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Mother of the Bride Outfit Guide

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Your son or daughter’s wedding is a very exciting time, and as the day dawns you’ll be looking forward to dressing up is a head-turning Mother of the Bride outfit (or Mother of the Groom outfit of course!) and feeling great.


Whilst you should always look to let personal style preferences come through in your decisions, there are three other important factors you should consider when choosing any Mother of the Groom/Mother of the Bride outfit:


Weddingsday Will it be comfortable? It is likely that you will spend much of the day mingling, dashing around and hitting the dancefloor, so when choosing your Mother of the Groom/Mother of the Bride outfit, comfort should always be high on the agenda.


Weddingsday Will if go with the day? When considering your wedding outfit, you should always make sure you don't deviate too far from the theme of the wedding. Yes, that formal evening gown may look wonderful on, but will it look so good at your son or daughter's casual beach theme wedding?


Weddingsday Will I overshadow the Bride? If the answer is 'yes' or even close to 'yes' then think again. Outshining the Bride on her big day is the biggest wedding no-no of them all, so whatever you do, just don't do it!


Bearing everything already mentioned in mind, there are four main Mother of the Groom and Mother of the Bride outfit styles from which mums typically choose - Occasion Wear, Tailored Suits, Cocktail Dresses and Evening Gowns. Each of these is discussed in greater detail below.


Occasion Wear

In its most simple terms occasion-wear is a combination of the two categories above. Typically a dress or a skirt and top teamed with a complimentary jacket though often with the jacket being made from different fabric to the rest of the outfit. In terms of fabric anything goes but light floaty fabrics which flatter the figure and keep their shape whatever the activity are exceptionally popular - crepes and silks combined with chiffon or georgette are particularly prevelant.


The overall look of the outfit differs from cocktail-wear by being slightly less ornate, not being as rich in colour (possibly less suitable for a formal evening occasion), and sometimes patterned. Think of a light and floaty summer dress with a contemporary floral print teamed with a bead-trimmed, pastel coloured, angora cardigan or shawl.



Tailored Suits

A tailored suit is a formal item of clothing where all elements of the outfit are usually (but not always) made from the same material and fabric. The material will be embellishment-free and often be a little heavier than that used in occasion wear (wool is a particularly popular option).


The look is achieved by combining a top and skirt (of varying length), or pair of trousers with a complementary jacket. Dresses and pinafores can be also be worn with a jacket to create a more relaxed and casual appearance.


If you are looking for value for money out of your Mother of the Groom/Mother of the Bride outfit, then you can't go far wrong with a tailored suit - for any office working mums among you, this is one wedding outfit you could even wear ona weekly basis after the big day and get away with it!



Cocktail Dresses

A cocktail dress is an elegant, and semi-formal item of clothing. Normally made from silk, satin, taffeta or chiffon, they are often adorned with sequins, sparkles or embroidery.


Cocktail dresses vary in length from just above the knee, to a couple of inches above the ankle (also referred to as 'tea length') and the length is often detemined by the formality of the occasion and the confidendce of the wearer.


This type of Mother of the Bride outfit is ideal for the dancefloor and the evening element of a wedding, but can look out of place during the day. With this in mind, mums may wish to choose a cocktail dress as a secondary outfit solely for use after the formalities of the ceremony and daytime reception.



Evening Gowns

More formal than a cocktail dress, an evening gown has a similarly classy appearance, although the skirts tend to be more full and floor length. Evening gowns are perfect choice for a mum at a black tie occassion, and can be easily accessorised with stoles, wraps, boleros and more.


If you are considering this style of Mother of the Bride outfit, you should be aware that they are more akin to be worn on an evening (as their name suggests) than throughout the whole of the day. With this in mind, it is commonplace for a mum to switch into an evening gown as the day wares on.



Related: There are hundreds of wedding articles on the site, each filled with superb ideas, advice and inspiration. Check out the links in the left hand column to read more. Alternatively, to search for a local wedding venue, product or service provider, try our Wedding Directory. With over 13,000 companies already listed, you're sure to find what you're looking for.

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