Photo: John Aquino and Steve Eichner
Finding your dream wedding dress is an exhausting process, but when parents add their opinions to the equation, the choice can become nearly impossible. Nontraditional wedding gowns are a burgeoning trend for brides, but what happens when your mother has visions of a white wedding? Our etiquette experts weigh in.
Regardless of how confident you are in your taste, gaining your mother's approval is crucial to feeling radiant at your wedding. And despite trend-setting celebrities who have worn colored wedding gowns, the style is new enough that mothers of the bride may not be ready for anything but traditional white. As a symbol of innocence in Western culture, a white wedding gown has symbolic significance that other hues don't.
Before diving into an avant-garde gown, think about the dress's longevity. Your mother may be considering the shelf life of the colorful wedding gown trend, and how you may feel about your selection in 30 years. If the thought gives you pause, a white look may be a better choice.
If you are devoted to a pastel gown, explain to your mother why you love the idea. Understanding is the key to her acceptance. In the event that your mother is still not sold on the idea, try to compromise with her. You could don a white reception gown in addition to your pastel wedding dress, or sport a white number at your rehearsal dinner to satisfy her vision. Remember that your mother wants the best for you, so work with her to gain the support you need in selecting a gown. But in the end, it's ultimately your day, your dress and your decision — don't forget that!