Weddings despite being a magical moment for everyone involved also comes with a lot of details you need to pay attention to. This is of course relevant only if you want to follow the existing traditions. Anyone can ignore wedding traditions and customs, but most people choose to have a traditional wedding.
Ever wondered if there is a particular dress etiquette that the mother of the groom needs to follow for the wedding and if so, what it is? Well, it’s more of a set of guidelines that she can follow rather than a guide for the type of dress she has to wear.
So what exactly are these guidelines and are they different from the ones that the mother of the bride needs to follow? Let’s find out.
Everything you should know about mother of the groom dress
As the mother of the groom, the wedding of your son is something that will always be near and dear to your heart. Apart from the usual planning tasks, you also have to play an instrumental role in the wedding itself. When you walk down the aisle, a lot of eyes will be on you and therefore what you wear is quite important. Here is everything you need to know about etiquette when it comes to the dress of the mother of the groom.
Type of dress
Deciding on what to wear is one of the least complicated aspects as it is defined more by the overall dress style plans for the wedding and the season it is taking place in. One way to make things interesting could be to take the venue also into consideration when choosing the dress. Traditionally, the mother of the bride first chooses her dress and then informs the mother of the groom about her choice so that both can wear dresses that complement each other and the wedding as a whole.
One may assume that white or off white would be a good choice for a wedding, which is not the case here. The bride is the one who should be wearing a white dress. Some off-white dresses may appear to look white in photographs because of lighting and you certainly don’t want to take the spotlight away from the bride. There is no rule as such of course but do discuss it with the bride and her family before you plan on getting a dress in white or with blush hues.
Picking the dress
Who gets to pick the dress? You do, of course. After all, you will be the one who will be wearing it. As per tradition, you have to speak with the bride and her family before buying one to make sure that you won’t be stepping on anyone’s toes accidentally on the day of the wedding. The sooner you have this discussion, the smoother everything else will be.
Time to buy
Brides usually choose their wedding dress a year or eight months before the wedding date. The dress she buys will set the tone for the wedding and so you will have to start looking for yours shortly after. You can buy it 6 months before the wedding too but the earlier it is done, the less hectic the wedding year will be. You also don’t have to necessarily wait for the bride’s mother to buy her dress as long as you are openly communicating with her regarding your plan.
Matching the mother of the bride’s dress
This one is something you can do but usually, both mothers wear different dresses. Wearing matching dresses can either look amazing or completely backfire as it may come across as tacky. So if the wedding has a singular theme for everyone except the bride and the groom, go for it. Otherwise, feel free to buy the dress you want to wear and not the one you have to wear. If you do decide to go with matching dresses, you can also wear different accessories to break up the monotony.
What is the traditional guideline to follow when it comes to the mother of the groom dress?
While there is no fast rule that the mother of the groom needs to follow when picking her dress, here are some helpful tips or guidelines to look at.
- Always communicate with the bride and her mother before making any decision. This way, they will be able to work with the groomsmen and the bridesmaids to ensure that the wedding sticks to the decided theme.
- The safest choice would be to go with a dress that is similar to the one worn by the bride’s mother but different enough to stand out.
- Feel free to go with unique accessories but keep it formal or at least semi-formal.
- Do not pick a dress that matches closely with that of the bride’s.
- The dress itself doesn’t need to be formal or casual as it will depend on the theme of the wedding
- Do not pick a black dress unless you have discussed it with the bride and groom and have their approval.
- Always go for a conservative approach when it comes to what you wear.
- Unless it is approved by the bride and groom, do not go for a bright and colorful dress. Pastel ones would be a wiser choice.
- Your hairstyle is just as important as your dress. However, do not go for one that looks like a bridal hairdo.
- Always start looking for the dress at least 8 months before the wedding date. It is advisable that you do so as soon as the bride picks hers but if things don’t go as planned, make sure you buy it at least 6 months before the wedding date.
Shopping advice for the mother of the groom
Wondering what to wear for your son’s wedding might seem like an arduous task but it doesn’t have to be one. If you break it up into smaller decisions, you will be able to find the right one in no time at all. Here are a few tips on how to shop efficiently for the wedding.
- Always talk to the bride and her mother and let them know what you like and what you would like to wear. The bride probably has some ideas on how she wants the wedding to look like and so it would be common courtesy to discuss it with them. This will also give you a great chance to get to know each other and bond before the wedding. When it comes to picking the dress, you might have to compromise and go with the bride’s decision if she has a specific look in mind. It is her wedding, after all, so do keep that in mind.
- If the bride is ok with you picking the dress you like, then you need to start thinking about the theme of the wedding. Is it ultra-formal, traditionally formal or semi-casual? Is there a specific theme or is the theme based on the venue like a beach wedding? Once you know what the theme is, you need to look for a dress that doesn’t stand out too much or disappear with all the other dresses. The bride deserves the spotlight but that doesn’t mean that you should not feel good about yourself wearing your dress.
- Always buy a dress that looks flattering on you. This might make it safer and so perhaps a bit boring in your mind but the wedding is not a place to take fashion risks. This is not to say that you should not change anything of course. You can be a bit adventurous but make sure it is within limits. A great way to play it safe and interesting is to pick the right accessories. They add enough flair to keep eyes on you while not being so flashy that you take the bride’s spotlight.
- When trying out the dress, feel free to go all out. Wear what makes you happy and feel beautiful. Even if it means wearing gorgeous makeup and some great heels, go for it. The wedding dress can be obnoxiously expensive and you need to be certain that you will be happy with it even when you wear it months later.
- Do not be ashamed of getting some tailoring work done. Most people who buy wedding attire almost always get it altered to fit them. Dresses and suits for the wedding are bought months in advance and so there is no telling how comfortable wearing the dress will be later. Moreover, a great tailor can transform an already amazing dress into a stunning masterpiece you can cherish for years to come.
What should be the color of the dress worn by the mother of the groom?
There is no rule that one should wear a specific color when it comes to a dress for a wedding. You can choose any color you like. However, as a common courtesy, you should always check with the bride’s family before buying one. They might have a specific concept for the wedding with a clear and defined visual look and feel. If you buy a dress that goes against this, the bride and you will have to spend a lot of time and effort to redo or change the concept. Today people have both white and black weddings too. Some prefer to go with an accent color like purple or red whereas others go for yellow dresses. As long as both the bride’s family and the groom’s family are on the same page, it doesn’t matter what color the dress is.
What should the stepmother of the groom wear?
This one is quite tricky as there are so many variables associated with it. Will the real mother also be there? Are both of them on good terms with each other or is one of them estranged? As per traditions, the real mother always takes precedence over the stepmother. However, if the groom is closer to the stepmother than his real mother, one can change the rules to accommodate his wishes. As far as the type of dress is concerned, usually the stepmother chooses a dress that falls between a normal wedding dress and that which is chosen by the real mother of the groom. In most cases, the best way would be just to have an open discussion with the bride and the groom before looking at any dresses.
What should the mother of the groom wear to the wedding?
She can wear whichever dress she likes and feels comfortable in as long as the decision or wish is communicated to the bride and her mother beforehand. Why? As per tradition, the mother of the groom and the mother of the bride wear dresses that complement each other. It doesn’t have to be the same color or design but they shouldn’t be way too different either. Almost all weddings have a specific theme and so going against it might not be a wise idea. Instead, one should try to work within the theme and pick a dress that is flattering but doesn’t stand out too much either. The trick is in getting that balance.
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