They hold a place of honor and privilege.
Each parent has his or her own distinct part to play. The most complex and challenging relationship, however, is often that of mother and daughter. Differences in style, vision and expectation can begin with the gown and end at the reception, with every issue in between fair game for controversy, particularly where finances are involved. A wedding can unleash torrents of emotion, and a bride must balance her own need for control with her mother’s sense of involvement. Sometimes fashion can even become an excuse for unexpressed issues. Difficulty can also arise between a bride-to-be and her prospective mother-in-law. The relationship between the “first lady” of a man’s life and her successor may be fraught with tension. It is best to establish an open line of communication early on. Try to be sensitive to everyone concerned, as challenging as it may be.
Attire. Regarding issues of wedding attire, everyone must defer without exception to the bride. As they pertain to the mothers, however, if photographs are an artistic concern, there should be some visual correlation between their gowns and that of the bridal party. If this is not a primary consideration for the bride, the hour, season and venue should dictate the choice.
For a city wedding in a church or a synagogue, followed by a reception or a luncheon at a private club, a dress and coat or a cocktail dress with a cover-up can be stylish alternatives to a traditional suit. For a country day wedding, a linen suit or a printed chiffon dress with a garden hat flatters a woman of any age. For a formal, outdoor evening wedding, consider a floral printed georgette evening gown or a silk crepe column with a matching wrap and beautiful sandals. For a formal hotel wedding, a crystal-beaded cocktail dress or a Duchess satin ball gown looks beautiful. If jewelry plays a role in the ensemble, choose a less adorned dress. Always coordinate a wrap for the ceremony. The men’s attire should have some uniformity with the other men in the wedding processional. But for a variety, a special boutonniere might designate the father of the bride and the father of the groom.