Sukey Murphy is the editor and owner of Dress for the Wedding, a wedding style blog that offers attire ideas for everyone in a wedding. Dress for the Wedding is particularly known for wedding style collages, which offer ideas for what to wear to a wedding: complete with accessories, shoes, and other elements like invitations and florals. Attire and styling ideas for the mothers in the wedding party is a special area of concentration on our site. We find that our readers especially love Teri Jon dresses!
In this three part series we asked Sukey her take on a number of common questions that come up when choosing special occasion dresses and wedding attire for mothers.
Are you ever anxious about committing a wedding color faux pas? In the third part of our series Sukey shares her take on wedding color don’ts for members of the wedding part and for guests. Don’t forget to check out the first two articles in this series on fall wedding colors and mother of the bride dress colors. The newest version of the gown featured on the beautiful mother of the bride in our cover image is now online.
Q Moms often ask us: Black is my go to color for most events; is it absolutely taboo to wear to a wedding? If so, what other colors are flattering?
A I don’t think black attire is still taboo for weddings, especially if the black dress you select has some sort of elegance and inherent festivity to it. That said, black isn’t ideal for daytime outdoor events, or for buoyant summer receptions, but it certainly can’t be labeled totally off-limits for all weddings. Black will always have a place in evening weddings where the attire is semi-formal, formal, or black tie.
To keep your attire celebratory, choose a black dress that has bit of color or print or an interesting detail.
If you think black will be too severe, navy blue, deep tones of purple, dark green, pewter or dark gold can be just as lovely.
I certainly don’t think black is the only figure flattering color, I think any color garment with the proper fit and tailoring can be a becoming look.
Q Are there any other colors to avoid?
A I’m still of the school of thought that white and ivory dresses are to be avoided – especially by guests – unless white attire is specifically requested by the couple.
Mothers are a little different, because they are in a role of honor, so blush, pale gray, silver, or champagne are lovely color choices for mothers. That said, I always recommend checking with the couple before selecting a dress in any color! In some cases, the bride or couple might want the mother to specifically chose a light gown to stand out in their role of honor – while others might take deep offense if the dress is too similar to a bridal gown. Having a conversation about what everyone is wearing is always a good idea!
Q Are there any colors that are specifically unflattering or inappropriate for an occasion? For a certain age?
A I’m sure there out there, but I can’t think of any that I can say are universally unflattering colors – it’s all in context related to personal style and preference. White and ivory again are the only colors I really stay away from for guests of weddings, and for guests of other wedding-related events like showers and engagement parties. The other caution would be if there is some cultural significance to a certain color. If you think any color or style you’re considering might make anything awkward, then just pick something that you know is suitable.
I don’t think any color is off-limits for certain ages, it just is about what suits the wearer, and what color they feel elegant in!
Q Should the mothers of the wedding check with the couple to be wed before wearing certain bright colors?
A Yes, I think it’s a good idea to talk about the colors the mothers are wearing, no matter if they are vibrant or subtle hues. Since wedding color schemes are important to many couples, it’s good to have a talk about any color or style the mothers and parents in the wedding are wearing.
Mothers should obviously feel free to choose a color and style that suits them, but I think it’s courteous to include both the couple and the other set of parents in your attire choices, especially if you are thinking of a bright or bold color that may not coordinate easily with the wedding party.
Q Let’s talk about the guest of a wedding for a minute – are there any colors a guest should avoid?
A Yes, again, I think white or ivory is always one to avoid, unless the couple has requested that their guests wear white. While I don’t think a certain dress or color choice can ever truly upstage the couple, there are so many wedding appropriate colors and styles to choose from – so why risk picking a color that has the potential to offend? See some great Guest of Wedding Styles!
We are honored to be asked to contribute to the Teri Jon blog. We hope this guide to Mother of the Bride dressing and picking colors for wedding attire was helpful! We hope you’ll visit us on Dress for the Wedding for more wedding style ideas!