As the mother of the bride, you probably have not looked for a dress this important since the one you picked out for your own wedding. The goal for this dress is to make sure you feel confident, comfortable and beautiful all within the setting of the wedding.
The Wedding Dress Code
You will want to wear something fabulous just for you, but it will need to be a dress that’s fabulous for the wedding’s look, too, as decided by the bride. I’ve heard one author call ‘the look’ of the wedding the ‘wedding’s dress code’.
Often, you can get a good idea of what your daughter would like for you to wear by asking her for pictures of what she envisions. Some brides definitely want the mother’s dresses to be similar in hue to the wedding colors. Some brides are indifferent to this.
I personally think it’s a good idea to dress in at least complimentary colors (not to mean “matchymatchy”) of the wedding in order to not stand out as a sore thumb in the wedding photos. Secondly, I also believe that the mothers should abide by the traditional fashion ‘rules’ of no black, white or red dresses. And finally, it’s best if the mother’s dresses (of the bride and the groom) are approximately the same length in order to look best in the photographs.
So… where does this leave you with guidelines and choices? How do you decide on such an important outfit?
Season, Formality and Wedding Location
First, there is the time of day and season of the year to consider. Both of these help narrow the choices significantly as you look at mother of the bride dresses. It’s often important to think into the future a bit if you’re picking out the dress a few months (a season or so) in advance.
Daytime weddings and seasons have their own sets of decorum that are very different than formal evening affairs. For the daytime look, you will want to wear a lighter fabric and color, especially in the Spring or Summer.
The formal evening wedding allows for heavier fabrics and darker colors as well as sequins, rhinestones and other sparkling beads. The Fall and Winter colors and fabrics will also come into play with the darker, warmer colors and slightly heavier fabrics. Formal dresses for all seasons can be floor length. Floor length is always in season when it come to formal affairs.
Secondly, the wedding location can help determine your decision for your dress. Is the wedding a destination wedding by the ocean or an afternoon church wedding? Two very different choices for the dress, shoes and accessories. Will there be air conditioning for both the ceremony and the reception? This alone can make a big difference in your choice for a dress. If the wedding is outside, tea-length is probably best so that the dress doesn’t skim the ground in the dew of the morning or evening.
Lastly, the Bride’s desires will come into play. Her desires, as we discussed earlier, may help guide you even further once the other factors are taken into consideration.
You – Looking Beautiful
Ultimately, the dress choice is about you looking fabulous as the mother of the bride. Take the time that you need to pick out the dress that is not only in harmony with the wedding, but fabulous looking on YOU. This wedding day is an extremely special day for you, too, and the photographs will tell your story forever.