Dress and Attire

Q: My friend’s mother is insisting that she wear a long, lacy solid white gown at her daughter’s wedding. Are there any rules of thumb about the attire of the respective mothers?

A: Well, there’s no real rule about this, except of course, for taste, something this woman apparently has very little of. I mean, what mother of the bride would wear a bridal gown to her own daughter’s wedding?

I suppose it would be best to gently remind this woman that traditionally the other women invited to the wedding are supposed to take care not to take away from the bride on her big day, and this includes not wearing a bridal-like gown. You know, say something like “You don’t think that dress is a little too much like the bride’s, do you?” Hopefully, this will work.

If not, there’s not a whole lot that can be done. Let it resolve itself between mother and daughter. It would be a whole lot worse if it were the groom’s mother presenting the problem!

Q: What is the appropriate dress for a 6:00 wedding for the guest? I was told that 12:00 and 6:00 were the dressiest times. I believe it will be a large wedding. Thanks, Kathy

A: Definitely formal. Whoever told you the thing about between 12 and 6 was wrong; the dressiest time for a wedding is in the evening, and the most formal types of weddings are those that are large and take place at night. So, definitely formal (black tie optional for men and a long dress for women).

Q: We have been invited to an October wedding in Dallas of very prominent people. My husband and I are unsure of the appropriate attire for wedding guests. The wedding will be at 7:30 at night. I think my husband would be required to wear a suit in a dark color, but am not sure of shirt or tie choices. And what type of dress, color and dress length are required for me. Please help??!!

A: I’m assuming the invitations didn’t specify black-tie? If not, then I think your guess that your husband should wear a navy, gray, or black suit is probably right on. As for yourself, is there any way you could ask around to find out what other people are going to wear? Since I don’t know what size the wedding is going to be, how formal the people normally are, etc., it’s difficult for me to guess. I would definitely say to play it save with either a tea-length or floor-length dress, in a kind of neutral color like pale pink, gray, or blue. Those are always pretty safe bets.
But again, if there’s anyway for you to get more information about what’s expected, I would try to. If you can’t find out anything, then hopefully my suggestions above will come in handy.

Q: I’m getting married October 7th,2000. This will be our Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. My bridesmaid dress color will be either burgundy or Bordeaux. Everywhere I look as well as the many weddings I’ve attended, the dresses are made or purchased in expensive bridal boutique. Now my bridesmaids are my younger sisters. I’m 28, then 18, 15, and 13. The 15 year old is going to be my Maid of Honor. Is there anything wrong with walking into a Sears or a teen clothing store and purchasing they’re dresses there.I personally think they are too young to start they’re collection of bridesmaid dresses that they will never where again. The dresses I have in mind are popular with girls they’re age. An ankle length dress with half in wide straps, and a crop jacket of the same color. This, to me and they agree is something they can wear again to graduations and dances.

A: I think it would be fine to walk into a department store and pick out the dresses there. These days, many of these stores carry a variety of sophisticated gowns. My only suggestion would be to make sure that the gowns you pick look as much like classy bridesmaids gowns as possible and not like prom dresses. But I agree with you, I think these girls are too young to force them to start buying dresses they’ll never wear again. You’re a very considerate bride to think of such things!

Q: Is there a website where I can design my own wedding gown? Something like dressing up a Barbie doll… remember? Or the ones where you get a birthday card and you can cut out their outfits and play mix and match.

A: Not that I know of…but if you find one, let me know!

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