It’s Hard Work Being Mother Of The Bride

I had no idea!

As we’re getting closer to the Big Day my nerves are fraying as fast as the days are passing.  It’s taken us months to decide on the venue, find the wedding dress, book the music, flowers, lighting, drapery (don’t ask!) etc., etc, and more ETC.  It’s bigger than a Broadway production, but hopefully, with not as big of a budget (fingers crossed).  But in addition to all the hard work a Mother of the Bride has to do for planning the event, she also has to look good at the wedding. That not only means buying a special M.O.B dress (done!), but also (gulp) accessorizing it (not done).

I’ve already written about the dilemma I faced finding the perfect dress (Should I Say Yes To The Dress? Saying Yes To The Dress (UPDATE), Sometimes Yes To The Dress Is A No), and thanks to the help of many readers of this blog, I finally made my choice.  All I can say is “Thank God for the Internet! ” I’ve never been one for clothes shopping, but it can be especially challenging when you’re a recovering agoraphobic.  My usual mode of buying new clothes is to just not buy them – My husband loves me for this.  But as M.O.B the pressure was on and I was really feeling it.

I tried one day of shopping for a dress with my friend Marie.  But let’s face it, the M.O.B isn’t exactly the B.R.I.D.E, so no one is really paying attention to us at all.  We’re just the breed mare that brought the bride into the world, so no one gives a hoot what the hell we’re wearing.  I learned that at the first wedding boutique Marie and I checked out.  The store was filled with hundreds of bridal gowns (all priced in four figures) but the salesgirl (who after fifteen minutes finally approached us) pointed to one pathetic rack of faded M.O.B dresses off in the corner.

“Those are all we’ve got,” she explained.  “If you can fit into one of those, you can buy it. Good luck!”

Those were the last words we ever heard from her as she moved on to help a blushing (and much more lucrative) bride-to-be and we sorted through size 4’s of the ugliest colors you’ve ever seen.  I don’t even think these were colors. These were what finger paint looks like when your four-year-old mixes all the colors together and  spills them on your rug.

One day in wedding boutique-hell was all I needed.

I went online and tried Nordstrom.  Unlike a wedding boutique, an online site can care less if you’re a M.O.B, a B.R.I.D.E, or the C.A.T.E.R.E.R.  There were hundreds of dresses, and the good news  was that every time I liked one of these dresses, I just clicked on it and in a few days that dress showed up magically at my doorstep.  In any size or sizes I wanted!

I felt like Goldilocks: “No, this one is too big.” “This one is too small!”  “This one is the wrong color and makes me look hippy!”  I finally found the perfect dress, but in a green and my daughter’s wedding color is blue.

green Alex dress

I persevered, kept checking the online wedding site, and finally found the same dress in “Wedgwood Blue.” Thank you, Nordstrom’s Purchasing Agent, whoever you are!  The dress was a petite, but I was willing to squeeze myself into it for my daughter’s sake.  I waited anxiously every day for that UPS truck to bring it, and a few weeks ago it arrived.  And Voila!!! – It fits!!!!  More importantly, the bride (my daughter) likes it. So here it is – the winner:

Alex Wedgewood Gown

I packed up the last of the Nordstrom rejects a few days ago, mailed them back, and I am now on a first name basis with the UPS guy.

Now, it’s time for accessories.

Do I go with silver (to highlight my hair) or gold (always a favorite)?  What kind of necklace, earrings, bracelet, and evening bag?  I’m hyperventilating from all the choices I have to make.  In the meantime, there are still catering tastings to go to, invitations that have to be sent out, wines to choose, flowers to order, etc., etc., and more ETC.

I haven’t worked this hard since I was in labor.

(Here’s a collage with some of my choices.  Since all of you did such a great job helping me pick out my dress, any suggestions to build the rest of my M.O.B outfit is much appreciated.)

(If you enjoyed these posts, you might enjoy: A Few Words About Being A Mom)

Decisions, decisions

48 thoughts on “It’s Hard Work Being Mother Of The Bride

  1. The dress is stunning Dar. I’ve always gone by the motto “less is more” Adriana Papell silver shoes would be my choice and don’t really think you need any jewelry at all. I love the #1 purse. Whatever you choose you’ll look lovely. How are you going to wear your hair?


