Moms and Maids

Mother's Dress Nightmare

Hi everyone,

This is my first time using the community chat so here goes.

My mom and I have had a great relationship but don't always agree on clothing/style...she tends to like sparkly/over the top items where I like classic pieces. Anyway, a few months ago my mom texted me about a potential Mother of the Bride dress that she wanted to buy. I asked her to wait so that I could see what it looked like. She only had to wait a few days as the dress she liked was at the same store as my bridesmaids' dresses. But she bought it anyways and I hate it. It's a black mermaid style dress with a lace overlay, sweetheart neckline(same as my dress) and a big patch of sparkles. When I saw the dress I immediately told my mom I wasn't crazy about it...especially because it has lace like my dress and is strapless and puffy. She told me I was just being dramatic and said I'd get over it. She refuses to return it (apparently she cant and it was also VERY expensive). It's been a few months since our fight but I still can't help but think about how ridiculously over dressed she will look. We havent talked about it since!

I don't know what to do at this point. Just let it go? My fiance was quite insistent that I tell her she cant wear it but I basically already did and she just ignored me. She has also been a bit intense about other aspects of the wedding but the dress is the most irritating thing to me.

I also should mention that I expect my mom made the purchase on emotional impulse. My sister had recently announced she was moving across the country to be with her boyfriend...which my entire family disapproves of. So I think maybe she wanted to do something nice for herself and as a result did not think about my feelings at all.

Anyway, that's all for now! Just not sure what I should do!

Re: Mother's Dress Nightmare

  • No offense, but your mom is right. You are being a bit dramatic about this. Your mom has every right to choose to wear whatever she wants to your wedding, without consulting you. Would asking have been nice? Sure, but definitely not required and certainly not an intentional slight to your feelings if she found something she loved and went for it. You knew your mom liked sparkly and over the top, so it's not really a surprise she went with exactly that. If she looks overdressed, that's on her, not you. And, don't worry, you'll be the one in a white dress - no one will be focused on her, even if her dress also has lace like yours. So, really, just let it go. It's not worth any added drama.
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  • edited December 2012
    In Response to Mother's Dress Nightmare:
    Hi everyone, This is my first time using the community chat so here goes. My mom and I have had a great relationship but don't always agree on clothing/style...she tends to like sparkly/over the top items where I like classic pieces. Anyway, a few months ago my mom texted me about a potential Mother of the Bride dress that she wanted to buy. I asked her to wait so that I could see what it looked like. She only had to wait a few days as the dress she liked was at the same store as my bridesmaids' dresses. But she bought it anyways and I hate it. It's a black mermaid style dress with a lace overlay, sweetheart neckline(same as my dress) and a big patch of sparkles. When I saw the dress I immediately told my mom I wasn't crazy about it...especially because it has lace like my dress and is strapless and puffy. She told me I was just being dramatic and said I'd get over it. She refuses to return it (apparently she cant and it was also VERY expensive). It's been a few months since our fight but I still can't help but think about how ridiculously over dressed she will look. We havent talked about it since! I don't know what to do at this point. Just let it go? My fiance was quite insistent that I tell her she cant wear it but I basically already did and she just ignored me. She has also been a bit intense about other aspects of the wedding but the dress is the most irritating thing to me. I also should mention that I expect my mom made the purchase on emotional impulse. My sister had recently announced she was moving across the country to be with her boyfriend...which my entire family disapproves of. So I think maybe she wanted to do something nice for herself and as a result did not think about my feelings at all. Anyway, that's all for now! Just not sure what I should do!
    Posted by AlishaLoves

    First bolded: She's right.

    Second bolded: Yes.

    She's not wearing a wedding gown (yes, some brides have absolutely had this happen, so count your lucky stars) and even if she were, no one will judge you for what she wears. And you're not remotely allowed to tell her how to dress.

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  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
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    Yes, you are being dramatic.  So what if her dress has some of the same elements as your dress.  No one is going to mistake her for the bride on your wedding day.

    Your Mom is allowed to wear whatever she wants because she is a guest at your wedding (a VIP guest, yes, but a guest none the less).  The only people that you have any control over in regards to their attire is your bridal party.  Period.

    If the dress is really that inappropriate (which it doesn't really sound like it, unless you are having a backyard BBQ) then your Mom will look like the fool not you so no one will be judging you because of what she is wearing.

    Let it go and move on.

  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall
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    My stepmother wore a long, ivory, sparkly dress to my wedding. It was the same dress she married my father in a few months before. I never said a word. 
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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  • Are you afraid people at the wedding will say "Look at that lady in black sparkly lace, she MUST be the bride!"?

    Let your mother wear whatever she wants.  She's a grown woman, and should be given the basic respect of not being dressed by her children.  It is not your place to boss her around about something so banal and personal.  Bride does not equal El Dictator.

