Mother-of-the-Groom Dress

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IDBride1234 Posts : 1 Registered: 4/15/10
Mother-of-the-Groom Dress
Posted: Apr 16, 2010 2:59 PM

My future MIL could not wait until after my mother bought her dress for the wedding, so I told her it was fine to go ahead and buy whatever she wanted. I didn't have anything particular I wanted the mothers to wear, I just wanted them to both wear dresses that they loved. She purchased a dress and sent me a picture. A few weeks later my mother went shopping and purchased her own dress. It is a similar color to my future MIL's dress, but a very different style. I thought both dresses were very nice and was pleased with them. When my future MIL found out that the dresses were similar colors, she became very upset and insisted that my mother return her dress or else she would not wear hers. She said that she wanted to "be different and stand out". My mother and I both agreed that she should not have to return her dress. My future MIL, her daughter, and my fiance are all incredibly angry at me and say that my mother and I are being selfish and that we have broken protocol. I have a hard time believing that an entire family could make such a big deal about a dress, especially when the day of celebration isn't even about the person who is wearing this dress. But apparently this is the situation I am in. Should I have made my mother return her dress? And shouldn't my fiance have supported my decision, even if it made his mother upset?

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ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: Mother-of-the-Groom Dress
Posted: Apr 16, 2010 3:46 PM Go to message in response to: IDBride1234

Frankly, I don't think this is a battle worth fighting. It's stupid, and not worth everybody getting worked up about.

That said, you have two choices of how to proceed:

1) Your mother can refuse to exchange her dress. In this scenario, everybody will continue fighting amongst themselves about a dress and you'll have to deal with a bunch of unecessary tension until your wedding. Your FMIL will eventually have to make her own decision - either to get over it and wear the dress, or to purchase another one. Either way, you'll probably never hear the end of it and it will damage your relationship with your FILs.

2) Or your mother can be the bigger person and just exchange her dress and get it in another color. Problem solved.

I would go with Option 2, since there's far less drama that route. Yes, your mom technically should have been the first to choose her dress, but you gave your FMIL permission to choose hers first and she has asked that your mother choose a different color. It would have been nice if she had told that to your mom before she went shopping, but there isn't anything you can do about it now. I'm sure you can find your mom's dress in another color that will look beautiful on her.

As for whether your FH should support you in this argument - don't even go there. There's no way for the poor guy to win in this situation, so I wouldn't make a mountain out of a molehill. Technically, a married man should support his wife against anyone, including his mother - but you're not married yet. Nor is this really YOUR issue. If it was a case of YOU and his mom wanting to wear the same color dress, it would be a different story. Essentially, by saying 'shouldn't he support me?' you're trying to guilt-trip him into choosing your mom over his mom, and that's not fair. So don't even go there.

DaisypathWedding Ticker

Vice President and Guardian of the Toilet Brush of POOP: People Offended by Offended People

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MsDenuninani Posts : 3,962 Registered: 3/16/07
Re: Mother-of-the-Groom Dress
Posted: Apr 16, 2010 4:47 PM Go to message in response to: IDBride1234

Should I have made my mother return her dress? And shouldn't my fiance have supported my decision, even if it made his mother upset?

No, and yes.

Your mother's only concern needs to be you and your FH. If y'all don't care, why should she? And once it was discovered that you are fine with the decision, everyone else should drop it.

If others bring it up from now on, my response would be "I've seen both dresses and they are both beautiful, and unique. I look forward to seeing them both at our wedding." And then not say anything more about it.

It's up to your MIL whether she cares enough to exchange her dress. Your mother didn't do anything wrong.

__________________________________________

"I'd hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, or insanity, but they've always worked for me." Hunter S. Thompson

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BrighterThanSun... Posts : 853 Registered: 10/17/08
Re: Mother-of-the-Groom Dress
Posted: Apr 16, 2010 4:59 PM Go to message in response to: IDBride1234

Jeez, a girl and I wore the same dress to Prom and it wasn't a big deal. We knew beforehand and we both just kept our fingers crossed that we wouldn't look like twins.

We ended up looking extremely different and nobody except our closest friends noticed that we were wearing the same dress--and that's because they already knew before hand. I wore bronze heels and a bronze long heart necklace--she wore silver strappy heels, a silver chandelier necklace and some sort of silver bracelet. My hair was in a long straight ponytail--she wore hers down and curly. I wore no make up--she wore make up. Even my boyfriend at the time forgot and even though the girl and I were talking for a moment with him by my side--he didn't even notice!

