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Selecting Wedding Attire Part II-Bridal Party And Parents

Updated on May 6, 2016
Bride And Mother
Bride And Mother | Source

"Just around the corner in every woman's mind - is a lovely dress, a wonderful suit, or entire costume which will make an enchanting new creature of her. " ~Wilhela Cushman



Although this is one of the happiest days of a bride and groom's life, we can't forget those special ladies in our lives, our MOMS. This is also a time for them to shine! After all, mothers are usually in the background helping throughout the planning process and will be the ones at the forefront mixing and mingling with all the guests on the wedding day. So, mothers should also look great on the big day.

Things To Consider

There are certain considerations to be made when searching for wedding day attire. Traditionally, the mother of the bride chooses her dress first and essentially sets the tone for the mother of the groom's attire. Here are a few tips to help the mother of the bride and mother of the groom in their search:

-Consider The Theme-Mom, it is a good idea to talk to the couple about the intended wedding theme. If they are getting married in a church, a suit with a hat and gloves may be appropriate but not if they are marrying in any kind of informal civil ceremony or location. You should also discuss the colour theme they've chosen for bridesmaids' dresses, flowers, décor, etc. To be on the safe side, you might consider neutral colours such as beiges and pastels which will complement most colour schemes.

-What To Avoid-Mothers of the bride and groom are in no way restricted from wearing whatever they wish to wear on the wedding day. However, it is best to avoid outfits that are white or cream coloured as you do not want to upstage the bride. That being said, you can pretty much wear most other colours and fashions. You may even opt for an elegant pant suit.

-Wedding Outfits That Work And Are Original-Part of feeling good and looking great is being comfortable. If you are wearing an improperly fitting jacket or tight shoes, for example, it will ruin the day for you. It is best to visit a reputable dress shop that specializes in mothers of the bride and groom's dresses and other formal wear or perhaps even the salon where the bride is buying her gown from. Your outfit will be properly fitted and chances are that it will be one of a kind which will help to avoid a guest showing up with the same dress, (you wouldn't want that). These stores usually have to order in and do alterations as well so it is best to shop several months in advance of the wedding.

-Stick To Your Style-It is always a good idea to stick to whatever style works for you. If you always wear pantsuits and low heels, it is probably not a good idea to wear a slinky halter dress with spike heels. This is not the time to experiment. You can stick to your own style and still look glamorous while remaining in your comfort zone. For example, a pantsuit in a soft, flowing fabric with some bling, coupled with a classy pair of heels will definitely make you stand out.

-Accessorize-You should give consideration to what accessories would work with or enhance your outfit. It is no longer necessary to wear a hat and quite frankly, many women don't want to mess up their hair. If your outfit has a lot of sparkly details, you may not want to wear bold jewelry pieces, but if it is a simple outfit, some carefully selected jewelry will look great. Shoes and handbags should match so choose colours that will complement your outfit.

-Order The Correct Size-If your upper torso is considerably smaller than the bottom half or vice versa, it is important to fit your largest area first and then alter the rest. Your outfit should be well fitted so don't forgo professional alterations by attempting to shove yourself into a dress or suit that just doesn't fit right. Remember that the bride and groom aren't the only ones that guests will be admiring on the wedding day, so look your best! Also, if you are dieting, as many mothers do before the wedding, do not order a dress in a smaller size. If you don't lose weight, you will not be able to alter a dress that is too small. It is better to buy the right size and if you do lose weight, you will have no problems for alterations.

Mother Of The Bride Attire
Mother Of The Bride Attire | Source

Celebrating Body Types

Let's face it ladies, very few of us have the perfect body. Embrace your beautiful body and just roll with it. It doesn't matter what your body type is like, you will still be able to find that perfect outfit that will work wonderfully with your fabulous curves or lack of.

Here are a few tips to help you find that perfect outfit that will work well with your body type:

-Plus Sized-If you are on the plus side, it is always a good idea to avoid fabrics that are very stiff such as silk dupioni. You should opt for softer fabrics instead such as chiffon. Also, you may want to consider ruched styling as well. Sweetheart necklines are always appealing as are trumpet style and fuller skirts, ( they make the waist appear smaller).

-Tall-Taller women have several choices when it comes to choosing an outfit. You can get away with wearing larger details such as ruffles on jackets. You can also wear fuller skirts and stiffer fabrics. If you are planning on wearing a gown ensure that the length reaches the top of your shoe.

