For the Mother of the Bride

All the attention on the wedding day is drawn toward the beautiful bride, but that doesn't mean that the mother of the bride gets off easy! Both the bride and her mother need to look as stylish as possible. After all, no two wedding ceremonies are alike - each one is special, so you have to look your best. Below is some basic information to get the mother of the bride the very best dress she can find.

When should I start looking?

The mother of the bride should start looking for a dress to wear at least six months before the wedding. This allows time for alterations and last-minute fixes on the dress, such as the dress coming in the wrong color. Small issues are bound to arise, and giving yourself ample time to deal with them head-on is often the best practice.

Where should I start looking?

Department stores should carry what you need - after all, while the mother of the bride will be dressed up, her level of dress isn't as exclusive as what the bride dress will be. This opens up the mother of the bride to numerous options - bridal shops, formal wear stores, and even online stores.

How can I avoid hidden surprises?

Whether purchasing online or in an actual store, you will want to take your measurements. Manufacturers of clothing always have their own size charts, but measurements are consistent. Take proper measurements, and always make sure to add an inch to each measurement - bust, waist, and hips. The extra inch will help the mother of the bride stay comfortable in her dress.

What's appropriate for the mother of the bride to wear?

The mother of the bride walks a very thin line - she wants to look her best, but she doesn't want to take away from the bride's special day. The mother of the bride should wear a dress or a sharp suit that complements the colors the bride has picked for the wedding color scheme.

Since the mother of the bride is generally going to be far older, she will wish to choose a conservative look - neutral colors, classic styles. There can be a sexy bride, but the mother of the bride should look classic and sophisticated. Moreover, the dress that the mother of the bride chooses should not be more formal or longer than the bride's wedding dress.

Colors matter, even for the modern bride and her wedding. The mother of the bride should not wear black without consulting the bride first. Black is great for a night out on the town or to the fancy reception dinner after the wedding, but black for weddings has generally symbolized disapproval of the wedding.

Just as black is a highly charged color when it comes to weddings, so is white. White is the color of the bride, not her mother! Wearing "wedding white" at your daughter's wedding looks very tacky. There are so many colors for dresses; it is very prudent to pick another color other than white. Wearing white can also be seen as an attempt to upstage the bride.

Last but not least, the mother of the bride should coordinate her outfit with what the mother of the groom is wearing. Although the mother of the bride traditionally gets to pick out her dress first, it is wise to note what the mother of the groom's wish is as far as dress, and act accordingly. For example, if the mother of the groom is very conservative, you would not want to pick a bright dress cut to a short length!

What will look best in the pictures?

The latest fashions for the mother of the bride step away from the traditional dresses, and into more professional-looking clothing, such as jackets and two piece suits, as well as jackets over long, slimming dresses. The jacketed look is very versatile - the jacket adds a touch of class, and it can be taken off if necessary or tied around the shoulders.

The jacketed look also allows for the modern mother of the bride to be daring. The mother of the bride can wear a sleeveless or even a spaghetti-strap dress for the wedding if she wants to show off great-looking arms or well-defined shoulders. Those that find jackets stifling may want to opt for a shoulder wrap. Bargain hunters will be pleased to know that you can generally find a shoulder wrap and a dress offered as a package deal.

Purchasing a dress for the mother of the bride should not be stressful. It is truly an amazing time, for both the bride and her mother. If the mother of the bride is worried about choosing a dress, it may be less stressful to bring the bride along with her when shopping. With a little research, the mother of the bride can make the wedding a great day for both her and her daughter!

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