How To Shop Like A Mother
Updated: Jul 12, 2022
You just got the news (or suspect the news), that your daughter or son is getting married. Immediately a thousand and one wedding plans clog your brain—When? Where? Big? Small? Is there time to lose weight? Finally you filter down to, what am I going to wear?
Since dressing "mothers of" is our specialty, we've put together a few tips, aka suggestions, to help guide you through the mother-of-the-bride, mother-of-the-groom wedding trenches.
First of all, if you are MOB (get used to your new acronym), your daughter may be the star of the show as the bride, but you fall in right behind as you are the hostess of the show. That means not just any ho-hum dress/gown will do. It has to be special. It has to make you look special. It has to make you feel special. If you are MOG you have your own unique set of challenges. You too need that one special dress, with the caveat you can't bump the bride or MOB off their respected places of honor. A delicate dance. No matter which category is yours, the last thing you want is to look like a guest at your own child's wedding.
To do this right, know the answers to the questions below before you start trying on merchandise. You are wasting your time, your family's time, friend's time and the sales person's time if you don't. That gets exhausting and frustrating for everyone. The more prepared you are, the smoother and enjoyable your shopping excursions will go.
No matter which role you are cast in, get this info together pre-shopping:
Has a date been set?
Church? Temple? Barn? Garden? Backyard? Beach?
Evening or daytime?
Outside or in? Or both?
Sit down reception or cocktails?
How many guests?
Meet with the bride before you start shopping
What color can you wear?
What color can't you wear?
Did bride agree to color?
Did you share what styles you like with her?
Is anything off limits?
So your questions are answered and you are ready to shop? More to consider. . .
Know your price range
Attend trunk shows to see a variety of what's possible
Special order to get color, size, sleeves, neckline you want
Leave plenty of time to special order, it can take months, especially now
Allow time and budget for fittings (everyone needs them)
Is your weight stable? Gaining/losing can drastically affect fit & look of dress
Come prepared to try on—bring selection of bras, Spanx, and shoes
Cell phone photos do not give a true picture of color and fit. Look in the mirror.
An experienced sales person can guide you on what works for your shape
Ordering online does not give you true color or fabric feel or the variety of size and customized choices a specialty store can.
Above all, remember you are the person buying the gown and wearing the gown. You have to love it. That is why it is best to leave your squad at home. If you shop with 5 friends, I guarantee you'll have 5 different opinions and you'll never find what you want. At most, bring a "plus one" and that's it or you'll only end up confused and stuck. And forget obsessing that you are only wearing the gown once. The invitation, the flowers, the dinner, the cake and the bridal gown are only once too. This is a once-in-a-lifetime moment. Go for it.
Our final piece of advice? The sooner you get this checked off your wedding to-do list, the sooner you can enjoy the ride and have fun. These are special lifetime moments for you to cherish. Make the most of them.