    Even if she chooses to wear something that is crass and gross, that's her personal decision, and that will reflect badly upon her.  No one else.  However, nobody will be paying her an inch of attention on your wedding day, as she's not the bride.  I noticed maybe two people in the audience for a quarter of a second on my wedding day.  Things were so emotional and moving so fast, I wasn't evaluating anyone's fashion.  Neither will you.
    Don't make me mobilize OffensiveKitten

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  • NYCMercedesNYCMercedes BOS, NYC, DC. Forever a city girl
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    It's too bad your mom disappointed you and needed this emotional pick me up. She will look like the foolish one, and not you. Be glad you have the knot to vent.
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut
    Moderator Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
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    You should apologize to your mom for being rude. You were way out of line to tell her she couldn't wear the dress that she bought.

                
  • She is an adult and is capable of dressing herself.  You don't have any right to tell her what to wear.  Like PPs have said, if she chooses something inappropriate, it will look bad on her, not you.  FWIW, my mom had a dress with a sweetheart neckline, just like my dress.  The similar look actually looks really nice in all of the photos.
  • I had a similar incident with my FMIL. she bought a dress without even telling me because she was afraid I would hate it and she can't return it and she spent a lot on it.

    Do I hate the dress? absolutely.
    Is it everything I told her when she asked what not to wear? yep.
    Would I ever tell her to take it back? Not on my life.

    Yes I hate the dress, but in the end, it's not worth fighting about something you have no control over. I'm sure that you mother like my FMIL looks stunning in the dress she chose and while it would have been nice for them to consult us before making the purchase, it's just not worth stressing over. Like PP have said, her attire will not reflect in the slightest on you. If her dress looks too close to yours, people will side-eye her, not you.

    My advice is to just let it go. Long run, it won't matter if she wore a poofy pink prom dress to your wedding. End of the day, you'll still be married to your FI and Mom will have spent money on a dress she'll never wear again.
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
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    In Response to Re: Mother's Dress Nightmare:
    I had a similar incident with my FMIL. she bought a dress without even telling me because she was afraid I would hate it and she can't return it and she spent a lot on it. Do I hate the dress? absolutely. Is it everything I told her when she asked what not to wear? yep. Would I ever tell her to take it back? Not on my life. Yes I hate the dress, but in the end, it's not worth fighting about something you have no control over. I'm sure that you mother like my FMIL looks stunning in the dress she chose and while it would have been nice for them to consult us before making the purchase, it's just not worth stressing over. Like PP have said, her attire will not reflect in the slightest on you. If her dress looks too close to yours, people will side-eye her, not you. My advice is to just let it go. Long run, it won't matter if she wore a poofy pink prom dress to your wedding. End of the day, you'll still be married to your FI and Mom will have spent money on a dress she'll never wear again.
    Posted by heroeswearbrown
    But here's the thing, they do not have to consult with you before purchasing their attire for your wedding.  Period.  They are guests and not part of the wedding party, thus they can wear whatever they want without any input from you.  Do you expect all of your guests to consult with you on their attire?  Most likely no, so the same goes for your and your FI parents.

  • In Response to Re: Mother's Dress Nightmare:
    Are you afraid people at the wedding will say "Look at that lady in black sparkly lace, she MUST be the bride!"? Let your mother wear whatever she wants.  She's a grown woman, and should be given the basic respect of not being dressed by her children.  It is not your place to boss her around about something so banal and personal.  Bride does not equal El Dictator. Even if she chooses to wear something that is crass and gross, that's her personal decision, and that will reflect badly upon her.  No one else.  However, nobody will be paying her an inch of attention on your wedding day, as she's not the bride.  I noticed maybe two people in the audience for a quarter of a second on my wedding day.  Things were so emotional and moving so fast, I wasn't evaluating anyone's fashion.  Neither will you.
    Posted by Peledreamsofrain
    I have to comment how hilarious this is, because my sister actually wore a black sparkly dress to her own wedding. One of her friends was wearing a beige dress and kept being congratulated by passersby.
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  • I actually saw an episode of SYTTD in which the MOB bought the same silhouette dress by the same designer as her daughter's wedding dress. Her daughter was not as voluptuous as her mother, so the sweetheart neckline looked way different, but it was incredibly obvious that they were wearing the same dress, train and all. 

