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Tips for Selecting Your Mother-of-the-Bride Dress

Apart from the bride herself, the mother of the bride is one of the most distinct members of the bridal party. So, if you are the mother of the bride, you want to look your very best as you give your daughter away.

Before you Begin

Before you begin looking for a mother-of-the-bride dress, you need to decide on a budget that works for you. Don't go overboard and spend more than you can afford to on a dress you will likely wear just this one time. Bridal magazines are particularly useful in helping the mother of the bride learn what is in style for the season and where the best bridal boutiques are. If you see something you really like, show it to your daughter and see what she thinks. Call bridal shops in your area to see if they carry the dress in the store before going down. Research the Internet too. There are plenty of ideas online.

Choosing a Mother of the Bride Dress

You, as mother of the bride, will be in the spotlight at one point or another on your daughter's wedding day. Your dress should not only reflect your sense of style, but should ideally harmonize with the rest of the bridal party's look. Choosing a color that complements that of the bridesmaids' dresses is recommended, so consult with your daughter first before deciding on a shade. Even better, take your daughter with you to shop for your dress. Another set of eyes is always helpful in deciding which colors and styles suit you best.

Traditionally, the mother of the bride selects her dress before the mother of the groom. Therefore, it is also best to have your daughter see the dress so she can ensure the groom's mother can be informed and be sure not to buy the same dress. The chances are unlikely, but it has happened. And remember: you are not in competition with the groom's mother! Each of you has a unique role in the wedding, and trying to outdo each other is just plain bad taste. With the perfect dress for you, you will shine in your own right.

Appropriate Colors

It is customary to see only the bride wearing white at her wedding. For anyone else to wear white is considered a major faux pas. Although black is gaining in acceptance for wedding attire, it would still be viewed as inappropriate for the mother of the bride to be dressed in black. You don't want to give the wrong impression about your feelings for your daughter's wedding day.

Find a balance between the colors the wedding party is wearing and which colors look good on you. Tones lighter or darker than their dresses are a good start, or complementary colors can look especially attractive as long as they don't clash. Choose solid colors over busy prints, which can be distracting.

Where to Look

Mother-of-the-bride dresses can be found aplenty not only at bridal boutiques, but in department stores and formal wear shops as well. While the Internet is useful for learning about dress styles and gathering ideas, ordering a dress online is not recommended. You cannot try the dress on to be sure it fits properly and that it suits you, and you cannot be sure of the color until the dress arrives. You may be in for a disappointment.

When to Look

Most wedding experts agree it is best to start your search for the perfect dress at least 6 months prior to the wedding. This gives you enough time to ensure your dress fits properly, or to have it altered if it does not. And remember: once the dress is home and hanging in your closet, you had better not try to lose or put on any weight. You want that fabulous dress to fit you perfectly the day of the wedding.

Have Fun

This is probably the most important thing to remember when searching for your mother-of-the-bride dress. Take this opportunity to try on as many elegant dresses as you want. And don't become stressed out. There is a dress out there for everyone. Enjoy the experience!

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