Thursday, February 3, 2011

Guest Post: The Mother-of-the-Bride speaks up!

Hello! Just a reminder if you haven't sure to cast your vote in my Wednesday Wedding Poll! So far, french cream is in the lead!

I am so excited to feature my wonderful mother today on her experiences with Mother-of-the-Bride dress shopping! I think many of us get caught up in the "me, me, me" of weddings and forget that dress shopping can be just as nerve-wracking for our mothers (and mother-in-laws) as it is for us! Some things to keep in mind:
a) Our mothers are just as nervous about finding "the" dress for our weddings as we are.
b) How can you not worry about how the other "mother" will look/wear? There's only one bride at a wedding...there are two "mothers-of-the-bride/groom"
c) They want to do everything they can to make sure your day is perfect, and that includes looking great for your pictures.

In addition to her daily comments on the blog, which I'm sure many of you have noticed, you're going to start seeing LOTS of my mom for various reasons as we get closer to the wedding . So without further ado, here is my mom's guest post:

I am not a fussy kind of woman. I wear little make-up, I’m not a jewelry monger, nor am I a fashionista. Clothes, unlike make-up and jewelry, are a necessity. I like clothes that are comfortable and wear like iron. This brings me to my dilemma: As the mother-of-the-bride I feel compelled to look and act in a fashion that is not really who I am. I have to look a certain way, act with a little more decorum than I normally would, and in general not embarrass the bride, myself, or the family! Pretty tall order for me!

Which brings me to the biggest problem I’m facing. I’m anything but tall! I’m not even average. I’m all of 4’11’-also known as 59 inches. Not a lot to work with here, folks. I’ve been searching online and in stores for the right Mother-of-the-Bride dress and can’t find anything that I really like. Even my daughters, Laura and Melissa, accompanied me to the great and wonderful King of Prussia Mall. We visited 4 stores and I tried on at least 60 dresses, all to no avail. I did go to a wonderful store in New Hope called Sterling’s with my husband. Mind you this was about the ninth store I had been to and is an hour-and-a-half drive from our house. The dresses were fabulous and the woman who helped me was very accommodating, to say the least. I tried on another gazillion dresses and narrowed it down to three. When I stepped out in this dress my husband said “Wow!”

That’s a pretty good sign, eh? He didn’t even grunt at any of the other dresses. So then the discussion ensued regarding the cost of the dress and the additional cost of the alterations. Now, remember I’m all of 59 inches. That means we'd have to:
  • Hike up at the waist to preserve the detail of the hemline.
  • Alter the top-because everything hits me lower than the average bear (cleavage is fine but it’s best to keep the puppies pretty well penned up!).
  • Altering the top means that it needs to be taken up at the shoulders which also means...
  • The ruffle needs to be adjusted.
In short, it needed to be taken in, let out, and pulled up- all of which led to a let down for me. By the time all was said and done we were looking at well over $1,000 dollars for a dress that I’d be wearing once for literally a few hours. Plus, at least another two hour-and-a half drives to New Hope. I just can’t bring myself to spend that much time and money on something I’ll wear once. 
June 1981
I think back to how easy it was to find my wedding dress. My wedding dress was found in my mother’s cedar chest and needed absolutely no alterations. How lucky was that?! It was beautiful Chantilly lace, fit perfectly, and was free! Not only have I spent more time looking for a MOB dress than my own wedding dress, I’ve actually spent more time looking for my MOB dress than I will spend wearing it!

I’ve also noticed that bridesmaid’s dresses have names like clover, lilac, daisy, chocolate, and cotton candy. MOB dresses have names like champagne, cognac, wine, kalua, and eggplant. Seriously? Eggplant? Let me just say unequivocally that I am done planting eggs! I don’t want a dress called eggplant and what’s with all the alcohol names for colors? Of course, if finding a MOB dress is this stressful, I could be driven to drink! (Mother: There are plenty of bridesmaid dresses called "eggplant!" and it's a beautiful color!!)

I did find one very nice dress at KOP Mall that is somewhat suitable for a wedding, so that is my fall-back dress. I’m just so limited in what looks good on me. 

Empire waist with a V-neck or sweetheart neckline. That truly is it. (preferably in purple size 12P.) 
Anybody have one of those in their cedar chest?


winkingannie said...

Have you tried stores like Ross or TJ Maxx? My mom (also a 12P) has had a lot of luck at those stores recently for cocktail/formal dresses. Good luck!

