Are you a victim of Mother of the Bride Dress Drama?

Okay, let’s be honest. Your child’s wedding day is a joyful event. Being the mother of the bride or groom is a damn proud moment. Buying your dress for the big day is a damn pain in the *ss!

So many things to consider both etiquette-wise and style-wise. And can we talk about the butt ugly options with sky-high prices? Where is a harried woman to begin?

Let’s break this down by etiquette and style!

Here are a few etiquette tips to keep the drama at bay:

  1. Remember, this is not a competition. I am not talking about competing with the bride – be realistic. I am talking about competing with the ‘other’ mother. Oftentimes there are two mothers to consider and in this day and age there may be multiples of each! Just be mindful of the collective group, don’t try to outspend or out ‘sexy’ the other Moms as that just speaks more to your insecurities than anything else.
  1. How much ‘say’ does the Bride have about your dress? The bride certainly has a stake in the game so she should be consulted in advance of your shopping. She most likely has a vision of the overall event, could possibly have strong color or style preferences and may even have opinions about short vs. long for both the MOB (Mother of the Bride) and the MOG (Mother of the Groom) dress. Like any other important event, it is best to hash out thoughts, ideas and preferences very early on so any potential drama can be avoided. And remember, it’s not about you. But actually it is a little bit, so let’s get on with that.

Mother:BrideWhether you are the MOB or the MOG, there will be times throughout the day when all eyes will be on you as you walk into the ceremony, dance at the reception and then of course while orchestrating the shooting of the forever photos!

Here are shopping some tips to get you started:

  1. Start early – way early! There’s no time like the present and nothing worse than shopping at the last minute – we all know how that usually turns out. A six-month window is recommended, which allows for plenty of perusing time, changing your mind time, shipping time and tailoring time. You will be surprised how your taste morphs the more you look at dresses, websites and Pinterest of course!
  2. Consult with the happy couple – no doubt they have planned or at least planned to have planned, every magical moment. But alas, many young couples are not sticklers for details and you just might come up with a few magical ideas of your own.
  3. Consider the wedding color palette. There’s no point shopping in the Jimmy Buffet aisle if the color palette is pastel. Some brides like the Moms to coordinate with the bridesmaids and others want the Moms to be set apart. The important thing is for you to know the bride’s wishes and be sure to complement as opposed to clash with the group.
  4. Choose the style wisely as you could easily look outdated in a matter of minutes! Envision a dress from the 80’s and that should scare the pants off of you! These photos will live to infinity and beyond. Look for styles that are fashionable not frumpy, stylish but not trendy, and are classic and sophisticated.
  5. LaceAs with all shopping you know I encourage you to accentuate the assets and disguise the liabilities. Be careful of the ‘assets’ – you can’t be Joan Cleavage at the wedding. And be careful of the liabilities, if you don’t like the dimples in your upper arms then by all means wear a bit of a sleeve, as I don’t think the happy couple has budgeted ‘arm photo-shop’ for the moms!
  6. Think about the venue. Sequins do not a beach wedding make! Floor length gowns may not be appropriate or even maneuverable for garden receptions. Religious and cultural customs need to be taken into account as well.
  7. Is it a day or an evening wedding? What is the climate and geographical location? For example, women down South tend to bump it up a tad more than the women in the Northeast. If you are the out-of-towner, you do want to consider how the rest of the guests are dressing so you don’t look like the out-of-towner.
  8. Start hunting and gathering! But let someone else do the pre-work for you.
    That’ s called PINTEREST! Follow my protocol:

    1. Sign up for Pinterest –
    2. Create your board – “Dress Ideas For Me”
    3. In the search field on the top of your Pinterest page, search “mother of the bride dresses” – and voila!
    4. I can hear you saying OMG! But wait, there’s more.
    5. View the tabs along the top – now refine your search by long or knee length.
    6. Keep scrolling girlfriend – you can choose by season, color and even type of wedding.
    7. Pin away with reckless abandon.
    8. You can even share your board with others!
    9. All this while sipping chardonnay at your computer and not spending a dime!
    10. I started a sample page – check it out – it’s a bit random, but you’ll get the idea.

navyStill fretting about where to begin? Let’s grab 30-minutes on the phone to go over your personal plan. We’ll chat about your preferences, the bride’s preferences, your wardrobe challenges, your assets, your liabilities and whatever else comes up! I look forward to ‘meeting’ you on the phone!

Need your own style guide?

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You are among the growing number of women who are virtually outsourcing their style. Updating your image, your wardrobe and finding your authentic style is a very personal journey and you shouldn’t be limited to your local resources. That goes for both stylists and stores! I have clients all over the country.

Link here for a complimentary 30-minute phone consult.

Need more style advice? Check out my recently published book
Confidence Is Always In Style

Doreen Dove empowers women to use style as a tool to take strategic control of their image. She is an image consultant, personal stylist, professional speaker and author. Her extensive background in all aspects of retail has uniquely qualified her to work with women of all ages and professions, coaching them to personal style success.

Let’s keep the conversation going below. Comments are golden!

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