03/01/2013 12:24 EST | Updated 05/01/2013 05:12 EDT

Accessories for the Mother of the Bride: The Finishing Touch

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LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 22: Figurines and displayed on a cake during the National Wedding Show at London's Olympia on February 22, 2013 in London, England. The National Wedding Show runs at London's Olympia until February 24 and features over 250 trade stands selling everything from wedding dresses, suits, cakes, shoes and flowers. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

As a co-owner and dress consultant at T. Carolyn Fashions, I navigate the front lines of family conflict -- helping moms look great and satisfying the bride's often strident opinions. Even with 21 years in the business and 100,000 dresses sold, dressing a mother of the bride can be more challenging than dressing the actual bride!

Accessories -- The Finishing Touch!

One of the biggest mistakes mothers make is in breathing a sigh of relief once they have decided upon their dress, and completely forgetting about the accessories. Accessories are to a mother's dress what a frame is to a painting. It completes the picture and draws the eye in.

Jewelry: Necklaces and earrings add sparkle around the face as mothers walk down the aisle and are viewed at the reception. The proper earring can bring out cheekbones and showcase bone structure, actually giving a lift to the face. The perfect necklace can frame the face and even elongate the upper torso. If a mother chooses to wear an asymmetrical neckline or a one-shoulder gown, great earrings paired with an oversized bracelet will truly make a statement. In addition, there's nothing like the sparkle of crystals to bring out and enhance hand-beading and sewn crystals on dresses and gowns.

Purse: Mothers should not forget to carry a purse. Not only does a chic clutch look smart, it has the added bonus of keeping the mother's arm in check as she's escorted down the aisle. Most importantly, it is invaluable for carrying all those little necessities (such as a handkerchief, compact, and lipstick) needed for drying tears and touching up after the ceremony, before additional photo are taken. For the mother who doesn't want to wear a corsage, flowers may be attached to the purse as an elegant alternative.

Shoes: Comfortable shoes are a must. For those with serious foot problems, it is perfectly acceptable to slip into a second more comfortable pair at the reception. If a gown is being worn, it is important to check before hand to make sure the hem will still be the proper length if changing into a lower heel. This will avoid possible tripping and damage to the gown itself. Speaking of damage, if a shoe with rhinestones is chosen, make sure to check to see if the stones are set in prongs. These prongs will snag and tear the hemline of a gown. If this occurs, the only way to salvage the gown is to convert it into a short dress.

If you want to delve further into the exciting world of weddings, tune into Mother of The Bride airing back-to-back episodes every Friday at 9 and 9:30 p.m. on SliceTM.