So, you’ve helped your daughter pick out her gorgeous wedding dress, and now it’s your turn to find an outfit for the special day. Of course, it will be all eyes on the bride on her wedding day, but that doesn’t mean that mum shouldn’t look and feel amazing too. It’s very common to find “mother of the bride/groom” departments in bridal stores which are designed to showcase a range of gowns for mothers. However, finding a gown that isn’t old-fashioned or dated is harder thank you may think. Both mothers deserve to look and feel exceptionally special on their child’s wedding day so we share our top tips to finding or creating the perfect wedding attire that you’ll absolutely love.
Designer: Zuhair Murad
Our top tips before starting the Mother of the Bride/Groom Dress Shopping Process:
If you’re the bride- Talk to your mum and get a sense of what she’d like to wear and how she wants to feel on your big day. Does she want to dress formal or semi-formal? Does she want an outfit that can be more versatile and worn on another occasion? Remind your mother how important it is that she feels comfortable and beautiful on your big day. Mothers don’t want to ever out-shine the bride and bridal party but that doesn’t mean that they should settle for a standard gown that they don’t love. It’s a great idea to discuss the overall style and theme of your wedding day so mum can have a good idea of what she should wear.
SHOULD MOTHER OF THE BRIDE MATCH MOTHER OF THE GROOM?
Whilst it’s definitely not necessary to coordinate mum’s look with Mother-of-the-groom, it’s always a great idea to share their designs and ideas and what they intend on wearing. Nobody wants to accidently wear the same dress as another guest or close member of the bridal party. Both mothers don’t need to match each other, however it can look nice if the colours go well together. Discuss the different styles and colours with each mum to ensure that both mums’ have the opportunity to shine.
Designer: Sonia Pena
CHOOSING A COLOUR
Mums outfit doesn’t need to match your bridal party but it is a great idea to ensure that mums’ outfit and chosen colour complements your bridesmaids. This may mean wearing a shade slightly lighter or darker from your bridal party or possibly selecting a completely different colour that complements your bridal tribe. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself or mum to pick the perfect colour. Mother of the bride/groom generally have more freedom and choice when it comes to selecting a colour for themselves.
HAIR & MAKEUP
Hair and makeup is definitely a personal choice but it’s always a great idea to speak with mum and discuss what kind of look she envisions. Before she decides on her hair and makeup it’s best to select a gown/outfit first. The design of the gown can definitely help guide you both on what hairstyle is most suitable. If you have a beautiful lace back with intricate detailing, you definitely don’t want to hide that feature so a low bun or high up-do could look very beautiful and elegant.
Designer: Sonia Pena
A mother of the bride dress should be flattering and fabulous—and one should not be limited to traditional styles only. We’ve rounded up some elegant and trendy mother of the bride/groom dress ideas for your mum to look super stylish and trendy on your big day:
Spring into style with pastels! This season, blush pinks, mint greens, seafoam blues and pale yellows are ruling the bridal runways. The colour possibilities for mothers are endless. A pastel colour palette is absolutely timeless and one that you won’t regret many years down the track. It’s a colour palette that is suitable for all seasons and looks great in so many different dress styles. Along with this, the pastel colour palette suits so many different skin tones. If you’re tan or darker toned, then consider a fresh yellow, lilac, oyster or pale blue. For mothers with a fairer skin complexion, a beautiful pastel pink, mint green and sunshine yellow can look beautiful on you. Fairer skin tones should stray away from light pastels and add a pop of colour into their look.
2. SEQUINNED/BEADED GOWNS
Whether you’re after a short or long dress, you can’t look past a stunning beaded gown. A beaded dress is the perfect way to add a touch of formality and glamour into your outfit. Always speak to the bride and groom first about how formal their wedding is so you can find the perfect beaded dress to complement their big day. A wedding is the perfect reason to dress up and opt for a little bit of sparkle and shimmer. And if you’re in the bridal party or mother of the bride/groom then you definitely deserve to look and feel super special. A beaded or sequined dress is definitely eye-catching so avoid patterns and bold colours if you want something a little subtler. A plain sequinned fabric in one colour is the perfect way to add an elegant and minimalistic touch. With such a stunning fabric you don’t need a very complex design. Keep it simple and plain as this will truly allow your fabric to shine.
3. DEEP AND RICH HUES
Designer: Zuhair Murad
Wearing any colour can be a daunting thing as most people often feel comfortable in black. However, if you’re wanting to add a touch of colour to your mother of the bride/groom attire then look no further than a beautiful rich jewel tone. Jewel tones include emerald green, ruby red and sapphire blue to name a few. These colours are perfect for a formal and glamorous wedding and with a more simplistic style gown they can also be used for a more casual style wedding. Jewel tones are rich and deep in colour and look extremely beautiful in a shiny satin fabric. They catch the light perfectly and don’t necessarily require beading or lace if you opt for such a glamorous fabric and colour. These beautiful hues also suit nearly every skin tone!
Designer: Gatti Nolli Couture
If you’re wanting to add a real vintage twist to your modern bridal attire then you can’t look past a stunning cape. Capes and capelets might have been extremely popular in the 70’s but they definitely haven’t left. This unique feature has become super popular over the past 2 years with many brides and mothers opting for this additional design to complete their look. It’s such an easy and affordable way to glam up your look without needing to add bling and embellishments. Capes are often gathered at your shoulders and drape seamlessly to the floor, however there are so many variations nowadays. With a custom cape you can create your very own unique look. Play around with different lengths, fabrics and hemlines. Asymmetrical cut hems are extremely popular and can add a real edgy and modern twist to your attire. Consider sheer fabrics such as tulles, georgette and silk chiffon or solid fabrics such as a silk satin or crepe.
