While shopping for a mother of the bride dress for your own mom can be nearly as fun as picking out your own wedding dress, helping the mother of the groom figure out what to wear is a little more challenging. Do you pick a color scheme? Send her options? Go shopping with her? We asked our experts for advice on how to tell your future mother-in-law what she should wear to your wedding.
Tradition states that both mothers wear coordinated outfits — often matching the wedding's color scheme — and that the mother of the bride should select her attire first, which will then be used to inspire and guide what the mother of the groom chooses to wear. If you're having a formal or more traditional wedding, chances are your future mother-in-law is expecting this, so once you're done shopping with Mom, let your groom's mother know what your mom has selected and provide any important guidelines. Should she feel free to wear a cocktail dress even if your mom's is floor-length, or choose a pair of flats or wedges instead of skinny stilettos? Or would you prefer that she wear a lighter hue of blue to complement your mom's navy frock? A little pre-shopping guidance will probably be much-appreciated.
When it comes time to shop, your involvement depends on how close you are with your mother-in-law, both emotionally and physically. If you're close pals and live in the same city, plan a weekend afternoon shopping trip, with either a girls' lunch beforehand or a happy hour cocktail after. If you're still getting to know one another, this could be a great time to really bond, too! But don't fret if the two of you live far apart. She could ask an associate at the store to snap pictures of the options for you to see, or you could trust her fashion sense and let her pick something she loves.
Whichever way you choose to do it, remember to be respectful and sensitive. As long as your mother-in-law's dress fits your vision (even if it's not what you had on your Pinterest board) and isn't the same gown your own mom picked, she'll be happy and will feel fabulous, which will shine extra brightly in those portraits, no matter what the dress looks like!