Mother-of-the-bride (MOB) dresses are often drab and matronly. Though it’s your day, your mother is just as much a part of this day as you are. The question becomes, how do you keep her happy while also seeing her in something that reflects the style of the wedding? Linda Cunningham, a Jacksonville couture designer, offers tips on how to choose the perfect dress with the woman who’s been there for you from the beginning. Communication is the most important factor when choosing the MOB dress. “It’s very important, relationship-wise, that everyone has a say,” Cunningham says. That doesn’t mean the bride has to pick out the dress, but there should be a few conversations and discussions regarding the choice. Cunningham emphasizes: Make sure she starts looking early. Like you, your mom shouldn’t be stressed two months out without a dress. Floral patterns and geometric designs are trending and they add a twist on the old-fashioned MOB evening gown. Cunningham says colors such as light green, sherbet, ice blue, light grey, pearl, light turquoise, taupe and light yellow are also popular. Contrary to popular opinion, age is not a factor when choosing the length of the dress. “The most important issue to consider when picking a type of dress is the venue and time of day.” If the wedding is held at 11 AM, a short or tea-length dress may be more appropriate. If it is a formal affair in the evening, a long dress would be fitting. If it is a religious ceremony, a stole, shrug or wrap can be added to cover up the shoulders. As far as footwear goes, this season the MOB should choose sandals, mules or an open toe or heel. Finding a dress for your future mother-in-law can be even trickier than finding a dress for your mom. “The parameters for the mother-of-the-groom dress should be given by the bride,” she says. The MOB should choose her dress first, then the MOG can look for hers. If the MOB is wearing coral the MOG might wear tangerine. Similar color schemes are acceptable while still maintaining the appropriate style. After many discussions and decisions, hopefully the only words you’ll hear are “I love it.” After all, the wedding flows more smoothly when the whole family is happy.
By Mary Hamel • Photos provided by Linda Cunningham