5. STATEMENT SLEEVES
Designer: Johanna Ortiz
Being the mother of the bride/groom, you can be sure that you will receive a lot of attention on your daughter’s big day. Looking and feeling your best is important so don’t be afraid to go bold with your outfit and add an additional statement sleeve. A puffy tulle balloon sleeve or frilly layered feature is a great way to add a unique and formal touch to your outfit and can even be made detachable if you would like to change up your look after the ceremony. It’s important to consider how much skin you want to show and what is flattering to your body type. You can’t go wrong with a striking sleeve.
6. OFF THE SHOULDER
Designer: Tadashi Shoji
In the last few years, highlighting your shoulders and décolletage area has become a popular focal point. So, it’s no surprise that the off-the-shoulder trend has taken the bridal world by storm. This elegant design is most suitable to women with a smaller bust as bustier women often need straps for extra support. However, don’t fear fellow mums, with a custom in-built corset you too can pull off this beautiful style. The off-the-shoulder neckline is an absolute classic and is something that will stand the test of time. So, if you’re looking for something that won’t out-date or something that you won’t regret in 5 years’ time then this is the perfect neckline for you. To add a modern twist, consider a thick structured band or a sheer ruched tulle feature that drapes off your shoulders and around your arms. It’s a great way to add extra coverage to your upper arms without opting for sleeves.
7. EMBROIDERED LACES
Image via: Curvegirl.com
Finding a lace gown that isn’t old-fashioned or over-done can be quite tricky when you’re shopping at a pre-made boutique. For young mums wanting to achieve a fresh and trendy look whilst still remaining modest and sophisticated, then the embroidered lace is the perfect one for you. An embroidered lace is not too fine, nor too thick. The embroidery allows the design to stand-out without being too bulky. Most embroidered laces come in various designs from floral details, to paisley and geometric. Embroidered laces are extremely modern in style and can be used in various ways from sheer lace sleeves to tailored jackets, flowy skirts and structured dresses.
8. FLORAL PRINTS
Designer: Sonia Pena
Whether your child is getting married in a garden ceremony or an extravagant ballroom, there is always a way to incorporate a touch of florals. Floral prints are often used for less formal events, however with the perfect design you can easily dress this fabric up and make it shine. For a more casual or outdoor event, consider a tea length style gown or high low dress. These are perfect lengths for the outdoors as you won’t need to worry about getting your skirt hem all dirty. For a more formal event, consider a soft and flowy A-line skirt with a statement balloon sleeve. If you’re not a fan of a sleeve then consider a beautiful light weight cape or silky wings. This simple and elegant addition is the perfect way to glam up your floral printed gown and add that perfect touch of formality.
9. SHORTER HEMLINES
Designer: Luisa Beccaria
Who said mum can’t have fun and get creative with her gown? This is the perfect time for you to play around with different hemlines and consider straying away from the traditional floor length gown. If you’re after something a little unique and modern, opt for an illusion wrap style dress with a beautiful split. Your wrap style gown can be cut in various lengths depending on your preference. Another extremely popular hemline is the high-low skirt. This classic style has been a crowd favourite over the past year with many mothers opting for simplistic and timeless silhouettes. We’re also seeing plenty of cocktail length, tea-length and knee length gowns hit the market. These gowns are not only extremely on trend but are also super practical and can often be worn again and again.
10. THE CLASSY PANTSUIT
Designer: Tadashi Shoji
If you’re not keen on the formal floor length gown and extravagant lace dresses then we have the perfect outfit for you. The pantsuit is not just suitable as corporate workwear but can also look extremely elegant and sophisticated; perfect for a wedding or formal evening event. The pant suit is a versatile design that can easily be dressed up or down depending on the formality of the event. If you’re after something practical and comfortable and want to avoid the hassle of trains, heavy beading and lots of fabric then this style is the one for you. To achieve a well-tailored fit, consider using a fabric with a stretch element.
What to do if you can’t find the dress that makes you look WOW?
Finding the perfect pre-made gown for your child’s wedding isn’t always the easiest of tasks. Mothers should start looking for dress and outfit ideas as soon as the bride has set the wedding date. This will ensure that you have enough time to plan out your style, colours and finishing touches. It will also allow you enough time to get your outfit custom-made in the event that you can’t find anything off the rack. Most mums tend to make the mistake of waiting for the bride and bridal party to have their gowns all sorted, however if you put off dress shopping you run the risk of not being able to find anything in the stores and not having enough time to custom create. You should never rush the dress-making process. It’s important to get started early and chat to a designer and dressmaker the moment that you know that you want a custom-made piece. Your designer will guide you with your dress shape, the various fabrics and lace options to suit your design and the most flattering colours to suit your complexion and skin tone.
Whilst most bridal shops have referral-based dressmaking services who can alter your outfit to fit accordingly, it’s important to know that you will most likely pay quite a lot extra to tweak your pre-made gown. The disadvantage of buying off the rack is that there is no guarantee that you can achieve the perfect fit and you are often limited to a small selection of designs. These designs are often standard dresses that are found across various stores. So, If you can’t find what you’re looking for in a shop, or you’re after something a little unique, quirky or customised to you then you might want to look into hiring a seamstress to create your one-of-a-kind Mother of the bride/groom dress.
Do you have a wedding coming up? What are you planning to wear? If you need a little help deciding on which mother of the bride dresses (or mother of the groom dresses) might be best for you, Request your appointment here today for your free in-store design consultation and over the phone styling advice service from our lovely team of bridal designers in Melbourne who have been creating dream wedding dresses for the past 19 years!