It’s something you dreamed about ever since the doctor told you “It’s a girl!” and now it’s finally here: Your daughter is getting married. However, while you devote most of your attention to her dress, her shoes, her hair, and her jewelry, you can’t forget how you will look on the big day.
The mother of the bride is an important element of any wedding; you get as much attention as your daughter — and you deserve to look fantastic. Still, looking mature-yet-glamorous — and not outshining your little girl — can be tricky. If you need some style tips for the second–most important day of your life, look no further than this modern guide.
3 Big Instructions
It’s easy to get bogged down in internet style advice. The problem is that style blogs rarely purge old information, so you could be reading detailed tips and tricks that were embarrassingly outdated five years ago. The truth is fashion changes quickly and often, but what looks good rarely varies. In the interest of keeping this style guide accurate for years to come, here are just three easy truths to guide you to suitable mother-of-the-bride dresses:
Complement the Bride
Your daughter’s dress is one of the most important aspects of the wedding. The bridal gown is more important than the centerpieces, more important than the DJ, and perhaps even more important than the venue. Many weddings are planned entirely around the bride’s dress. Therefore, you should take cues from your daughter’s dress while shopping for your own. You should pay attention to formality and style, so you don’t end up with a glittery, sophisticated gown while your daughter is boho-chic in cowboy boots.
Check Bridal Party Colors
Typically, the bride will be wearing white or some neutral variation, which means when it comes to color selection, you should look to the bridal party. It’s traditional for the mother of the bride to be part of the bridal procession in some way — either by herself or with her daughter — so you definitely don’t want to clash with the colors of bridesmaids and groomsmen. You might not want to match their hues completely, but harmonizing with paler or darker shades, or complementary tones, is a good idea. Therefore, you should wait until after your daughter decides upon bridal party attire before shopping, and you should obtain a color swatch or palette to guide your search.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
This is good all-around advice for mothers of the bride, but it is especially useful in searching for an appropriate dress. You might be her mother, but you are not in charge of your daughter’s big day — she is. Before you make any decisions, you should communicate with the bride to better understand her vision for her wedding and what she imagines you wearing.
Additionally, you should communicate with the mother of the groom. It’s traditional for the mothers to coordinate in some way, but typically, the mother of the bride purchases her dress first, and the mother of the groom follows in her footsteps. You shouldn’t be afraid of seeming pushy or bossy; assuming you remain honest and polite, everyone should make it to the wedding happy.
3 Small Suggestions
The hard-and-fast rules for mother-of-the-bride attire are relatively loose, which means as long as you double-check with your daughter, you can wear almost anything on the big day. If that feels overwhelming, here are a few modern tips to help you feel fashionable and comfortable at the wedding:
Depart From Tradition
Sometimes it seems that mothers of the bride have a uniform: tea-length dress in beige or gray, simple blazer. You should know that you definitely don’t have to adhere to this tradition. If you want a less predictable outfit, you might consider wearing a chic pantsuit, a floral gown, or even something short and bright — if your daughter gives the OK.
Pay Attention to Details
Your dress (or suit) is the most important element of your wedding-day attire, but the devil is in the details. You must also adorn yourself with the proper accessories, including shoes, jewelry, a purse, and perhaps a hat. You shouldn’t feel pressure to wear any accessories that don’t fit your regular style, but you should try to look outstanding on the big day. For example, if you don’t normally wear heels, flats are fine — but they should have some flash and bling to mark the occasion.
On the day of the wedding, you shouldn’t neglect your own beauty routine in favor of your daughter’s and her girls’. You deserve to have your hair and makeup done, since you will have at least as much attention as the bridesmaids. Plus, getting dolled up will help you feel special and pretty, which you should on this extraordinary day.
Finally, perhaps the most important advice of all: You cannot outshine the bride. While you should strive to look good, you should never try to steal your daughter’s spotlight with your attire and appearance. You add to your daughter’s magnificence — you don’t supplant it.