Finding the perfect mother of the bride or mother of the groom outfit can be tricky, especially if you’re not used to formal occasions and don’t have much experience with the different occasionwear brands available. The right look is usually a balancing act between style and comfort, modesty and glamour. But shopping can be made easy with a little professional advice.
We are one of the most coveted mothers of the bride boutiques in London, and we also have a shop in Manchester. And we’ve had years of experience with mums of all shapes, sizes, preferences and desires. We’ve also seen all the common pitfalls and bad habits of uninformed shoppers, and we would like to share them to prevent you from falling into the same traps.
The pressure of being such a key member of the wedding party can throw even the most confident dressers off the path. So here are the common mother of the bride outfit mistakes to avoid.
Mistake 1: Shopping for trends
The number one most common mother of the bride outfit mistakes is buying according to trends – and trends only. Instead of shopping for their size and shape, many women are drawn towards what they’ve seen on the runway or in magazines. But this isn’t always the right recipe for the perfect outfit.
If we take the Linea Raffaelli collection as an example, the first thing you’ll notice is the timeless elegance. Designer collections like these look just as current now as they would have done 30 years ago, and that’s why timeless styles are a good option for most women.
You may also want to consider the wedding photos, something you will want to treasure forever. Trendy mother of the bride and groom dresses may be short-lived and become outdated in a few short years.
Mistake 2: Rushing into a decision
Shopping for your mother of the bride dress or mother of the groom dress should be an enjoyable process. So you should never feel under pressure to get something because you’re scared of running out of time. Don’t let anyone around you make you feel like you need to make a decision when you’re not ready.
At Nigel Rayment, there’s nothing we hate more than the overly-pressurised environment of most mother of the bride and groom shops. A lot of boutiques use an appointment system with dedicated time slots, and people are often under a time limit. We don’t operate like this and have an open-door policy so you can relax and buy in your own time.
We also recommend doing a bit of research before you visit, so you can get an idea of styles and dress colours you like. See our mother of the bride lookbook to get inspired.
Mistake 3: Ignoring your gut feeling
When your shopping partner tells you that you look great, the store assistant says the same and the dress itself is stunning, it can be tempting to ignore the fact that you yourself do not feel comfortable or happy. The most important person in this decision-making process is you. So always follow your gut instinct.
Just like we tell our mature brides who are choosing occasionwear outfits instead of a traditional dress – nothing matters more than you feeling radiant. So if that means bending the rules and doing what works for you, so be it. As long as you don’t break any etiquette rules set by your daughter or son (the most important people in the wedding), you should wear what makes you smile.
Mistake 4: Putting style before comfort
This is a big no-no at Nigel Rayment, because we don’t believe the two are mutually exclusive. We do our best to find outfits that tick all the boxes, including all-day comfort. Any sign of discomfort will show, and that’s not a good look to have when all eyes are on you. Your dream outfit needs to feel as great as it looks – that is the ultimate confidence boost.
It’s also not recommended to buy a dress in a smaller size with the intention of losing weight. Sadly, this is one of the most common mother of the bride outfit mistakes that we see. We always recommend buying the right size at the time of the fitting. If you want to lose weight closer to the wedding, you can always have your outfit altered. This is extremely easy to do, but taking a dress out isn’t always doable. And even when there’s enough seam to work with, it will only be an inch or so.