    • Wish I had your guts, June. I love your joie de vivre – damn-the-torpedoes-I’m-wearing-whatever-the-hell-I-want approach to fashion. Maybe if I didn’t have to worry about pleasing the bride, I might be more daring. But fashion really is not my forte so I’m sticking to the “tried and the true.” But I must admit that I have fallen in love with those handbags. I don’t care if there’s only room for one kleenex and a tic-tac, I’m definitely buying one of those puppies.


  2. That dress is beautiful. I wanted sparkly earrings and gold shoes. I think I bought them at Payless. I showed them to my sister in law. I am not sure if the bride even noticed them. That dress is amazing. It is wonderful.


  3. Love the dress! And, my thoughts are the Melissa sandal with bag #1. I love your thought process concerning expensive items. LOL, your post had me cracking up today, thank you!


    • I realized something today – I need humor to help me through challenging times. It serves to de-stress me, I think. Don’t get me wrong: I’m so excited and happy about my daughter’s wedding. But it IS a lot of work, and every time I think, “Okay, that’s it. Everything is pulling together nicely,” another item finds it’s way on our “To Do” list. Deep breaths, deep breaths. Maybe this is why mothers-to-be are taught LaMaze breathing.


    • Rose gold is what my son’s girlfriend suggested and she’s got wonderful fashion taste. Hair up, I’m not so sure of, but that’s interesting that hair up suggests danglier earrings, hair down means daintier. Wish I’d had all of you as friends when I was in junior high. I’d be better at this, if I did.


  4. the dress in blue is gorgeous, Darlene!! and I think I’d go with silver accessories to go with your silvery hair!! or sparkly with a silver base on the earrings. I don’t think I’ve ever seen you with your hair up — it might be nice for a change – but I highly suggest you go for a trial run and have it done in 2 or 3 styles until you find the one you’re most comfortable with, Do you have a hair stylist? if not, I know a fantastic one — she does weddings all the time..let me know if you’d like her number.


    • Great idea, Lynne! I’m going to have my hair cut by the stylist Katie is going to use to do her hair. We’ll see how that turns out. The last time I wore my hair up I was starring as The Madwoman of Chaillot at San Marcos High. Well, I’m probably the same age now as I was supposed to be while playing that character. If I can find a photo, I will post it.


      • I’d love to see that photo, Darlene!! When is the wedding again? if I were you, I’d have my hair done a couple of times between now and then if there’s time– take lots of photos and be sure to try the dress on as soon as you get home each time (then take photos) to see if you really like the 2 together!


      • yes, you definitely want to try the dress on with the hairstyle – I’ve found out many times that after getting my haircut, a dress that I’d love before looked terrible with my new short hair style etc. and it’s good to have the jewelry with you when you get your hair done (for the test run) because sometimes that makes a big difference in how the stylist does your hair.


  5. LOVE the dress – great choice! (And who the heck wears those dowdy old MOB dresses anyway?!?)

    I would go with silver and I like the silver shoes. All three bags are amazing. I would keep the jewelry simple…Nordstrom sells some pretty costume jewelry that isn’t too ridiculously priced…I think the brand is Nadri…simple necaces, earrings (including the chandelier style someone recommended) and bracelets. Of course, you can’t go wrong with a tennis bracelet. ;-).

    I hope you’ll be sharing a picture of the final ensemble!!


    • All great ideas! I’ve never been a big “silver” fan, but this dress looks as though it wants to be paired up with that more than gold. Although, several people have suggested rose gold and I’m tempted to look at that color too. As to photos, well, I’m trying to be very respectful of Katie, so she gets to have clearance of anything I want to post here or on Facebook. But I can always send you a couple of pix to your email ;). Oh wait. Just re-read this and you were talking about MY ensemble. (gulp) Hope I’m having a good photo day when they take the wedding photos.


      • I wouldn’t think you’d want to post the photos before the wedding but I was thinking more of your taking them for yourself so you can sit back and compare the different hair styles and accessories from the comfort of your home — maybe send them off to Katie for her 2 cents worth — but just be sure you’re going to be comfortable with what you choose — it will be a long day!!


      • Oh no, I wouldn’t post them! For my eyes only, absolutely. I’m turning into my mom who always used to say, “Don’t take a photo of me – I might break the camera.” She hates photos of herself, and now that I’m a woman of a certain age, I know what she means.


