Key style tips for the mother of the bride

Mother of the bride fashion is so unimaginative, there is even a book about the subject titled “Keep Your Mouth Shut and Wear Beige”. So we’re always looking for new style tips for the mother of the bride.

Luckily, wedding blog The Knot has recently produced a stellar series on MotB fashion. And there’s not an inch of beige in sight!

Start early

The Knot recommends shopping around the six-month mark. That will give you plenty of time before the wedding day to find something you really love, and to schedule fittings for any alterations, if necessary.

Consider the wedding colours

While some brides prefer that their moms wear a colour in the same palette as the bridal party, there’s no set rules. The key thing for the mother of the bride’s dress is for it to complement (and not clash with) the day’s hue. Metallics, navy, blush, chocolate brown and jewel tones are all beautiful and safe bets for a mother of the bride or groom. Traditionally, avoiding dresses in white, ivory or champagne (that are too close to the bridal gown), black (which can suggest mourning) and red (or similarly “flashy” shades) is the standard—though these traditions are shifting and we’ve seen moms look chic and tasteful in all of the above.

Think about style

The mother of the bride shouldn’t feel like she has to look frumpy, conservative or matronly. There are plenty of options available that will give you that glamorous look without being too over the top. Anything from a classic suit or a chic sheath to a cocktail dress or formal gown can work.

Consider logistics

The time of day, setting and season of the event will tell you a lot about what to wear. For example, donning a sequined ball gown for a champagne brunch might make you feel out of place. If it’s a rustic affair on a vineyard, you’ll want to avoid long gowns that skim the  dewy grass. A few other things to remember when putting together her wedding wear: Religious and cultural customs may dictate a certain dress code for the ceremony, so be prepared to cover up if required (a jacket, cardigan or chic shawl should do the trick).

Coordinate with the mother of the groom

It’s a bit old-fashioned, but traditionally, the mother of the bride picks her outfit first. This then sets the tone for what the mother of the groom will wear. Nowadays , who buys first doesn’t really matter as much, as long as both women are comfortable in what they decide to wear. These outfits don’t have to match necessarily, but they should definitely not clash. Chat to the groom’s mother to get a sense of what she plans on wearing. If you both want to wear the same colour, choose different shades of the hue for an easy compromise.

By following these simple rules, you can remove a lot of the stress out of the decision. All that’s left for you to do is to find a dress that makes you feel gorgeous and relaxed. Then find the nearest glass of champagne and enjoy the day!

Your ultimate guide to bridal style for lesbian couples

Bridal style for lesbian couples is a potential minefield. Given that same-sex marriage was only legalised at in 2014 in England and Wales, lesbian bridal fashion is still very much a work in progress. But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. When you are planning a same sex wedding, you can create your own traditions and stamp your own unique style on the big day.

However, that doesn’t mean that anything goes. Here are a few dos and don’ts for brides and their brides…

DO…show your pride with a rainbow motif

It wasn’t too long ago that same-sex marriage was illegal in the UK, but thankfully LGBTQ rights have come a long way since then. Your wedding day is the perfect opportunity to show some love for the pride movement. This could be something subtle such as a sparkly brooch or a clutch of colourful ribbons, or you could go all-out with statement heels or a dip-dyed dress!

DON’T…forget your surroundings

If you are planning an outdoor wedding, make sure you haven’t chosen outfits that are too chilly. You might also want to have some wellies and umbrellas on standby, just in case. If you want to hit the dancefloor during the reception, make sure you choose a dress that you can move in! And if you are getting married abroad, bear in mind the local climate and the effect that humidity may have on certain fabrics.

DO…co-ordinate your outfits

You may want to stand by tradition and wait until the day itself to see each other’s bridal outfit, but that doesn’t mean that you should be completely in the dark about your partner’s style. At the very least, make sure you co-ordinate your colours. Certain shades of white and cream don’t photograph well together, so  swap fabric swatches to make sure you don’t clash. If one (or both) of you chooses to wear a suit, make sure any accent colours (for instance, a cummerbund or a pocket square) are

BUT DON’T…wear matching outfits

You aren’t twins, and you aren’t five years old.