-Petite-If you are a petite woman, you have to be careful with your selection options. Certain styles, colours and detailing can affect the way you appear, negatively. For example, it is a good idea to maintain uniformity in colour when choosing a dress because wearing two different colours can make you look shorter. Also, you should avoid patterns, unless it is a smaller print, stick to solids. Larger details such as bows should also be avoided as well as large, full skirts.

Plus Size Mother Of The Bride Wedding Dress
Plus Size Mother Of The Bride Wedding Dress | Source
Tall Mother Of The Bride Wedding Dress
Tall Mother Of The Bride Wedding Dress | Source

Fathers Of The Bride And Groom

If you are the father of the bride or the groom, your decision making is relatively simple. A tuxedo is the way to go and you are pretty much set. Most fathers usually are involved in the tuxedo planning along with the groom and groomsmen. If the groom and groomsmen are not wearing tuxedos but suits instead, it is acceptable for the dads to wear dark suits with white shirts underneath and a silk tie. Fathers should look as elegant and stylish as the mothers and the rest of the bridal entourage.

Father's Tuxedo
Father's Tuxedo | Source
Father In Tuxedo Dancing With Bride
Father In Tuxedo Dancing With Bride | Source
Father In Tuxedo Walking Bride Down Aisle
Father In Tuxedo Walking Bride Down Aisle | Source


Long gone are the days of hideous, tacky, puffy taffeta dresses that came in a bevy of equally nauseous colours. Today's bridesmaid have the advantage of choosing from thousands of dresses in a multitude of styles, fabrics and prices. If a bridesmaid has to spend money on a dress, they should at the very least be able to get wear out of it again after the wedding. When bridesmaids feel good and look great in their dresses, it comes through loud and clear on the wedding day.

Helpful Tips

Here are a few tips to help in your search for the ultimate bridesmaid dress:

-Timing-It is important to start thinking about your bridesmaids' dresses at least six months prior to the wedding. You may have to set out a few times before you find the perfect dresses. Once found, they have to be ordered and altered. It will take anywhere from two to three months for delivery to the boutique and four to six weeks for alterations.

-The Theme-Before choosing a bridesmaid dress, it is necessary to establish the theme of the occasion. Once again, the attire will have to reflect the casualness or formality of the wedding. Also, the time of year will play a role in their selection. For example, length of the dress will not matter but the fabrics and colours will. A rich, dark colour in satin is fabulous for a formal evening affair, whereas, a pastel chiffon is perfect for an informal daytime event.

-The Selection-The bride should start off by selecting several different styles and colours of bridesmaids dresses that she likes. Also, the dresses should reflect the style of her own dress so if her bridal gown has sleeves, so should the bridesmaids dresses.

-Body Types-Body types are different so keep that in mind when searching. Think about each bridesmaid's individual style because the dress choice has to be a unanimous decision. Sometimes, it is a good idea to choose a dress that fits best on the most hard to fit bridesmaid, while the others can have their dresses altered. However, another solution would be to have all your bridesmaids pick styles that suit them best but they can all be in the same colour and fabric.

-Color Schemes-Choosing the right colour for your bridesmaids' dresses depends on a number of factors. Keep in mind the colour schemes of your ceremony and reception venues. Also, think about whether or not you want the bridesmaids to wear the same colour or if you prefer them to wear different shades of the same colour. Finally, choose colours that reflect the time of year your wedding is taking place. For example, rich, dark colours are ideal for winter, whereas, lighter,softer colours will work well for spring.At the end of the day, you have to choose colours that you really love and work best for all of you, after all, these are only suggestions.

-Making A Decision-Once you have chosen a dress with the right colour, fabric and style, it is time for you and the bridal party to finalize it. If they can't all make it to the shop, email or text a photo of the dress to them.

-Sizing-Bridesmaid's dresses tend to be on the smaller side so it is important that proper measurements are taken of each bridesmaid.

-Ordering The Dress-All of the dresses should be ordered at the same time. If any bridesmaids live out of town, you should collect the money, get all measurements and either the you or the maid of honour should coordinate with the dress shop. Once dresses are ordered, send everyone in your bridal party information about the timeline and their responsibilities with regards to the dresses, (a quick e-mail, text or letter should do the trick). Follow up with the girls a week before dresses are to arrive and make arrangements accordingly.

-Shoe Selection-When selecting shoes, think about comfort above all else and then find a colour that will work with the dress. Shoes can be slightly different in style so long as they are the same colour.

