Combine Wedding Tradition With Your Personality

As mother of the bride or groom, you can stay true to wedding attire tradition, while making a statement all your own.

There's something magical about a wedding -- especially if the bride or groom is a child of yours. It is powerful to experience these two people sharing their love and commitment with you and others who are beloved to them, and observing celebration with basic elements of tradition. The wedding day is an extension of the bride and groom, and the styling (decor and attire) of the event plays a primary role in the couples' self-expression.

Whether you are the mother of the bride or groom, you can make a statement with your wedding day apparel that honors your role in the life of your child, while expressing who you authentically are.

Modern and traditional

Wedding apparel for mothers has developed gracefully and progressively. Gone are the days of limited options for "matrimonial" formalwear. Modern trends offer fresh variety and sophistication. Women are stepping away from the traditional jacket and suit, and leaning more toward dresses that flatter a shapely figure. Mothers are more playful and outgoing -- they're showing more shoulder with strapless dresses, and using luxurious wraps instead of stiff jackets.

If you are a petit woman, a slimming wrap dress or dress with an empire waist helps match proportion. For a bustier woman with curves, a dress or top with a V-neck is ideal. If you are heavier on the lower part of your body, match a two-piece made of a flowing fabric with vertical lines that flares slightly.

Certain traditions are still honored by the mother of the bride and groom. According to etiquette, if you are the mother of the bride, you choose your dress before the mother of the groom. Each woman's dress should complement the other in level of formality and style, but they should not be the same color. In either case, the color of the mothers' dresses should complement those dresses worn by the bridal party, but should never match identically.

While lighter, sophisticated colors that follow the color palate of the wedding may remain the choice of more conservative mothers, the trend has shifted to colors that complement the mother's skin tone, and eye and hair color. Pinks, greens, and yellows have become popular.

Perfect combination

You can preserve wedding traditions and still select the right mother-of-the-bride and -groom dress for yourself. Today's weddings give you the freedom to broaden the scope of appropriate apparel for this significant event in the lives of your children and combine tradition with your own personal flair.

RESOURCES

Retailers of all varieties have become well versed in fitting mothers for their dresses. Find the dress that's just right for you and the type of wedding selected by the bride and groom.

As examples, here are San Diego area resources that can assist in the selection process:

2000 Dreams Bridal
4180 Convoy Street
San Diego, CA 92111
858-541-0684
www.2000dreams.com

Amour Bridal
4652 Palm Avenue
La Mesa, CA 91941
619-466-2668

Bridal & Tuxedo Galleria
4242 Camino del Rio North
San Diego, CA 92108
619-281-4696
bridalandtuxedogalleria.com

Bridal Veil & Tux Shop
1233 Camino del Rio South
San Diego, CA 92108
619-295-1588
www.brideamerica.com

Bridals By Susanti
339 West 2nd Ave.
Escondido, CA 92025
760-489-5911
www.bridalsbysusanti.com

Chantik Fashion
200 E. Via Rancho Pkwy.
Escondido, CA 92025
760-737-5017
www.chantikfashion.com

David's Bridal
980 Camino de la Reina
San Diego, CA 92108
619-220-8008
www.davidsbridal.com

ElyseReuben Couture
Murrieta, CA
951-461-6965
www.elysereuben.com

Here Comes the Bride
7610 Hazard Center Drive
San Diego, CA 92108
619-688-9201
www.herecomesthebridestore.com

Mon Amie Bridal
355 Bristol Street
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
714-546-5700
www.monamie.com

My Bridal Gown
281 3rd Avenue
Chula Vista, CA 91910
619-407-4075
www.2mybridalgown.com