15 June 2011

wedding wednesday: the mothers

thus far, i have no hesitations in saying that THE hardest part of wedding planning was helping my mom pick out her mother-of-the-bride {MOB} outfit.  to start, my mom is not a shopper.  she is what LPC refers to as a sturdy gal.  she knows exactly what she wants and exactly what she does not want.  she knew that she did not want a full-length gown.  ours is an afternoon wedding with an outdoor reception and she feels strongly that full-lenghth is reserved for black-tie, evening events.  but she also knew that she did not want sleeveless.  she feels strongly that women of a certain {her} age should not be exposing arms, especially at a fall daytime wedding. she also does not do beads, sparkles, ruffles, or anything resembling embellishment.  so with all of this in mind, we went shopping.

my mom wanted to make a weekend out of it, so she booked us a hotel for two night and off we went to richmond.  we had a nice relaxing dinner friday night with lots of wine and then an early bedtime so we could be out the door early saturday morning.  we left the hotel at approximately 8:30am.  we didn't return until 8pm.  yep, a full 12 hour extravaganza.  she rejected everything she tried on.  too cheaply made.  uncomfortable fabric.  not the right color.  didn't like the neckline.  didn't like the hemline.  the jacket didn't fit properly.  and on and on.  in her defense, there wasn't a lot of pretty.  have you looked at the formalwear available for women over 50 lately?  other than designer ready-to-wear {which was not an option for my frugal mother}, there is just a whole lot of ugly out there.

after going to literally every other department store in the richmond area and striking out {with a few j.crew, williams-sonoma, and louis vuitton pit stops in between for good measure}, we ended up at saks.  where my mom found a dress she loved.  at which point i wanted to collapse in a mix of tears and laughter because...wait for it...i sent my mother a link to this VERY SAME DRESS three weeks earlier.  oh, how many fruitless hours of trying on hideous dresses could've been spared by just ordering online.

one hiccup: she loves the dress, but the store we were at didn't have the right size/color combo she needed.  but the lovely saleslady called the saks customer service line and located the last dress in that size/color combo is all of saks-land for my mom and put her on the line.  the dress arrived a few weeks ago and my mom loves it. victory!  so here's what we've got for her:

i have a sneaky feeling those shoes aren't going to happen.  that heel is about an inch higher than anything she's ever worn.  but maybe she'll do me proud and rock them.  we shall see.

i've heard horror stories about mothers-of-the-groom showing up in white.  fortunately, i've seen my future MIL's ensemble and it is a lovely blush champagne color and age-appropriate.

do you have any harrowing tales of mother wedding ensembles? i'd love to hear!


USCEmily said...

I'm dreading this!!

Legallyblondemel said...

I lived this problem, both with my mom & MIL, but you'll be good. In retrospect, I realize this - as the bride, you're always in the right here: if your mom and/or MIL look good, it's because you guided them to the right ensemble; if not, it's because they ignored your sage advice. Either way, you'll look gorgeous, pinky swear!

LPC said...

Your mom (and you:)) found the perfect outfit. Mother of the Bride is a nightmare dressing category. I don't know which is worse, that, or Business Casual for women. Well done. And as for heels, we Sturdy Gals are usually OK on anything up to 2.5 inches. 2.5 inches with a half in platform is even better.

katmcd said...

My mom has that dress and loves it. It works perfectly for weddings.