Wedding dress codes are tricky. No matter how clear you try to be, there will always be a guest or two who misses the memo. But as long as you, your wedding party, and your families are on the Best Dressed list, there’s no need to worry! While it’s easy to make sure your bridesmaids and groomsmen show up in the correct attire (you do get to pick their outfits, after all!), can you do the same for your other VIPs — say, your groom’s mom? Our experts weigh in.
The happy couple definitely can have a say in what their families wear, though telling your future mother-in-law exactly what to wear will come down to the relationship you have and how comfortable she is picking out her own attire for such a big occasion.
First, make sure your mom has found her dress. Typically, both mothers will wear dresses that match the theme and color scheme of the wedding, and often will wear the same hue. Etiquette states that the mother of the bride gets first pick, and then should share pictures with the mother of the groom so she can pick a coordinating (but not identical!) gown. Even if you’re fine having both moms in different styles and colors, the dress your mom chooses should serve as guidance as your groom’s mom does some shopping of her own.
Then, make sure you give your groom’s mother the same guidelines you gave your own, including the color, style, length, and formality. If she’s a fashion maven, she should be good to go from here. Ask her to send you pictures of the options she’s considering if you’d like to have a little more say, or consider going shopping with her. What could be a better bonding activity than this?
Is she less of a shopper? Offer more specific suggestions, put together a Pinterest board of styles you think she might like that fit your vision, or make a plan to go shopping together so you can help her navigate the racks.