You wouldn't think that choosing the dress for your mom to wear to your wedding would be a big deal, but for some mothers of the bride, it's secondary only to the wedding gown as far as the most important details of the big day go.
The thing is, do you really care what your mother is going to wear? As long as it's flattering on her and she looks good in it, and she doesn't match your bridesmaids and she's not wearing white, you should give your mom as much leeway as possible in what she chooses to wear on your big day. So, since you're a supportive daughter, here are five tips to help your MOB find the dress of her dreams:
1. Stay away from anything that even slightly resembles ivory or white.
Gold tones, taupe tones, anything that anyone could construe as being "slightly" white. Why? Because people are snarky. Unless you're having a "white wedding" and everyone is wearing white, mom should be wearing a color.
2. Consider the kind of wedding that you're hosting.
If you're getting married in a church and having an evening reception, the MOB will be wearing something floor length and very formal. For a sunset ceremony by the beach, she might wear a brighter color and certainly nothing floor length as it could get wet during the photos. For a morning wedding, a dressy suit may be just the ticket.
3. Don't limit the stores.
Bridal shops will often offer you a discount on the bridal party attire, and the MOB dress, after you've bought your gown there. However, many of the dresses for mothers that you find in traditional bridal shops lean toward the classic side. Consider taking mom shopping it the formalwear section of a good department store, or at boutique your mother particularly enjoys.
4. Don't choose anything too revealing.
A hint of cleavage is sufficient. Skirts slit to the top of the thigh are not appropriate on the mother of the bride. Think about what it will look like in photos when you help your mother choose the dress. She's going to be dancing and having fun—she shouldn't be wearing anything that could result in an unfortunate wardrobe malfunction.
5. Be sure to coordinate with your future mother-in-law on this whole process.
She and your mother should not be wearing the exact same color unless you planned it that way. Traditionally, MOB gets first pick, the MOG gets second choice of colors. Chat with your fiancé's mom early on and see what she has in mind. You don't want them going two dramatically different directions — one in sequins and the other in a tropical pantsuit, for example.
Owner of Weddings in Vieques, a destination-wedding planning company off the coast of Puerto Rico, Sandy Malone has helped countless couples plan their big day since 2007.