  6. OMG…how weird is it that I REMEMBER your hairdo in Madwoman!!!!!! And that was over 40 years ago!!! (being purposefully vague)!!!!!


  7. Hey Dar, just raid the medicine cabinet and forget about the whole thing. You’ll feel good enough just to wear a sheet with a belt around your waist. And you can always wear that great handbag around your neck as a necklace.


  8. Darlene,
    Anyone ever tell you that you should be a writer? Lol
    I had so much fun reading this and the many inspiring comments .
    In fact, I am waiting for my invitation to the wedding!
    You will have to post a photo or two for sure.


  9. Darlene, been away for awhile because of personal issues but glad I ventured over tonight. The dress is absolutely gorgeous and perfect for the M.O.B. With Wedgewood blue, I really like the silver accessories. Looks like beading or sequins accent the top of the dress that could definitely be highlighted by silver. What about crystal droplets for the earrings? The dress is really the focal point so dainty would be nice. I like the silver tone of the Melissa sandal. The other one looks too gray but then that may simply be the picture. None of the handbags hit me but we each have our own unique taste πŸ™‚ Maybe something simpler and less boxy. Just my 2 cents…

    Such an exciting time!


    • Yes, I think the dress favors silver so I’ve been looking at that color for accessories. I am madly in love with the Mary Frances #1 bag in spite of its title (“Movie Star”) and I have to admit I ordered it. I couldn’t resist because I found it on eBay for half its price and it claims to be new with original tags. There’s a good refund policy so I decided to take a chance. I tried the Melissa sandal but my heel kept slipping so I thought for safety sake I better look for another shoe. My heel doesn’t stay in one place so with my luck I’d likely fall on my backside. Not the best entrance to make as. M.O.B. Good to see you again – hope everything is going better now in your life.


      • just saw your comments on the shoes — I think there are some little sticky things you can put between the shoe and your heel to hold things in place – can’t remember where I saw them or what they’re called or even if they still make them, but they might be worth looking into!


  10. The dress is absolutely lovely and I think the silver accessories would look very nice with it. Try not to get too hung up on the details (easy for me to say; my daughter has not married yet). This is a time to be enjoyed and it will all fall into place (somehow).


    • I couldn’t agree with you more, Shirley. I feel much more relaxed now that I have the dress, and all the vendors (photographer, florist, venue, musicians) have been booked. I’m really looking forward now to the big day and our family is getting a very special son-in-law so I feel truly blessed. Thanks for stopping by and commenting – it’s helped a lot to get feedback from everyone who visits this site. I really appreciate the feedback.


  11. Dear Darlene,

    I LOVE that dress!! It’s absolutely fabulous and you’re going to look stunning. – Now: blue only goes with Silver (or white gold, if it comes to that). Chose those accessories, ok? Otherwise you’re skin might look ghostly.

    Apply silver and silver matted eyeshadow and don’t make it too dark. Keep it natural, but chose a happy, fresh and fruity lip color and you’ll be all set!!

    I LOVE your choice!!!

    Have fun!


      • Whoops… sometimes my mouth is much faster than my brain… I’m sorry for giving unasked advice.
        If it helps, I’m happy… but still I’m sorry for being impolite… *sigh*


      • Seriously, I really appreciate your advice, Raani. I’ve never known much about makeup – I only learned about it through acting. I’m really good at adding lines to play character roles, but I doubt that will help much for being a M.O.B. at my daughter’s wedding πŸ˜‰


  12. Pingback: Sometimes Yes To The Dress Is A No | Darlene Craviotto

  13. I could only get through about 3-4 comments. I know you stress about things like this but… My advice to you is that you reflect on your statement, “no one is really paying attention to us at all.” People pay attention to who you are, not what you wear or are carrying. Be comfortable, be relaxed, be yourself.

    My mother experienced angst as M.O.G., settled on her dress and on that drizzly day she and two others showed up similarly attired. This won’t happen for you as she got hers at JC Penny’s. At the reception “the triplets” shared the dance floor with joy. Your (daughter’s) day will be filled with joy and no one will remember what clutch you carried.


    • So true! Thanks for sharing such absolute wedding wisdom. And since I wrote this three, almost four years ago, I can attest to the fact that absolutely NO ONE remembers what clutch I carried. Although, I do. And I cherish it because it reminds me of that special day.


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