Hearing the news that your daughter or son is getting married is one of the most wonderful moments in life. There’s nothing quite as exciting as discussing wedding plans and feeling like your children are grown up and ready to start their own families. But after the champagne and celebratory dinner comes the realisation of being the ‘mother of the bride’ or ‘mother of the groom’.
You will be playing a big part on the day, and naturally, you will want to look your best as a key member of the wedding party. We know there can be a lot of pressure when it comes to finding the perfect outfit. So we’ve teamed up with the experts from So Sensational, a fashion website for grownup women, to create a helpful shopping guide.
We asked the girls at So Sensational what their top tips were for mums who wanted to look and feel amazing. Here is the official So Sensational Mother of the Bride Outfits Guide to assist you:
Tip 1: Take someone you trust
The number one rule in the So Sensational Mother of the Bride Outfits Guide is to take a friend, husband or family member you trust. You need to be able to rely on their honest judgement, but should never feel intimidated or bullied by them. We may love all of our friends and relatives, but not all of them are cut out as a shopping partner.
Certain relationship dynamics mean that we can often feel pressured by opinions. If you feel this is the case, it may be better to go alone and trust your own judgement. There are trained, experienced and helpful staff on hand at most boutiques to assist you when it comes to crucial buying decisions or finding alternative options.
Tip 2: Choose the right colour
The second tip from the So Sensational ladies is to choose the right colour for your skin tone. They say it’s because the colour is what people tend to notice first. If you don’t already know which colours (and which tones of colours) make your skin and hair glow, get your colours analysed.
If there’s no time, do your own blink test in the shop. As you try on something, look in the mirror and close your eyes for 10 seconds. As you open them, ask yourself what you see first? Do you notice the colour first, or do you notice you first? If it’s you that you see first, the colour is likely to be the right fit. If you see the colour first, perhaps the colour is wearing you rather than the other way around…
But that’s just a small test that you can do. The most important thing, according to So Sensational, is that you feel confident, happy and comfortable. If you don’t know where to start, try researching different colours online, get inspired through fashion magazines and blogs, and take a look at designer lookbooks like ours.
Tip 3: Shop for your body shape
Many boutiques are trained to help women find their perfect dress silhouettes, so shopping in person rather than online can be a much better option if you don’t know what suits you. The advice from So Sensational is to let style assistants guide you, but to always feel comfortable in what you’re trying on.
Be vocal about what you feel happy in, and what you don’t. If something is too tight or too restricting, your discomfort will show on the day – and that alone can ruin your appearance. That said, a pair of Spanx can make all the difference to your silhouette. But just don’t buy them in too small a size – as flesh has to go somewhere!
Not sure what dress styles suit your shape? Get more help from our style tips section for curvy or petite ladies.
Tip 4: Buy your hat and accessories at the same time
If the boutique you’re shopping in also offers hats, bags and shoes, take advantage – they have done the hard work for you. At the same time, So Sensational advises against being too matchy-matchy. It’s ok to mix things up a bit. For instance, if you are wearing a pale colour, perhaps choose the outfit and hat in one colour then accessorise with nude shoes and a nude bag. Or keep your outfit neutral and create a dramatic effect with a hat in a standout colour.
At Nigel Rayment, we are milliners by trade and design our own hats with over 100 styles and a huge selection of colours to match your dress.
More hat buying advice from So Sensational – always buy a hat that shows your face. Remember you are going to be in lots of pictures and you won’t want to hide that smile. You will also be doing lots of kissing so choose a hat that doesn’t come too far down on your brow, or you run the risk of an over-excited uncle knocking your hat off.
Tip 5: Find comfortable shoes
According to So Sensational, shoes are made for walking – and we agree wholeheartedly. That doesn’t mean you can get away with your walking boots or gardening clogs. But high heels that restrict your movement or prevent you from dancing simply aren’t worth it. If you really feel the need for sky-high heels, just remember to stash a pair of fold-up pumps that you can put on later in the evening when you’re ready to hit the dancefloor.
Tip 6: Remember to wear your smile
The most important So Sensational advice is to wear your dress with a smile. When you smile and laugh, your body releases endorphins, which make you feel better – exactly what you need for a confidence boost on the special day.
A radiant smile is remembered by guests, just as much as your show-stopping outfit. And they’ll cherish your warmth and happiness a lot more than what colour you’re wearing.
At Nigel Rayment, we thoroughly agree with this sentiment. No dress is complete without your smile. So when you start your shopping journey, make sure you’re happy with the dress styles that you’re trying on. To get inspired, take a look at our different dress designers online.