The Perfect Guide For The Mother Of The Bride

Jenna Perfette Photo

Jenna Perfette Photo

What should the mother of the bride or groom wear to a wedding? As a personal stylist, this is a question that I am asked frequently! The dads always have it easy – either a suit or a tux, and they’re good to go! Moms on the other hand, seem to have a lot more to keep in mind.

1. Follow the Wedding Dress Code

First and foremost, know the dress code for the wedding. You want to make sure that you are dressed to the appropriate amount of formality, so that you don’t stand out (for the wrong reasons).

2. No Black or White

In our culture, white is always out of the question (we don’t want to out shine the bride), and black is usually not desirable either (it’s a wedding, not a funeral).  Obviously there are exceptions to this, where couples sometimes decide to go with all black attire, but for the sake of this article, we’ll put black on the “no list”, unless otherwise requested. Ok, so we remove all of the white and black dresses, and what are we left with? Too many choices.

3. Compliment the Wedding Colors

When you’re thinking about colors, you have to take the wedding colors into consideration. You will be taking pictures with the bridal party. You will be positioned near the decorations and the florals, so it’s best to wear something that compliments the colors rather than clashes.

4. Sleeves are Your Friend

Whether they are cap, short, three quarter, or long, sleeves are wonderful, especially when you are being photographed from all angles. As we age, skin begins to be less firm that it use to be, and one of the most noticeable places that is easily hidden is your upper arms. A dress that has three quarter length or long sleeves resolves that concern immediately! Maybe you don’t have that problem with your arms, but sometimes you get that weird skin bulging near your armpit or chest. A dress that has short sleeves or cap sleeves will fix that!

5. Shapewear, Shapewear, Shapewear

Say it with me now, “There is nothing wrong with wearing shapewear.” Now really say it, because you probably didn’t actually say it before, or you did, but you didn’t believe me. 

As an adult woman, your body has gone through so many changes over the years, and sometimes it can benefit from a little literal support (and that’s ok). The beauty of shapewear is that you have all the options you could ever need to provide as much or as little support as you want. The point of wearing it is to smooth out any lumps or bumps and provide a little lift, so that you feel the best in what you’re wearing.

Now, before you start glaring at this post and accuse me of body shaming, think about it this way – you wouldn’t think twice about wearing the right bra for the wedding, right? Shapewear does the same thing, but for other parts of your body.

6. Textured Dresses Make You Look Younger

This is one of the best-kept secrets that not all stylists will share with you (but I will, because it’s too good not to share).  Whether the dress has lace, beading, appliqués, or fringe, having a bit of texture, especially closer to the neckline of the dress will help you look younger! No botox required!

So, how does this magic work? It’s actually quite simple – like compliments like. Or, you can look at it this way, if you wear a plain, satin dress, and you have noticeable wrinkles on your face and upper body, the smoothness of the satin will contrast and highlight the wrinkles on your body. Wearing a dress with texture helps to conceal the wrinkles, therefore making you look younger!

The last piece of advice that I have is to make sure that you talk with your son or daughter about what you are wearing to their wedding. Keep in mind that the bride or groom-to-be will have a lot of decisions to make about their big day, so it’s best to check in with them, but then use these suggestions to help you make your selection.  Most importantly, make sure that you feel comfortable, confident, and beautiful in your final decision. 

susan padron, owner- susan padron stylist

Heather Dombrowski