Everything Mother of the Bride & Groom
True the wedding day is all about the happy couple - but as mother (or significant female relative) of the bride, you will also be noticed - not to mention photographed.
Here are our top tips for choosing your perfect outfit and how to get it right.
Its all about looking great and feeling fabulous without choosing anything which may overshadow the bride.
Nowadays dress codes have relaxed and the choice of occasion wear has greatly expanded meaning you are more likely to find something which you are comfortable in and that reflects your own style/personality.
Give yourself plenty of time to find your outfit, six months is considered a generous time frame, however if you are thinking of having something made eight months to a year is recommended.
When making your decision its traditional for the mother of the bride to compliment the colours of the bridal party, but keep in mind other factors such as location of the wedding, time of year, what suits you and sense of occasion/wedding theme.
Never match the bride - avoid white, ivory or whatever colour the bride may be wearing.
Try and avoid wearing just black as this is considered a sign of mourning, instead look for patterns in black or team with brightly coloured accessories.
The great thing about being close to the bride is that you are in the know about things like theme, colour scheme and style choices so you can base your own fabric choices and style details around this.
Although you don't have to tone entirely with the wedding party, its important that you do not clash so do take any colour swatches with you when browsing.
It is also a kind courtesy for mother of the bride and groom to let each other know about your chosen outfits - to avoid any colour clashes in the wedding photos.
A classic shift dress is the most popular choice for a wedding but where should you place your hemline?
The most universally flattering skirt length is just on or just above the knee but no more than 2inches above the knee, this is considered most flattering and age appropriate for mothers of the bride/groom.
Arms are usually an issue for ladies over a certain age - with most feeling the need to cover up a perfectly detailed dress with a jacket because they don't feel comfortable with bare arms.
A delicate lace sleeve is both elegant and feminine but at the same time provides security.
They are the perfect cover up to give you confidence yet allow you to remain comfortable, becoming a clever design feature of the dress rather than an added necessity.
If your middle is your problem area look for separates which will detract attention from your waist.
Think about your location - a big church wedding will require something a bit more formal than a beach wedding abroad.
Proper undergarments or shapewear are crucial, you will need to wear these to every fitting you attend even if you are just getting an off the peg dress altered. It is highly likely that most people will benefit from a quick nip, tuck or hemline adjustment at some point - consult an experienced seamstress to help you with this.
Now for the big question: To Hat or Not to Hat?
Always consult the bride here as they will have a view on how formal/informal they wish their wedding to be.
Hats are considered more formal and therefore appropriate for lavish church weddings.
They frame the face, make one walk tall, suggest status and generally cause heads to turn.
Whilst fascinators are considered more casual and can be worn for almost any event.
They are an artistic chance to push the boundaries and have some fun.
Try and choose accessories such as shoes, handbag and headwear to compliment your chosen outfit - sometimes an allover exact colour match can be too much. Neutral colours such as gold, silver grey or nude are great for accessorising as they tone well with all colours.
This is a time for you to feel confident and important, don't be afraid to explore colours, prints and embellishments.
You don't want to detract attention from the beautiful bride - but that doesn't mean you have to go head to toe beige.