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Style and Etiquette Tips for the Mother of the Groom

October 31, 2019

The weather app on my phone had forecast rain for Sunday for the past week. Sure enough a steady pour moved into the area beginning Saturday morning. But just hours before my son’s Sunday afternoon wedding, the rain stopped, the clouds parted and glorious sunshine sparkled onto the multi-colored foliage of the wedding venue. As the mother of the groom, I still somehow felt responsible for my grown child’s happiness. I’m not, of course. But every mom wants her child’s wedding to be a fondly memorable day. Let’s talk about style and etiquette tips for the mother of the groom.

Style and Etiquette Tips for the Mother of the Groom

It’s generally wise to select your “mother of the groom” wedding attire based on the season of the year, the wedding’s color scheme, your own coloring and style and the preferences of the bride. In my case, our son married his college sweetheart in late October, so the mother of the bride and I chose to wear deep, autumnal shades. She wore a deep burgundy and I selected hunter green, which highlighted the pale green of my eyes. My son and his bride didn’t have any attendants (quite the trend), so we really didn’t have a color scheme to direct us.

V-neck Chiffon Gown in Hunter green // faux fur capelet // crystal mesh bar clutch // earrings (similar) // bracelet (similar) // pave crisscross ring // shoes (similar) // shapewear // Lift It Up Adhesive Silicone Bra // OPI Infinite Shine Nail Polish in Malaga Wine // Lipstick

I would probably have worn a short dress for the occasion, but the bride’s mother wanted to wear a long dress. I could understand that. It was her daughter’s special day! So I quickly assured her that I would love to wear a long dress, too. While there are no social mores that dictate that a mother of the groom must oblige or yield to the desires of the bride’s mother, I think it is gracious to allow her to set the dress code as much as possible.

Style and Etiquette Tips for the Mother of the Groom

Selecting outerwear for a fall or winter wedding can be a little tricky. I suggest looking for a shimmering shawl, a cashmere wrap or a faux fur capelet, like the one I wore. In the end, I felt like the capelet provided more warmth, but was equally easy to put on and off. And it didn’t cost much more than the wraps I was finding.

Style and Etiquette Tips for the Mother of the Groom

I suggest choosing a dress that fits your personal style but that also allows for freedom of movement and comfort. Several times during the reception people commented that my dress made me look like I was floating across the floor. I was thankful that I had chosen a dress that was easy to move in and that made me look and feel even more graceful than I really am.

Style and Etiquette Tips for the Mother of the Groom

My v-neck chiffon gown is still available, but limited to one size in this shade. However, the dress comes in several other shades that are equally beautiful and one floral pattern, too. I’m wearing a size 8. I had it hemmed and taken up slightly in the shoulders. Be sure to allow yourself plenty of time for alterations. While it only took a couple of weeks for the alterations, you want to leave ample time for multiple fittings if needed.

Style and Etiquette Tips for the Mother of the Groom

When you purchase your gown from Nordstrom, as I did, you can get your alterations done there. So easy! And with a Nordstrom credit card, you’ll get alterations credits. So, while you’ll pay for the alterations (very reasonably priced), you’ll get that amount credited to you through Nordy Notes that you can spend in the store.

Style and Etiquette Tips for the Mother of the Groom

I purchased my gown through Trunk Club. That was such a great way to select an evening gown and all the accessories. I simply requested that my stylist send me gowns for a fall wedding, told her my price point and selected colors. She sent me about ten gowns, plus shoes, jewelry and handbags, free of charge. I was able to try on all the dresses in the privacy of my own, get my husband’s opinion and take my time thinking about my purchase. In the end, I kept this gown, my handbag and my earrings (no longer available). I sent back the other items free of charge. Trunk Club makes shopping so easy!

Don’t forget to accessorize your look with the right jewelry, shoes and handbag. My shoes, gold strappy sandals which I purchased at Talbots, are no longer available, but I’ve included several in the shopping widget below. I purchased a cubic zirconium baguette stone cuff bracelet during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, and it’s no longer available either. Finally, I selected a pretty fashion ring for the occasion.

Style and Etiquette Tips for the Mother of the Groom

My handbag was perfect for the evening. I carried my lipstick (Dior Addict #891), my phone (which I didn’t need), the handkerchief I carried on my own wedding day and my reading glasses.

Style and Etiquette Tips for the Mother of the Groom
Abigail’s dress // Abigail’s snakeskin heels // Abigail’s earrings

I’ll admit I was a little tense leading up to the weekend of my son’s wedding. Being the mother of the groom is certainly not as consuming as being the bride’s mother, I’m sure. But we had family and friends coming from afar. And I wanted the day to go well for them, but especially for my son and his bride. Also, while every marriage is a mixing of two families, we were joining families of different ethnicities. We had met and enjoyed the bride’s parents and sister, so I knew we would all love them and get along beautifully. But I also knew customs, etiquette and traditions could be hot points we’d have to navigate.

Style and Etiquette Tips for the Mother of the Groom
V-neck Chiffon Gown in Hunter green // faux fur capelet // crystal mesh bar clutch // earrings (similar) // bracelet (similar) // pave crisscross ring // shoes (similar) // shapewear // Lift It Up Adhesive Silicone Bra // OPI Infinite Shine Nail Polish in Malaga Wine // Lipstick

In the long run, I prayerfully relinquished all the responsibility for everyone’s joy to the Lord. When we try to carry that load…when I try to carry that burden…it never goes well. I recommend that, as the mother of the groom, you pray for your children, your family and the special day, that you leave the responsibility in the Lord’s hands and that you relax and enjoy the day. I’m glad I entered into the joy of the moment rather than trying to make everyone else happy.

