In my years working as a personal shopper and stylist, I’ve had opportunities to help women (and a few men) select clothing for important events. In fact, my very first job was helping a young man select clothing for a photo shoot that he would use to propose to his girlfriend! Over time, I’ve helped many find the right outfit, and none have been more satisfying than helping women find the perfect dress or outfit to wear when their children were getting married.
This has been on my mind lately since my brother is getting married soon and my mom is now trying to find something to wear! She chose perfect outfits for both my older brother’s wedding (a beautiful black pant suit with light blue shell and beading), and mine (a bright pink dress with jacket) so I know she’ll find the right dress or outfit for the occasion!
So, what are you supposed to wear when you’re child is getting married? Whether you’re the mother of the bride or groom there are a few basic ground rules.
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1. The bride should have a say.
If the bride has chosen an afternoon garden wedding with simple but elegant bridesmaid dresses, this is not the time to put on a sequined ball gown. (Unless the bride, for some reason, OKs it.) The bride may have colors or looks in mind, and when possible, try to abide. A sweet, reasonable bride will want you to look lovely and feel comfortable in a beautiful outfit that makes you feel great!
2. The mother of the bride picks first.
Now, it may not always work out that the bride’s mother gets/does purchase her dress before the groom’s mother, but that’s typically the order. This way the mother of the groom can use that selection as a starting point. Did the MOB choose bright red? Maybe you go with another complementary shade. If she’s chosen a shorter lacy dress, you don’t have to do the same, just don’t try to out-do her in a long sequined number. (Remember, this is not your day.)
3. You don’t have to wear beige.
I don’t know how many mothers I’ve met with over the years who started off the conversation about what to wear to their child’s wedding by saying, “My friends say I’m just supposed to wear beige and not complain about anything.” HA!
While it’s certainly good advice to not complain about the choices of the bride and groom, unless the bride has specifically told you to wear beige (brides, please don’t), YOU DON’T HAVE TO.
There’s been some unspoken rule over the years that mothers, especially of the groom, just need to pick something beige and boring so as not to make a scene.
If you’re trying to find a “safe” shade, there are lots! Start with the bride’s color scheme and choose a color that works well for you and that will make you feel beautiful.
This may be their day, but it’s a big day for you too! Find a dress that you feel comfortable and beautiful in and sit back and enjoy the experience!
Here are a few of my current favorite mother of the bride/groom outfits: