For some mothers of the bride, “I don’t want to upstage the bride” is the mantra while shopping for an outfit. Meanwhile, the grooms’ mothers are worried about upstaging the brides’ mums, and so the wheel of insecurity keeps on turning.
Everyone deserves to have their little bit of glory on this special celebration, so when it’s the bride’s turn to steal the spotlight, should guests carefully consider their choice of outfit?
I have occasionally heard a mother of the bride saying she wouldn’t buy a lace outfit – despite looking fabulous in it – because her daughter’s bridal gown was lace. She didn’t want to appear to be in competition, even though it was a different style and colour. Seriously? No matter what attention-grabbing guests are invited, every bride will take centre-stage on her big day. Unless you have a specific dress code, the mother of the bride or groom should have the right to wear whatever she likes on the big day, within reason.
I recently came across a very sassy stepmother who bought a stunning, figure-hugging oyster-coloured dress and wrap with beautiful beading, the detail and look of which reminded me of a bridal dress. She didn’t show the bride beforehand but clearly wanted to outshine her ex-husband’s first wife. I can only imagine the bride’s reaction on the day.
Gone are the stringent traditions
Research shows that the mother of the bride takes six days longer than the bride to choose her outfit. In the case of the competitive stepmother, it literally took hours. When you look at high-profile weddings, it’s clear that the stringent traditions of a conventional wedding no longer apply. It seems that in some cases, wearing white is no longer considered a fashion faux pas.
Former Made in Chelsea star Caggie Dunlop proved that when she wore the light hue to Mille Mackintosh and Professor Green’s wedding at Babington House in Somerset. Model Kate Moss turned up at her friends’ wedding in Cheshire wearing a cream two-piece suit of shorts and jacket. And for singer Solange’s wedding in Louisiana, Beyoncé wore a simple stylish white dress, but then she was following the white dress code for the whole wedding.
In my book, there is no excuse for choosing a mother of the bride outfit in white or ivory. It shows a lack of thought as it’s almost certainly going to annoy the bride. Unless she’s OK with it, stay well away. White/ivory means you are trying to steal her thunder, so choose another colour as there’s a complete palette out there.