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!
It's never just about the dress...
Arguably, the toughest dress to buy in the entire wedding party is that of the mother of the bride -- or the mother of the groom! Simply stated, a mother has a much tougher time than the bride.
To begin, the bride is happy. Her life is just beginning and she's found someone that she is excited about sharing the rest of her life with. A mother, on the other hand, may have an ex-husband with a new wife (who is the same age as the bride with fresh plastic surgery), she may not have a great relationship with the husband she's married to, she may not like the groom, she may be having problems with the bride, she may be having problems with the new in-laws, she may have health issues, her parents may be ill, well, you get the picture. And she's probably not the same size she was when she was a bride.
The most important thing for a mother of the bride or groom to remember, is that after her own wedding gown, this is the next most important dress she will ever wear.
Looking and Feeling Her Best
It is imperative for a mother to feel beautiful as she walks down the aisle. She has earned the right. A mother of the bride doesn't have to match or blend with bridesmaids or flowers, she just shouldn't wear a colour that would clash.
A mother of the bride/groom will feel better in a dress if it's in a colour that looks stunning on her as well as if it's in a style that is flattering to her figure. Beyond that, a mother needs to feel emotionally secure in her dress.
She doesn't need to match the napkins.
A mother of the bride should be encouraged to experiment and try new styles, but she should never be forced to wear something she is not comfortable in -- no matter how great everyone else thinks it looks, or what element of the wedding it matches. If a mother isn't comfortable in the chosen dress, her insecurity will be conveyed at the wedding by her body language.
It's Mom's Day Too...
At the end of the day, what the guests will remember about a mother is how she looked walking down the aisle as well as at the reception. A mother of the bride/groom should be allowed to choose her own dress, just as the bride chooses her own dress. After all, it's the mother's day too!
If you want to delve further into the exciting world of weddings, I invite you to tune into my new show Mother of The Bride premiering back-to-back episodes every Friday at 9 and 9:30 p.m. on SliceTM. Visit slice.ca for exclusive blogs, a mother of the bride dress guide, cast bios and full episodes. Join our Mother of The Bride Facebook page as well!