The mother of the bride dilemma
This is worth reading whether you’re the bride, sister or friend of the bride, Mother of the bride, Mother of the groom, or other significant honored female guest close to the bride and “of a certain age”
Ok, so let’s address that appalling “of a certain age” slogan. What does it mean and why do we have to make it such a euphemism? In my experience of being part of so many weddings, both for work and in my private life, there is often an older female who is part of the wedding journey along side the bride. This is mostly the bride’s mother, although in many cases it is another person. Where it is the case that the woman is in fact the Mother of the Bride, (m.o.b) and is aged roughly over 55/60, I have observed many issues which can cause mild to grand scale distress:
What is she going to wear?
She is lacking in confidence because she is peri or post-menopausal.
She doesn’t want any attention on her because she’s worried she’ll take attention away from the bride.
She has reached a stage in life where she has become invisible, doesn’t see why she should be noticed but doesn’t want to feel ridiculous.
All this is going on inside her head and the one person she won’t admit it to is her daughter.
All, or some of these dilemmas can slowly bubble away and occasionally create a low-lying tension in proceedings.
So how do we turn this around?
Well, to start with, to all our lovely brides, you’re pretty much off the hook! We need to give some one-on-one time to the Mummas. It may take some persuading, or even presented as a lovely gift to your Mum. It will restore joy and peace in what can be quite a stressful time.
Weddings are weird and wonderful things. One thing they do is present you with a magnified glassed mirror which you may not have asked for. For so many of my brides, having a hair and makeup trial may be the first time they’ve ever truly scrutinised their face. (Don’t worry, we hold your hand throughout and make it pain-free!) I remember when I got married, I had my first real experience of looking in the identity mirror. It was more to do with changing my name and suddenly feeling older because I was now a “Mrs”. What I didn’t realise was that while I felt like I was aging, so did my Mum. Observing me as this young thing in a dress, at first made my Mum feel like an old woman. How was she going to pull this m.o.b thing off?
I now work very closely with my wonderful Mum as she is a colour and style expert at Richmond Personal Style, revolutionising the way women over 50 feel about themselves. The solution is a very enjoyable 3 step process:
1. Mother of the Bride has her colour analysis with Hilary at Richmond Personal Style
2. Your Mum and mine work out your Mum’s Style Personality and Hilary will source some fab outfits to make your Mum feel just right on your wedding day.
3. M.o.bs can either discuss their makeup with me, (Lucy St John), have a trial, view our Instagram gallery highlights section (possibly on your phone!) with an especially created Mumma’s makeup tab. Or she can do all
4. We find that around 100% of m.o.bs are extremely wary of having their makeup done by a makeup artist 30 years younger than them. If you think you as the bride are worried that you’ll be made to look like a drag queen, multiply this feeling by about 1000 and you’re about half way there on the m.o.b anxiety scale! I am delighted to say that the same 100% of Mums are not only relieved but delighted with their finished look on the day.
Some silly wedding rules we want to quash:
Mums – you don’t have to wear the Mother of the Bride uniform if you don’t want to.
You don’t have to shop at Bridal houses or Mother of the Bride shops!
You don’t have to lose weight! You just need to be dressed in the right outfit for you which compliments your body shape.
You will feel younger and better than ever as you go through this big stage in your life alongside your daughter. Enjoy the wedding!