Style and Etiquette Tips for the Mother of the Groom

Finally, I recommend remembering that this day belongs to the special couple. It wasn’t about me…or my family or friends who had joined us. This day belonged to Stephanie and Daniel, and we loved watching their happiness. Honestly, amidst the fall foliage, the beautiful flowers, the well dressed wedding guests and the stunning wedding venue, the most beautiful thing of the day was my son and his bride’s joy.

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You can shop the look through the links in the copy above or through the shopping widget below. Sale prices are not always reflected in the widget, so click through to get pricing info. Remember, if you purchase anything through these links I potentially earn a commission, but at no cost to you. Thank you for shopping through Dressed for My Day. I am grateful!

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Mother of the Bride/Groom - What to Wear and other tips

If you’re looking for more styles and beauty tips for the Mother of the Bride or Mother of the Groom, you might enjoy my previous post on this topic. And to see more of my experience with Trunk Club while shopping for my dress, check out this post.

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Blessed for My Day

The beginnings of marriage are blissful, romantic and sweet. But most of us know and acknowledge that the day in and day out of married life can be challenging. God created marriage to provide for positive companionship that helps each person to be a better version of themselves. But sometimes marriage brings out the worst in us.

Why not pause right now, regardless of how long you’ve been married, and thank God for your spouse? Ask Him to give you insight to how you could be a better partner for your husband, someone who truly helps him to be more like Christ. And ask God to bless your marriage by showing you how you could be a better spouse…today. Let’s do our part to make our marriages sweeter, healthier and more godly.

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” … Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. ~ Genesis 2:18,24

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xoxo, Kay
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31 thoughts on “Style and Etiquette Tips for the Mother of the Groom

  1. Well said Kay! The day and pictures look perfect! Sounds like you all enjoyed a pleasant day & left it all up to the Lord! Good for you to be able to spend a little additional time with your daughter; however, the weather looks pretty dicey all around the East here. And as usual, great message in Blessed for my Day. Being married for 45 years, I feel I can pass a bit of wisdom into my daughters, BUT I realize unsolicited advice, usually is taken as criticism. So, I sometimes hold back! I sometimes find it difficult to deal with things as they are, not as they should be! It’s just so very hard as a parent when you see things happening in their lives that you know can become a real issue later on. Whether it’s them running all the time with the kids, or not spending enough time with each other. As you said, give it all up the the Lord.

    1. Ah, yes. Those sound like the issues common to so many young couples/families, and it is indeed hard to sit by and watch it when, honestly, we do know better. Hang in there, mama! Thanks so much for reading today. ?

  2. Congratulations to your son and his beautiful bride! ALL of you were beautiful! I’ve enjoyed seeing all of the pictures and if I hadn’t already been through two weddings myself (our son and daughter’s) your tips are spot on for having a joyous, beautiful day! Great advice and love your gown. You made a beautiful mother of the groom!! Glad you’ve had time (plus a little extra) to enjoy your daughter too. She is the spitting image of you and your son is the spitting image of his day!!

  3. My son will marry next summer. I very much enjoyed reading your style and etiquette tips for the big day. It is all about the bride and groom and their happiness. You looked lovely and have a beautiful family!

  4. Beautiful wedding day pictures! I love your dress. My youngest son is getting married in December and I’m having trouble finding a dress that I like for the wedding! Her mom is wearing knee length and I want to wear the same. Thanks for the tips and I’m so glad your wedding and weekend turned out great!

  5. The happiness of that special day shows on your family’s faces – what a special time! Kay you look stunning in that gorgeous dress.
    Love the capelet – it’s a classic that you could wear for years to come with a cocktail/party dress if needed.

  6. Beautiful family Kay! I’m so glad the day turned out perfectly. I too had an October wedding (Oct. 11, 2003) and it was glorious weather!

  7. Neither one of my boys are engaged – but both are in their 20s so it will happen before I know it! I’m kind of glad to be mother of the groom only – I’d be a mess being mother of the bride! I have been advised that the mother of the groom is to take all cues from mother of the bride and the bride. I think I can do that!

  8. Kay, you were such a beautiful and gracious mother of the groom. I can’t imagine anyone doing it any better!
    You looked stunning in the dress!

  9. Beautiful families and blessings to the happy couple. Kay, I just love your grace and elegance, your faith shines through to me.

  10. Thank you for sharing the beautiful pictures. What a special occasion. And I think you chose the perfect dress.

  11. HI! You looked gorgeous in your green dress. I love that color for fall. Please tell your daughter that her outfit was stunning too. I loved the brown suede dress with the snakeskin heels. Very stylish!! It looked like a wonderful day for all of you.

  12. While reading your recent post of “Fall Wedding” I went back to look at the wedding of your son and his beautiful bride. You looked so beautiful, ethereal in your hunter green gown. The color was perfect for you and set off your skin tone and blue eyes. Your husband looked splendid as did your son. As well, Abby was gorgeous her accessories were minimal allowing her youthful beauty shine. Your families smiles say it all. Joy in the Lord. Blessings to you and your family