When you hear the words “Mother of the Bride” you might immediately flash to an elderly lady in the front row, with her sensible peach coloured suit and floppy corsage firmly in place, beaming as the Father of the Bride leads their daughter down the aisle. But of course, we know that times have changed not only in what the Mother of the Bride might be wearing, but also in how she might be taking part.
Sitting in the front row? More often, Moms as well as Dads are in the ‘giving away of the bride’ business. Or at least, I was at my daughter’s wedding this past summer. We both walked down the aisle. And with that potential pressure to have all eyes upon you whether you’re aisle walking or not, I’d like to offer up advice for future mothers of the bride to make sure they look and more importantly feel their best, in that moment, and through the entire ceremony and reception.
- The Dress: Say yes to a dress that fits three basic criteria. It fits you comfortably, at the time of fitting, but that also has room for tailoring as you are probably ordering a few months in advance. Secondly, make sure you like it. It’s easy to be swayed by your daughter or future daughter in law to what they prefer but find a dress that you both like. You won’t feel comfortable in something that isn’t your style. And third of course, keep an eye on budget. Just like a bridesmaid dress, we might kid ourselves that we’ll get future wear out of the dress, but don’t count on it. Your cost per wear is likely to be a divisor of one.
- The Hair: Try to think of this as your ‘best you’. Trying an elaborate hair-do for the first time at a wedding might not be the best choice. You can never be sure how long it will last, and how it will fall during the course of a long day. Try to experiment before the big day but ultimately make sure it’s something you can maintain yourself well into the reception.
- The Makeup: Professional makeup does make a difference, but make sure that you use a makeup artist you have used in the past or have good references for. For some artists, ‘subtle’ makeup is not the same as for others. Even if you think you’re pretty good at doing your make-up or don’t think you really need it, it’s worth it to bring in a pro. If you’re the only one not professionally made up in the photos, it will show. Also, while we’re on the face, if you have ever though about getting contacts, this would be a good time. I have presbyopia so opted for a multifocal lens (I prefer Alcon Dailies) that allowed me to see details up close, but also to look out into that happy crowd, and lasted all day and night without irritation. No glasses or pinch marks for photos either; and why look even older than you have to?
- The Shoes: Do what the tv pros do and have one pair for photos and video, and one pair for before and afterwards. We all know that the nicest looking shoes are often the most uncomfortable. Try to find a pair you can wear for at least a few hours (train in them, in your house, beforehand) and then pack a more comfortable pair that still go with the style of your dress. You don’t want to be in stocking or bare feet during the dancing, but you do want to be dancing.
Remember that, in a quite different way, this is your day too. Make sure you take the time to pamper and prepare yourself as well and take the time to reach around in that comfortably fitting dress and give yourself a pat on the back. Well done, Mum.