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Hey There, Mother of the Bride & Groom

Hey there, Mama! Suzanne here. Congratulations on reaching yet another milestone in your never-ending journey as a Mother. You’ve survived the newborn stage, the terrible two’s, teenage rebellion that left you with a facial tic and those anxiety inducing college years. Now it’s time to celebrate the next chapter in your baby’s life….marriage.

As you’re picturing how beautiful your daughter will look or how handsome your son will be in a tuxedo, have you given a thought to what you’ll be wearing? Yeah. I didn’t think so. And, really….haven’t you endured enough already? Now your child has tasked you with finding a gown that makes your figure look fabulous, will fit in aesthetically with the bridal party, won’t make you look matronly, or show up their new mother-in-law. Oh, and of course you’re going to want that dress to camouflage the flaws, accentuate your assets and hopefully not require you to be trussed up in Spanx like a mummy. Easy, right? No problem. (Cue panic attack)

BUT, all is not lost. I’m here to help you. How? Because I AM you. I am firmly ensconced in middle age, possess a love of carbs, a loathing for kale and have a deep desire not to look like a swamp witch. I know I can help you find the perfect look with a little time, an open mind and some honest, constructive feedback. 

Where do we start? Well, first I need you to know that in order to have as many choices as possible, you need to start your search at least 3-4 months before the wedding. Why? Because special order gowns take time to produce, especially in a range of colors and sizes. Sure, you could buy something off the rack and that’s definitely an option for many. But do you want to be stuck with only one color choice and a sample that’s battle worn from it’s time with the public? Wouldn’t it be nicer to have a brand new dress in a color you chose instead of being forced to take the clearance rack refugees? Give yourself the gift of time and choice….visit sooner rather than later.

MGNY by Madeline Gardner

And, what about those colors? Are there specific colors for specific seasons? Can you wear a Dusty Rose in January? Short answer….yes. There really isn’t a specific seasonality to Mother’s dresses. I always advise having a conversation with the Bride before you start looking because there may be colors she would prefer you not wear. Or, maybe she wants you in something that compliments the bridal party. Find out ahead of time and make your search less stressful. Once you get the “rules of engagement” for your dress search, you’re better prepared to start this quest. Right now, the most popular colors for Mother’s dresses are Black, Navy, Silver and Charcoal Gray. Maybe those colors work for you…maybe they don’t. You’re not going to really know until you’re IN a gown. 

Mother of the bride dress from Mon Cheri Montage line with an off the shoulder neck line, three-quarter inch sleeves and all over lace appliqué, shown in black comes in delphinium as well
Montage by Mon Cheri

But, what if I don’t know what’s going to look good on me? No worries….that’s why I’m here. I will give you honest, helpful feedback and suggestions on how to make that dress sit up and call you “mama”. Recently, I had a customer swear there was only a specific silhouette she could wear and that “everything else” would call attention to things she would rather camouflage. After a little nudge, she wound up choosing an amazing MGNY off the shoulder, column dress (style #71616) that actually minimized her concerns.

MGNY 71616

Exploring other options gave her the cougar vibe she deserved to be rocking as a Mother of the Bride rather than that “Granny dress” she thought she’d be trapped in. She was thrilled with her choice and I was happy to be there to lend an assist.

Navy mother of the bride dress with a boat neckline, beaded illusion top and three-quarter inch sleeves and a layered chiffon skirt
Navy is a popular color for Mothers!

The last obstacle in the formal wear version of “Where’s Waldo?” is the effect of weight loss on your gown. This is a very common inquiry, especially after last year found us all scrounging  in our pantries and locked out of our gyms (and, if you’re like me, ignoring the elliptical in the basement because the solution to stress is a sleeve of Oreos). Do not wait until you are at goal weight to order a gown, you will most likely be too late to get anything you really want. You can order your gown and then focus on your weight loss plans. Most seamstresses will be happy to take a gown in to accommodate your moderate weight loss for the wedding. 

Mother of the bride dress by MGNY designer Madeline Gardner with a beaded V-neck bodice and a chiffon skirt with a slit
Silver Mother dresses match most every color pallet

Hopefully, my little tutorial has pulled you off the proverbial ledge and inspired you to start looking for your perfect dress. Yes, it can be an intimidating task, but so was trying to survive on 4 hours of sleep with a colicky baby and a toddler that thought eating chalk was fun.

We’re here to support you at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo and help you find the perfect dress for this next big memory in the making. There is no appointment necessary for mother dress shopping, so head on over. I look forward to seeing that smile on your face when you find your perfect dress!

Suzanne Ardite is the manager of the mother department at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo. With over 25 years in the bridal attire industry – and spanning a number of states – her experience is vast and her compassion deep. There isn’t much she hasn’t seen or heard in this business! She is a valuable asset to our company and our customers and, knowing how stressful and important weddings are, she is in constant communication with our mothers. Suzanne lives in Solebury with her husband Frank and two children Kaitlyn (a 2021 grad of New Hope-Solebury High School!) and Francis, and is very active in the community theater. If you can’t tell from this blog, she has an outstanding wit as well that puts our moms at ease and keeps all of us in good spirits!