-Details-Believe it or not adding a little detail to an ensemble can make a big difference. Pins, scarves, belts and jewelry can add a great deal of flair to any dress. Some of these items would make a great bridesmaid gift.

Bridesmaid Dresses
Bridesmaid Dresses | Source
Bridesmaid Dresses
Bridesmaid Dresses | Source


The groom's best mates, the groomsmen, are probably the easiest individuals in the wedding entourage to dress. As long as they complement the groom and bride's attire as well as the bridesmaids' dresses, then they are pretty much set to go.

Groom And Groomsmen
Groom And Groomsmen | Source

Style Factor

Here are a few tips that you can follow to guarantee your groomsmen achieve the optimal style factor:

-Prior to selecting the groomsmen's tuxedos or suits, it is important that the bridesmaids make their dress selection. The colour and style of their dresses generally sets the stage for the groomsmen to choose coordinating accessories such as ties, pocket squares or vests.

-Once you have selected a tailor or tuxedo shop, it is recommended that you bring a fabric swatch of the bridesmaids' dresses for a colour match. this will help you to match colours more accurately.

-Another point to bear in mind is that the choice between a white and ivory shirt selection will depend on the shade of the bride's dress. If a bride's dress is a darker ivory or cream, stark white shirts may not be ideal up against her gown.

Money Saving Tips

Although it may be an uncomfortable topic for most members of a bridal party, the cost factor may be an issue. Simply put, not everyone can afford the costs associated with participating in a wedding. Sometimes couples can afford to pay for or contribute towards the bridal party's attire, unfortunately, it's rare. In most cases the bridesmaids and groomsmen are footing the bill for their own formalwear.

Here are a few tips that the groomsmen can follow which can help save a few dollars:

- If groomsmen have their own suits or tuxedos, depending on your theme, they might be able to wear them without having to rent tuxedos or buy suits.

-Perhaps they can forgo suits or tuxedos and wear matching shirts and ties. This is recommended if the affair is on the casual side.

-Some great deals can be had on the Internet. Some sites offer excellent deals on everything from attire to shoes and accessories.

-Many formalwear shops will offer group rates on rentals especially if everyone such as the groom, groomsmen, fathers and ring bearer order together.

-Groomsmen can also save money by wearing items they may already have such as shoes. Just be sure that the shoes are polished without any visible scuffs.

Traditionally, tuxedos and a main color scheme were commonplace when choosing the groomsmen's attire, however, nowadays pretty much anything goes. It really depends on the theme of the wedding and a couple's personal style. Once a theme has been established, choosing attire for the groomsmen won't be a complicated process.

Groomsmen Attire
Groomsmen Attire | Source

Flower Girl And Ring Bearer Attire

When selecting attire for your flower girl and ring bearer you need to remember that they are children, so you can't expect little ones to keep their adorable attire neat and clean. After all, in most cases they will probably be uncomfortable in clothes they are not used to wearing. When choosing outfits for your flower girl and ring bearer consider the following.

-You should steer clear of fabrics that show imperfections easily or have a tendency to crease. Choose fabrics that are comfortable, they can move in and looks good in pictures. Also, if their parents are paying for the outfits, select something they can wear again.

-The flower girl and ring bearer do not have to match the rest of the bridal party completely. As long as their attire is within your colour scheme their outfits can be different.

-If you do decide to put your child attendants in formal clothing, do what you can to make things more comfortable for them. You can have the ring bearer take off his tie at the reception, or cover up any “scratchy” seams inside the flower girl’s dress.

Flower Girl Attire
Flower Girl Attire | Source
Ring Bearer Attire
Ring Bearer Attire | Source


Whether you're the bride, groom, family member or friend, shopping for wedding attire doesn't have to be a stressful experience. Think about it, you're shopping for what's going to be the "greatest party ever"! Be sure to remember the tips in this article and you're sure to have a wonderful experience.

Mother Of The Bride And Groom Attire

Picking The Perfect Bridesmaid Dress-The Knot


Do you think bridesmaids should have a say in the dress selection process?

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    • rose-the planner profile imageAUTHOR

      rose-the planner 

      4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      Thank you so much for stopping by and for your kind words invity01! I really appreciate it! Take care and have a great evening. -Rose

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Hey Wonderful Great....

    • rose-the planner profile imageAUTHOR

      rose-the planner 

      5 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      Thank you DDE! I think that one of the best part of a wedding is seeing all the beautiful outfits. Take care and once again, thank you for your visit. -Rose

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Truly beautiful styles here the outfits are gorgeous and a bridal party is definitely a special occasion.


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