When it comes to your wedding day, choosing your wedding dress is no doubt one of the biggest, and first, decisions you'll make. There’s one more wedding fashion decision that is also significant, and that is the mother of the bride gown. Helping your mother find the perfect dress can also be a mother/daughter bonding experience and part of your special wedding memories.
The mother of the bride traditionally has more leeway when it comes to her dress. There are a few basic guidelines, but she'll want to find a dress that is comfortable and flattering and suits her unique individual style.
Here are six tips for mother of the bride fashion:
Do not choose a white or off-white dress.
The mother of the bride should choose a color that coordinates with the overall wedding theme, but should never wear white.General guidelines dictate that the mothers may wear any color as long as it doesn't clash with the bridesmaids' dresses or the overall wedding color scheme. These days, the rules are loosening and some fashion-forward moms are choosing shades of blush, gray, silver and gold. First and foremost, however, let your mother know if you have a preference for her dress color and if she's open to it, try on a few shades outside of the traditional mother of the bride box.
Let your wedding venue and style set the tone for the mother of the bride fashion.
If you're getting married in a church and having an evening reception, the mother of the bride should opt for a more formal floor-length dress. For a beach or outdoor wedding venue, she might wear a brighter color and a shorter dress. For a morning wedding, a dressy suit can be a classic choice.
Don't limit shopping to bridal shops.
Bridal shops often provide a group discount if you buy your wedding gown and bridesmaid dresses there but their selection of mother of the bride fashion may be limited. Consider setting aside a day to shop with your mom in the formal wear section of a major department store, or at her favorite local boutiques.
Make dress shopping a special occasion.
If your schedule allows, plan to set aside a day to shop with your mom for her gown. Just as most brides want their moms present for dress shopping, most moms probably feel the same way! Plan lunch or dinner afterwards at her favorite restaurant.
Don't choose anything too revealing.
Your wedding photos will be shared throughout the years. The mother of the bride dress should err on the more classic side and never draw attention by being too low cut or revealing. Your mom also may be dancing and socializing with guests at the wedding reception so make sure her dress is comfortable.
Coordinate with your future mother-in-law.
Your mother and your future mother-in-law should not wear matching dresses or colors, unless you plan it that way. Traditionally, the mother of the bride gets first pick on dress color. Discuss dress style and color with your fiancé's mom early on and see what she has in mind. Although your mothers should not wear matching dresses, they also don't need to be dressed in dramatically different styles -- one in sequins and the other in a conservative pantsuit, for example.
Make sure that your mom feels really good in whatever dress she chooses. Mothers are often so intent on pleasing the bride that they sometimes end up with dresses that they wouldn't have chosen for themselves.
While the wedding day focus will be on the bride and groom and the life they're creating together, a child's wedding day is a huge milestone for their parents. Make shopping for the mother of the bride gown a fun time of bonding that is another memory making experience as part of the overall wedding.