Finding the Perfect Mother of the Bride (or Groom) Gown
When it comes to weddings, the bride isn't the only one searching for the perfect dress.
For mothers of the bride and groom, the prospect of choosing the right gown can be just as daunting.
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Ashley Krauss, the owner and lead consultant of Connecticut-based boutique A Little Something White Bridal Couture, has some tips to put mom's mind at ease:
The bride may need all the help she can get in making sure the most important day of her life is perfect, but don't forget to let a bit of that spotlight shine on you. "There are going to be a lot of people who are going to be at the event who are really important to you as well," says Krauss. "You want to look your best and also feel at your most comfortable and confident."
Leave yourself plenty of time to shop. Most brides order their dresses between eight and 12 months in advance, and Krauss advises following suit.
"If you truly want the best designs at your disposal, you want to order in advance," says Krauss. "We do recommend that the mother waits until the bride purchases her gown first. I would even wait until the bridal party purchases theirs."
Also, keep in mind that ordering a dress can take longer if you're requesting customization, alterations or if someone is designing your gown from scratch.
Get Approval From the Bride
Speak with the bride before you swipe that credit card. It's her day and you want to make sure her needs are met. Plus, talking with the bride can also help you narrow down your choice.
"Are there any colors she would like for you to select or avoid? Does she feel strongly about short verses long? Is the wedding outdoors or in? Every bride is going to be different and these details could give you some more insight on what you should wear," says Krauss.
Stay True to Yourself
Don't forget about your personal style.
"The only way you're going to feel your best is if you go for a style that's going to make you feel comfortable and confident," Krauss explains. "We would never force a bride to wear something she doesn't like and the same applies to the mother."
Krauss recommends looking for a style that flatters your figure for a boost of confidence on a nerve-wrecking day.
Always Keep the Budget in Mind
"There is a wide variety of what you could spend as a mother for the wedding when it comes to gowns," explains Krauss. "The dresses from our collection typically fall between$500 and $3,000."
Try on a variety of dresses to keep your options open, but never forget about your budget and what you would feel comfortable spending. Also keep in mind that anything involving customizations will come with a higher price tag, which could help you in narrowing down your choices.
Avoid Reaching New Heights
"When it comes to dresses for the mother, I think of short as something knee-length or even just below knee-length," says Krauss. Your daughter or son's wedding isn't the place to wear sexy couture, so avoid upstaging the bride and make sure the hemline of your dress isn't at risk of being dangerously high. But if you've been working extra hard at the gym and want to show off your efforts, don't fret.
"There’s nothing wrong with finding something that enhances your body if you’re comfortable showing it off," Krauss says. "Just make sure it suits the overall theme of the wedding."
Stay In Season
Think that flesh-tone halter dress is tres chic for a winter wonderland-themed wedding? Think again. "If the wedding is taking place in the winter, you may want to avoid flashy colors," says Krauss. "You can certainly wear a heavy fabric in the summer, but it might be pretty uncomfortable and look inappropriate." Again, modesty is key in picking out a dress that's for an elegant affair with family and friends in attendance. Also, stay clear of white and explore different pale colors for your ensemble instead.
Compromise Without Drama
Found a dress you adore but your daughter or daughter-in-law-to-be hates it? Start negotiating in advance and reach common ground way before the wedding day.
"There’s only so much you can do with a bride who’s very opinionated and has a very strict idea of how she wants her wedding to look like," says Krauss. "The best thing you can do is start the communication process early. You don’t want to wait until the last minute when tensions are high and people are nervous because of shipping times. Not only will you be stressed and anxious because you’re handling the bride, but you’re also dealing with the fact that your dress may not come in on time."
Keep the Peace With a Wedding Planner
Having a wedding planner may sound like an extra expense, but they can be your greatest ally in the hunt for your dress.
"If a mother and daughter are having trouble agreeing on something, a wedding planner can calm the bride the down, give tips on how to manage the situation and also help the mom compromise," says Krauss. "A lot of times, the parent is paying for the wedding planner, so while he/she has to be there for the bride, they also cannot ignore the mother’s wishes."
Give the Bride a Break
Make use of wedding planners, as well as bridal boutiques, which offer assistants specifically for you.
"I like to ask (my client) questions, like ‘Tell me about the wedding?’ and ‘What are you looking for?’" says Krauss. If no one comes to your aid, that's your cue to speak up and have your concerns heard. "Don’t be afraid to call a store that carries a line you’re interested in and ask for advice," she says. "I love talking with mothers because they deserve a special shopping experience too."