Are the catering staff chopping onions nearby? Is that something in your eye? These aren’t tears, it’s just raining….

Whatever your excuse, seeing your daughter get married can be one of the most emotional days of your life, a roller coaster ride of conflicting feels; of growing old, letting go, losing responsibility but most importantly, an overwhelming sense of pride. Though the focus will of course be on the bride, it’s safe to say that a fair few eyes will also be pointing in your direction during the event too, so it’s essential that you’re looking (and feeling) your best. Here’s how; our 5 IDEAL tips for mother of the bride outfits.

TRADITION IS SO PASSE

Sure there are plenty of sober, tasteful and traditional outfits for the mother of the bride to wear. If you ask us, though, stereotypical mother-of-the-bride dresses are just so dated. Those champagne coloured bolero jackets paired with a stiff shift dress and fascinators are enough to make anyone feel like a middle-aged frump.

Consider this, you don’t have to stick to tradition at all, and look like all the other mother of the brides before you; this style so entrenched in British weddings was set years ago by someone whose sense of suave has long since faded. Don’t be afraid to change things up a little and stand out a lot. Why not opt for something with a long swishy skirt or maybe a long mother of the bride dress that flows, allowing you to twirl on the dance floor with pizazz? Equally, a jazzy jumpsuit, some palazzo pants or even a stylish suit is another unique way to do things differently. And don’t forget the shoes.

CONSULT THE BRIDE

Of course, it’s customary to consult the bride on your dress, and try to coordinate (or distance) yourself from your daughter’s outfit as best she deems fit. Ask your daughter for advice on what to wear as the mother of the bride, to make it clear you recognise that today (just today, mind) she is the boss. Why not plan a mother and daughter shopping trip for a day of fun, mischief and of course, spending. From Falmouth to Falkirk (incidentally, home to this great mother of the bride boutique in Falkirk) the options for family coordinated shopping are limitless. Should you be doing it alone, though, make sure you send your daughter a photo before you make the final purchase to get her approval on the final choice.

TRY NOT TO STEAL THE LIMELIGHT

Indeed, as the old adage goes, on your daughter’s big day, you should be the frame and not the picture, and this includes trying not to steal the limelight with your mother of the bride outfit. And this extends well beyond simply not wearing white; indeed, any attempt to steal the show from her really isn’t a good look for anybody. Be graceful and subtle up to a point, and let your daughter be the star of the show. 

CHOOSE SOMETHING COMFORTABLE

We hate to be a bore, but we’re also here to remind you that you need to choose something that’s both fashion-forward and comfortable. You don’t want to end up in something bulky, itchy or difficult to move around in, when people are looking to you to provide effortless charm and glamour. When at the dress shop you should do a test run with the dress by walking around or even dancing in it (hey shop assistant, stick on Despacito!). Remember, you might want to bring a shawl or jacket to the actual event, for the inevitable event of the evening getting chilly. Make sure that addition matches with your dress accordingly.

STICK TO THE WEDDING’S THEME

You need to consider the wedding venue and the theme when you’re looking for the best mother of the bride dress. For instance, if the venue is in an upscale townhouse, a fancy outfit would be appropriate. You can’t go wrong with a chic cocktail dress or a sleek tuxedo look in such instances. On the other hand, if the couple has chosen a more relaxed venue such as the backyard or the beach, opt for more relaxed outfits in accordance, such as linen frock or boho maxi dress.

The chosen wedding colours should be in mind too when choosing your dress. If you choose something mirroring the bridesmaid’s palate, for instance, you will be swallowed up and engulfed. Instead, opt for something in the same colour family. Should you be anxious about what the appropriate shade, your daughter could avail some fabric swatches to you or send photos to make the shopping easier.

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Rachel is the beauty and fashion director at IDEAL. She loves trying new products and is an avid fan of London's fashion, from the high end to the high street.