If both of them refuse to exchange their dresses--maybe be involved in the accessorizing and styling of their hair and such to ensure that they have different looks.

For me, this is an issue I would leave to the Moms. I wouldn't take responsibility for their own purchases. If one of them wants to take the high road and exchange their dress, that's their choice.

If your Mom doesn't want to exchange and she loves her dress--just highlight the differences to your FMIL rather than showing the similarities. Explain that your Mother doesn't feel a desire to exchange because she doesn't think they will look similar at all.

Basically--I don't think this should be your battle. I think this is between the Moms. To be a good daughter and FDIL, try to ease the situation by pointing out positives and trying to make both of them look unique.

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Mother-of-the-Groom Dress
Posted: Apr 16, 2010 6:24 PM Go to message in response to: IDBride1234

Dear ID,

". My future MIL, her daughter, and my fiance are all incredibly angry at me and say that my mother and I are being selfish and that we have broken protocol."

???

FMIL is the protocol-breaker. The mother of the bride, as hostess, has first dibs on a dress. Once that dress is purchased, the mother of the groom gets hers, in a complimentary style and color.

FMIL jumped the gun. She has no one to blame but herself.


" Should I have made my mother return her dress?"

No. What you can do is tell your mother all that has happened, and then let her make up her own mind as to what she does. Be sure to tell your mother you will back her up 100% no matter what she decides. Your mom is a grown up adult and can make her own decisions, once she is made aware of the facts.


"And shouldn't my fiance have supported my decision, even if it made his mother upset?"

Sure, but we don't do backbone implants over the internet. If FH cannot stand up to his mother, then you've got bigger problems than just dresses at the wedding. Do you really want to marry into this family???

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cyndi33 Posts : 2,585 Registered: 1/3/07
Re: Mother-of-the-Groom Dress
Posted: Apr 16, 2010 6:30 PM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

Totally agree with both MsD and AOTB. Good luck with your FH and your future in laws though. Hopefully they will knock it off.

 Proud Member of P.O.O.P.,  People Offended by Offended People

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myras Posts : 396 Registered: 2/26/10
Re: Mother-of-the-Groom Dress
Posted: Apr 16, 2010 7:15 PM Go to message in response to: IDBride1234

you've got bigger problems than just dresses at the wedding. Do you really want to marry into this family???

Good Lord!! I totally agree with AOTB. And frankly, if I were your Mom, I would not be the bigger person and I would not return my dress, simply because that is the stupidest thing I ever heard, and if you give in to this kind of pressure now, what will you have to put up with in the future?

A word to your FH (please read it to him): Your mother is totally out of line. She has violated wedding etiquette rules and is now making everyone miserable with her unreasonable demands. And you are angry with your fiancee and her mother??? You should be ashamed of yourself. Are you a man or a mouse? Your mother should go pound sand (thanks AOTB!) And if you can't tell her so (nicely of course), I pity the woman who marries you.
myra@classysassyweddings.com

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BrighterThanSun... Posts : 853 Registered: 10/17/08
Re: Mother-of-the-Groom Dress
Posted: Apr 16, 2010 7:19 PM Go to message in response to: myras

I don't think a fight about mother's dresses would be a deal breaker for me.

But I recommend on having a talk with your FH about your thoughts on how he handled the situation.

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CatStandish Posts : 2,766 Registered: 6/20/08
Re: Mother-of-the-Groom Dress
Posted: Apr 16, 2010 7:42 PM Go to message in response to: IDBride1234

Your mom had first dibs on dress purchase...even if your FMIL asked you if she to go shopping first, she should have called YOUR mom to get that permission. That was not your permission to give (Not criticizing you here, just pointing out something)

Wedding protocol...which is VERY well known by your FMIL who is being a brat...is that the MOB chooses her dress and the MOG chooses as complimentary one. The MOG does not get first right of dress refusal. If the MOB is happy with both of their dresses, then the MOG is good. Technically, the MOB could be making a demand that the MOG return her dress. Your mom is ALREADY being the bigger person by not insisting that your FH's mother buy a different dress.

Further, your FH's mother knew she should be coordinating this with your mom, and not you. (And if she did not know that, she should have!)

