It’s not uncommon for your future mother-in-law to ask your advice about what she should wear to the wedding. After all, she will be in plenty of the group photos and although she will want to look her best on your big day she won’t want to upstage you, or clash horribly with your chosen colour theme.
If you are struggling to advise the mother of the groom about her outfit here are some general pointers on mother of the groom dress buying politics.
The mother of the bride should lead the way
Traditionally the mother of the bride should be the first to buy her wedding outfit, and once she has made her choice she should call up the mother of the groom to tell her about the style, colour, length, and degree of formality. The mother of the groom should then buy something in a similar style that compliments the mother of the bride’s dress.
This may seem like an old fashioned notion but it does help to avoid over or under dressing, colour clashes, or the embarrassment of identical outfits. If your mother doesn’t want to call the mother of the groom, subtly pass on the details of her outfit yourself.
Check outfit colours with the bride
In general, the mothers of both the bride and groom should try to avoid colours such as white, cream, champagne or ivory, that might look a little too much like the bride’s dress. It is often wise to steer clear of very bright or bold colours such as red or hot pink as these can provide too much of a focal point in the wedding photographs. Black is also generally avoided as this can look a little funereal. Of course, as long as you consult with the bride beforehand, any of these colours can work well in individual cases.
Make sure the mother of the groom is aware of the wedding colour scheme before she chooses her outfit so she can get something complimentary. If you are having a purple and yellow theme, for example, she might choose something in lemon or lavender. Although she should avoid exactly the same colour as the bridesmaids and maid of honour, she could choose something in a lighter or darker shade. Common colours for mother of the groom dresses include silver, blue, purple, dark red and brown.
Keep the flowers simple
A flower print dress is perfectly fine as long as it is reasonably subtle and in keeping with the wedding flowers and theme. Let the mother of the groom know in advance if she will have a small bouquet to carry, or if she will have a simple wrist corsage that matches the groom’s button hole. The colour and style of her flowers may well influence the outfit that she buys, but keeping her flowers simple will avoid clashes.
Keep stepmothers informed of the dress code
In general the mother of the bride will only pass on the details of her dress to the mother of the groom; if he has a step mother you should give her the information yourself. Once the mother of the groom has bought her outfit try to pass on this information as well.
Although the groom’s stepmother has every right to attend the wedding looking fabulous and stylish, she should try not to upstage the mother of the groom. On a day which could potentially be awkward for the families it is best to try to avoid arguments about a dress.