Miss Pancakes said...

i love the post about your mom..that's very cute!

It's A Love Story said...

Finding a MOB dress is very hard!
My mom had the same problem for my June Wedding this year. For a $1000 dollars you could get three more dresses so I dont know if I would do that. Also, I wouldnt just go with the KOP dress just because you cant find anything else.

some other places to find a dress:
and cache

Laura @ Wine and Cheese, Please said...

This is adorable!

My mom STILL doesn't have a dress for the wedding and our wedding is in 2 weeks. She says everything is ugly and doesn't want to spend more than $100. Sigh. I understand her frustrations, but I wish she would just go to Neiman Marcus, get a personal shopper, and be done with it!

Saying I do said...

Thanks for the suggestions ladies! We'll check it out!

@Laura Yikes!! It's amazing how everything comes together at the last minute though. She'll find one, and it will be fabulous!

Irene said...

Thanks for all your suggestions ladies. I've been to Cachet and Ross but will try TJ Max and Guest blogging was a blast. Thanks Laura!

Sara said...

Aw, love this!!

Kate V said...

This was ADORABLE! Excellent post! :)

Molly said...

Hilarious post, of course, because you have your mom's wonderful sense of humor, I know! :)

As someone who is only 60 inches tall, I feel your mom's pain! All I can say is don't settle and stay true to what you love and I'm sure the right dress will turn up :)

Kassi @ Truly Lovely said...

Yay for the MOB!!! :) I loved this post!!! Thanks for the insight Moms!!

futuremrsmathewwolfe said...

I love this post! I'm sorry to hear you couldn't find a dress! Maybe your best bet would be to go to a boutique OR find a pattern and get a dress made in whatever color and fabric you'd like. :) Hope that helps and I can't wait to see you guest post more often!

Dancy said...

I love that your Mom blogged. Mine doesn't even know mine exists. LOL My Mom ended up wearing super flowy pallazo pants & a great jacket but it took her forever to find something!

My personal faves were all from JADE/JADE Couture (part of the Jasmine line: have amazing dresses. My MIL bought one from their line but ended up buying another dress she didn't have to get altered. Good luck! :)

Kerry said...

Excellent post! Laura, have you thought about taking your mom to the J. Crew boutique in the city? I know they don't advertise their dresses as MOB dresses, but they have such a great variety of lengths, fabrics, colors, and styles. (Not to mention, the sales are amazing.) If you make an appointment and could use a second opinion, I'll clear my calendar! I could live in that place.

Christine Thompson said...

Irene and Laura...I love this blog. It is great. Irene....I love the pictures you posted here. You look great. I especially like the dresses with the alcohol named colors. I think I would love to wear a White Zinfandel, or a Merlot. Irene, you would look stunning in a Pinot Grigio.. or Lemoncello. All kidding aside, you will look beautiful in whatever dress you find and wear. You are a Ya-Ya...that says it all!!! And are so beautiful. I can't wait to see you on your special day. You are an amazing woman!!! You take after your ya both..Chris Thompson

Anonymous said...

Here's how I figure justifying the cost of the dress David liked: it simple math--averaging. (Or is it algebra?) You spent nothing on your wedding dress. That equals zero. If you cost out the price of the same dress in today's economy, it is a net savings of, to be conservative,$1000. Subtract that from zero, which equals -$1000. Add the MOB dress and alterations of $1000, which will bring you up to zero. So, figure that this new dress is also costing you (drumroll, please) absolutely nothing! The same math can be used for your time and travel to and from New Hope. Just add it to the time taken to go up to the attic for your wedding gown and divide by two! It really all averages out to a real bargain!(Laura, remember to keep track of all your savings. Remember to count in all the compromises you might have made, sales and discounts, and don't forget to include your hourly wage for finding these financial breaks to have your dream wedding instead of hiring a wedding planner. You, too, can use the same mathmatical equations to justify a future dress, vacation, or otherwise considered luxury in your future!) Great blog, Laura! Terrific post, Irene!

Lexi said...

I love that your mom is doing posts for you... I may start the same thing! My mom is going through the same thing, only her problem is that she is SUPER tall, doesn't currently own ANYTHING that is fancy and wants to be X # of sizes smaller by the wedding, which is a great goal, but I also feel like she can't wait forever to order her dress. Thanks again for such a great post/idea!!! I love it and can't wait to hear more from mom!!