To Wear White or Not? Mother of the Bride Fashion Etiquette Trends

The Emily Post Institute has long been known as the wedding etiquette and manners experts.  Many people rely on the Institute for wedding advice as families grow and change and fashion evolves.  Recently, a reader posed the question to Peggy Post in her New York Times column about whether it was appropriate for guests to wear white to a wedding.  Her answer may surprise you.  One thing is certain.  As the mother of the bride, there are different rules for you than a regular guest at your daughter’s wedding.  While searching for your mother of the bride outfit, be sure to keep these tips in mind to help you avoid stress and tension.

Mother of The Bride Attire | Frox of Falkirk

Mother of The Bride Attire from Frox of Falkirk

For a long time, wearing white to a wedding was considered taboo.  Recently however, we’ve seen celebrities, and even royalty, choose white for their entire bridal party.  Some have even asked all their guests to don white outfits for their special day.  When Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, married Catherine Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, she famously had her sister Pippa dressed in a gorgeous ivory gown that was the talk of the entire world.  The infamous Kim Kardashian wedding included a bridal party bedecked all in white – including the mother of the bride. White is definitely becoming more acceptable, and even trendy for weddings, and Peggy Post agrees.

Peggy Post advises that if you are going to wear white, be sure the outfit you choose isn’t to “bridal.”  If it’s something that would upset the bride, then it is the wrong outfit.  An outfit made of lace, chiffon or any type of bridal fabric, with a lot of beading or bling, would probably look too much like a wedding dress.  Particularly now, knee-length and shorter wedding gowns have grown in popularity, so a short, white dress could easily be mistaken for a wedding gown.  Remember, it is the bride’s big day so try to avoid any outfit that would take the attention from her.  A good rule of thumb is if you find yourself questioning the outfit, the outfit probably isn’t the right one for the occasion.

Mother of the Bride Fashion | Frox of Falkirk

Mother of the Bride Dress from Frox of Falkirk

As the mother of the bride, you are in a different, unique situation than the rest of the guests.  Some of the hottest colors right now for moms are off-white, ivory, nude and champagne.  Many of these colors are also becoming more popular for wedding gowns.  Even though Peggy Post advises that it is fine for a guest to wear white, as the mother of the bride you should avoid matching the color of your daughter’s dress (unless she specifically wants you to match).  If her dress is white, don’t buy a white dress.  If her dress is champagne, don’t buy a champagne dress.

Mother of The Bride Dress | Frox of Falkirk

Mother of The Bride Dress from Frox of Falkirk

Be sure to talk with your daughter before you even begin to shop for your mother of the bride outfit and find out what her vision is for her wedding day.  Knowing what she wants ahead of time, before you spend the time shopping (and possibly falling in love with the wrong outfit) will save you stress and tension later.  More importantly, you can relax and enjoy this special time with your daughter.

Yvone Kon has over 11 years of experience in event planning, marketing and sales.  She is the author of the blog EventSpiration – providing inspiration and ideas for weddings, parties and holidays.  She also writes three columns for National Wedding Planning, Pittsburgh Event Planning and Pittsburgh Animal Advocacy.  She is passionate about animal advocacy, rescue and adoption. She believes adopting “used” dogs is always better than buying new, and shelter dogs are the best breed.  She spends her time blogging and writing with her two rescued dogs sprawled across her lap.

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