Since the FMIL is the one claiming that your mom is breaking wedding protocol... here is the wedding protocol regarding Mother dresses:

"It is the bride's mother who will first select a dress for her daughters wedding. A gown of complimentary color and similar styling is then chosen by the mother of the groom. She must wear long if the bride's mother wears long or short if she wears short. The color should not match the bridesmaids, nor the brides' mother, but compliment both."
http://www.ourmarriage.com/html/mother_of_the_groom.html

And your FH should not be getting involved in this, nor should his sister. He clearly has no understanding of "wedding protocol" (nor, for the record, does the MOG, who should have at least looked it up before declaring there was a breach). His mom will get to be the one to choose her dress first when the sister gets married (or has already had that chance). She does not get to usurp your mom's role. And he needs to at least not be pissy with you.

This is just a stupid dress and he's already letting his mom dictate how he treats you. I think its time for a chat with the groom about FIANCE PROTOCOL!

Misty

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BrighterThanSun... Posts : 853 Registered: 10/17/08
Re: Mother-of-the-Groom Dress
Posted: Apr 16, 2010 7:55 PM Go to message in response to: CatStandish

Oh my goodness.

I had no idea there was so much protocol. MOG must wear long if MOB wears long? Or wear short if MOB wears short? Must be in a complementary colour?

I think that's all ridiculous.

I think that both mother's should just pick out an outfit that they love--regardless of colour (as long as they don't look like a bride or bridesmaid) and length.

I can guarantee you that both my Mom and my FHs Mom will wear 2 very different outfits from one another and won't be 'complementary' because they have pretty much opposite taste in clothes. I can also tell you that my Mom wouldn't care a bit that they don't 'look good together' or if both of them wear the same colour.

I'm sorry but I find that such strange etiquette...

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cyndi33 Posts : 2,585 Registered: 1/3/07
Re: Mother-of-the-Groom Dress
Posted: Apr 16, 2010 8:27 PM Go to message in response to: CatStandish

This is just a stupid dress and he's already letting his mom dictate how
he treats you. I think its time for a chat with the groom about FIANCE
PROTOCOL!

Agreed. Big red flag for me, and we know I have had issues with in laws lately!! If DH was not handling this much, much better now, it could only go way downhill, way fast, for me and us.

 Proud Member of P.O.O.P.,  People Offended by Offended People

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myras Posts : 396 Registered: 2/26/10
Re: Mother-of-the-Groom Dress
Posted: Apr 16, 2010 8:28 PM Go to message in response to: BrighterThanSun...

I personally agree with you. I don't give a rat's ass who wears what (color, length, etc.) or who chooses her dress first, as long as everyone is in sync with the bride's wishes.

BUT, since the groom's mother is making a big stink and basing it on etiquette, then at least she should check out what proper etiquette in the situation is (and it is what Cat explained). As far as the groom goes, my previous comments stand.
myra@classysassyweddings.com

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PharmToxGirl Posts : 5,446 Registered: 8/30/07
Re: Mother-of-the-Groom Dress
Posted: Apr 16, 2010 8:29 PM Go to message in response to: BrighterThanSun...

BTS - I agree with you. But as the FMIL threw etiquette into the mix, this is helpful to the OP who can use it wisely!

I think the whole thing is ridiculous and your FMIL is being a petty witch.

I wouldn't return my dress if I was your mother.

Lord my Mom wore her wedding dress (it was a pretty silver dress) from her second marriage - she even checked with me first because it was her 'wedding' dress. I could have cared less.

My FMIL was nervous about picking out a dress - worried about color, etc. I could have cared less. My attitude was that they were dresses for them and that was it.

 

 

 

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BrighterThanSun... Posts : 853 Registered: 10/17/08
Re: Mother-of-the-Groom Dress
Posted: Apr 16, 2010 10:43 PM Go to message in response to: PharmToxGirl

Valid point Myra and Pharm.

I suppose if MOG brings up a supposed breech of protocol than the protocol should be thrown back in her face to show that it was actually her who breeched it.

However, I suppose MOG did ask permission and than did send a photo to show what she bought--probably as a 'don't buy something similar' message.

I don't know how I feel about the whole etiquette faux-paux's happening here...

I just think the whole scenario is ridiculous. They are grown women! If I could handle this with class when I was 17, I'm sure women that are probably around 3x that old should be able to handle it in a dignified manner. Well the MOG--the MOB is fine.

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PharmToxGirl Posts : 5,446 Registered: 8/30/07
Re: Mother-of-the-Groom Dress
Posted: Apr 16, 2010 10:56 PM Go to message in response to: BrighterThanSun...

I just think the whole scenario is ridiculous.
They are grown women! If I could handle this with class when I was 17,
I'm sure women that are probably around 3x that old should be able to
handle it in a dignified manner. Well the MOG--the MOB is fine.


Couldn't agree more BTS, couldn't agree more.




 

 

 

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