DO…rewrite the rules

Traditionally, wedding attire means one person in a dress and the other in a suit. But same sex couples are used to doing things differently. Why not go for hers n’ hers tuxedos that you can wear again and again? Or take the opportunity to design your own outfits? Bridal style for lesbian couples is still in its infancy, so write your own style rules!

DON’T…overthink it

At the end of the day, a wedding is all about showing your love for your partner. It’s not about the cake, or the dress, or the number of guests in attendance. So plan the wedding that YOU want, and there’s a good chance that it may actually be the happiest day of your life.

Finding your perfect wedding dress on a budget

Finding your perfect wedding dress is a once-in-a-lifetime challenge. But finding your perfect wedding dress on a budget? That’s a whole other story. The average wedding dress costs upwards of £1000, and designer brands such as Vera Wang can easily charge five figures for their one-off confections.

However, there are more options than ever before for thrifty brides, from vintage finds to the high street. Here are a few tried and tested ways in which you can find your perfect wedding dress on a budget.

High Street Collections

The past few years have seen the launch of a slew of affordable bridal collections in high street stores such as Monsoon, Debenhams, H&M, Coast and ASOS, to name just a few. These dresses allow you to tap into the latest bridal trends without spending a fortune, or customise a plain white gown with your own accessories. Plus, with a range of sizes available, you can be sure to find your perfect fit.

Discount Couture

For many brides, your wedding dress is the first time you get to wear a bespoke designer gown. And you don’t have to sacrifice that experience just because you’re on a budget. ASOS and Debenhams both offer bridal diffusion lines by designers such as Ted Baker and Matthew Williamson, while outlet stores are a great place to scout for designer bargains and couture gowns.

Vintage Classics

If you love the 40s pin-up look, 20s flapper style, or frothy Victoriana, vintage may be your best bet. You will find a massive selection in vintage boutiques and through online dealers, and you may even pick up a bargain on eBay or Etsy if you’re lucky. If all else fails, ask your mum or grandma if they still have their wedding dress, and simply alter it to fit.

Thrift Store Chic

Oxfam has made a small fortune from selling second-hand wedding dresses and suits. So much so that there are now dedicated Oxfam Bridal stores across the UK! You can buy a wedding dress for as little as £20 if you go down the charity shop route, although you may be in for a long search. Focus for key things such as the cut, fit and colour of the dress, as you can always alter it to your own style later.

What to wear to a winter wedding

Summer weddings are easy to prepare for. But fashion magazines don’t tend to tell you what to wear to a winter wedding. After all, floaty dresses and strappy sandals are no match for a sudden rain storm or a spot of frost.

Like it or not, winter weddings are getting more and more popular. So follow these tips to ensure that you look the part at your next winter wonderland wedding.

The shoes

Your choice of shoes will depend very much on the location of the wedding. If there is even the most remote risk of ice, mud or wet sand – avoid the stilettos. Instead, look for a chic pair of wedge heels or chunky platforms, which have a bit of grip on the sole to avoid slipping.

Boots are only an option if they are brand new and super-chic. Same goes for flats. This is a wedding, not a day at the office.

The coat

Arguably the most important piece of your outfit. This coat has to be pretty enough to be worn in photographs, and warm enough to keep the winter weather at bay. A faux fur-lined cashmere trench is a great investment for occasions like this, and cape-coat hybrids are having a bit of a fashion moment this year. Whatever you chose, make sure your coat matches the other colours of your outfit, and always opt for a tailored silhouette that doesn’t swamp your figure.

The clothing

Dark colours look amazing against the pale background of winter. Think deep purple, burgundy, forest green and royal blue. Choose a good quality fabric that will keep you warm without looking frumpy. Lace, velvet, and brocade always look elegant (and expensive!), and work particularly well with bold hues.

The accessories

Unlike summer weddings, winter wedding accessories have to be practical as well as pretty. When you are outside, you need your accessories to provide a little extra warmth, but you should be able to remove and discard them when you move into a warmer setting. This means faux fur stoles; leather gloves; and stylish birdcage umbrellas. Invest now and wear these pieces again and again.