the bride. Black is becoming a popular option for bridesmaid and maid of honor dresses and while you can certainly choose black for your mother of the bride dress – it is your wedding after all – you need to think about what kind of message that sends. You probably don’t want people to think your mother is in mourning at your wedding. You want our mother to stand out from the rest of the bridal party but you don’t want her to stick out like a sore thumb. With that in mind, look at colors that compliment the dresses of the women in your bridal party or colors that are slight variations of the bridal party theme. If your bridal party is in black, choose a medium blue. You don’t want anything too dark but you also don’t want anything to light. Once you have the color in mind, you can start looking at dress ideas.
08. Consider style.
If your mother is a stylish woman, you want to look at stylish mother of the bride dresses but you also need to think about what kind of wedding you’re having and what style the rest of your bridal party will be wearing. If you’re planning a more traditional wedding, it’s perfectly acceptable to ask that your mother wear something more traditional. At the same time, you want to work with something your mother can be comfortable with. Choose something demure but classy. You want your mother to look beautiful and to be able to share in the joy of your special day. Making sure she’s comfortable is the best way to do that.
07. Set a budget and follow it.
As with anything related to budget, it’s always a good idea to budget less than you have to spend. Figure out exactly how much money you are able to comfortably spend on a mother of the bride dress (comfortably meaning how much you are able to spend without leaving yourself short for other things and without having to dip into emergency money) and then set your budget just shy of that. This gives you a little wiggle room. If you find something perfect that’s just a bit over the budget you’ve set for yourself you can have that little extra room between your budget ceiling and what you have to spend.
06. Find out what the mother of the groom will be wearing.
You don’t have to match what your mother will wear with that your soon to be husband’s mother will be wearing but it’s a pretty good idea to make sure they don’t show up wearing the same thing. In addition, talking with the mother of the groom may give you some ideas for your own mother’s dress. If you like what she plans to wear, ask where she got it. You might find a whole new place to look for inspiration.
05. Choose a dress that works with your mother’s age and body type.
Your mother’s age should play a big role in what kind of mother of the bride dress you choose for her as should her body type. Just as you would with your bridesmaids, you want to choose a dress that flatters her and compliments her figure because it will make her more comfortable. You also want to choose a style that’s age appropriate. If your mother is a mature woman, you don’t want to put her in a dress that was designed for younger women. She’ll feel uncomfortable and will likely look uncomfortable as a result.
Decide with your mother whether or not she’ll be changing clothes before the wedding reception. If she decides she won’t be, you need to look at mother of the bride dresses that will be comfortable for an extended period of time. This can greatly reduce your choices but that’s not a bad thing. By focusing your search, you’ll have a much better chance of finding the perfect mother of the bride dress. If your mother does plan to change clothes, you’re still going to have to find something she’ll be comfortable in during the ceremony. Fashion is important but so is function.
03. Don’t restrict your search to just mother of the bride dresses.
Bridal boutiques will often try to stick the dresses they sell into categories. Sure you probably won’t be able to send your mother down the isle in a wedding gown at your wedding, don’t ignore dresses that are intended for bridesmaids or other members of the bridal party. You might find something absolutely perfect that was designed for a bridesmaid but offers everything you’re looking for in a mother of the bride dress. Don’t get hung up on labels. Whatever works for you and your mother works for your wedding.
02. Don’t limit your dress search to bridal boutiques.
Just as you don’t want to limit your options to dresses that are intended to be mother of the bride dresses you don’t want to limit where you look for your dress. Ask around. Friends are a great resource for finding new places to shop. Check online. Look for stores with positive reviews in your area. While you’re looking for stores in your area, you may also want to check for online stores that specialize in mother of the bride dresses. You may find something perfect and often, fairly reasonably priced. Just make sure you allow enough time for delivery and time for fittings.
01. Ask for her input.
Sure it’s your wedding and you want to make sure everything goes as planned but remember it’s also a big day for your mother. While you can always reserve the right to have the final say when it comes to mother of the bride dresses, it’s a good idea to ask your mother what she’d be comfortable wearing for the wedding ceremony. Talk about your options together. Find out what she likes in terms of color and style. Find out what she doesn’t like. Ask her for suggestions and welcome her into the process. She’ll appreciate having a say and you also may get some great ideas from her.