    OP, your mother doesn't have an obligation to consult with you about her dress. As others have said, if it is a truly inappropriate dress, she will look silly, not you. But are you really surprised that your mom chose a dress that is so "her?"
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  • In Response to Re:Mother's Dress Nightmare:
    In Response to Re: Mother's Dress Nightmare:Are you afraid people at the wedding will say "Look at that lady in black sparkly lace, she MUST be the bride!"? Let your mother wear whatever she wants.nbsp; She's a grown woman, and should be given the basic respect of not being dressed by her children.nbsp; It is not your place to boss her around about something so banal and personal.nbsp; Bride does not equal El Dictator. Even if she chooses to wear something that is crass and gross, that's her personal decision, and that will reflect badly upon her.nbsp; No one else.nbsp; However, nobody will be paying her an inch of attention on your wedding day, as she's not the bride.nbsp; I noticed maybe two people in the audience for a quarter of a second on my wedding day.nbsp; Things were so emotional and moving so fast, I wasn't evaluating anyone's fashion.nbsp; Neither will you.Posted by PeledreamsofrainI have to comment how hilarious this is, because my sister actually wore a black sparkly dress to her own wedding. One of her friends was wearing a beige dress and kept being congratulated by passersby. Posted by SadieLouWho
    Haha! That IS funny! Poor girl, I hope she had a good sense of humor.
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  • mcda04mcda04
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper
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    edited December 2012
    In Response to Mother's Dress Nightmare:
    Hi everyone, This is my first time using the community chat so here goes. My mom and I have had a great relationship but don't always agree on clothing/style...she tends to like sparkly/over the top items where I like classic pieces. Anyway, a few months ago my mom texted me about a potential Mother of the Bride dress that she wanted to buy. I asked her to wait so that I could see what it looked like. She only had to wait a few days as the dress she liked was at the same store as my bridesmaids' dresses. But she bought it anyways and I hate it. It's a black mermaid style dress with a lace overlay, sweetheart neckline(same as my dress) and a big patch of sparkles. When I saw the dress I immediately told my mom I wasn't crazy about it...especially because it has lace like my dress and is strapless and puffy. She told me I was just being dramatic and said I'd get over it. She refuses to return it (apparently she cant and it was also VERY expensive). It's been a few months since our fight but I still can't help but think about how ridiculously over dressed she will look. We havent talked about it since! I don't know what to do at this point. Just let it go? My fiance was quite insistent that I tell her she cant wear it but I basically already did and she just ignored me. She has also been a bit intense about other aspects of the wedding but the dress is the most irritating thing to me. I also should mention that I expect my mom made the purchase on emotional impulse. My sister had recently announced she was moving across the country to be with her boyfriend...which my entire family disapproves of. So I think maybe she wanted to do something nice for herself and as a result did not think about my feelings at all. Anyway, that's all for now! Just not sure what I should do!
    Posted by AlishaLoves
    You need to apologize to your mom for being so dramatic and get over it. You can't tell her what to wear, if she likes the dress and it's "over the top" who cares? She will not "outshine" you because 1. She's not the bride and 2. She's not wearing a white ball gown.
  • Thanks to most of you who gave me a relatively reasonable opinion. I have decided to let it go. It's interesting to see that some of you think that I was being a "bridezilla" seeing as how you no little about my actual life or personality. I am certainly the furthest thing from a "dictator" but thanks for the charmingly uninformed comparison.

    My mother and I are actually very close.

    I actually still think she should have consulted with me about the dress. It would have been a nice mother/daughter bonding experience to share.

    I'll continue to enjoy my wedding and focus on my lovely fiance.

    Thanks!
  • In Response to Re: Mother's Dress Nightmare:
    Thanks to most of you who gave me a relatively reasonable opinion. I have decided to let it go. It's interesting to see that some of you think that I was being a "bridezilla" seeing as how you no little about my actual life or personality. I am certainly the furthest thing from a "dictator" but thanks for the charmingly uninformed comparison. My mother and I are actually very close. I actually still think she should have consulted with me about the dress. It would have been a nice mother/daughter bonding experience to share. I'll continue to enjoy my wedding and focus on my lovely fiance. Thanks!
    Posted by AlishaLoves
    We can only draw conclusions based on what you post on here. If you don't want to come across as controlling and dramatic, then you shouldn't portray yourself as such, which you did with your post. No matter what you think or want, the fact remains your mom does NOT have to consult you about her clothing choices, whether that be for your wedding, rehearsal, a shower, or any other day of the year. You can call her up and invite her to go shopping and out to lunch whenever you like and still get your mom/daughter bonding experience.


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  • In Response to Re: Mother's Dress Nightmare:
    I actually still think she should have consulted with me about the dress. It would have been a nice mother/daughter bonding experience to share.
    Posted by AlishaLoves
    Being excited when she showed you the dress she picked out and telling her that she'll look fabulous and you can't wait to see her in it also could have been a nice bonding experience, without the need to boss your mom around.

    At any rate, I'm glad to hear that you've gained some perspective, even if begrudgingly.


  • You may or may not be a bridezilla. But it is 100% a bridezilla move to tell your mom you hate the dress she wants to wear and/or to tell her she can't wear it to your wedding. If you really are a thoughtful person and care about her feelings, you will apologize and tell her she'll look lovely at your wedding.
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  • edited December 2012
    In Response to Re: Mother's Dress Nightmare:
    Thanks to most of you who gave me a relatively reasonable opinion. I have decided to let it go. It's interesting to see that some of you think that I was being a "bridezilla" seeing as how you no little about my actual life or personality. I am certainly the furthest thing from a "dictator" but thanks for the charmingly uninformed comparison. My mother and I are actually very close. I actually still think she should have consulted with me about the dress. It would have been a nice mother/daughter bonding experience to share. I'll continue to enjoy my wedding and focus on my lovely fiance. Thanks!
    Posted by AlishaLoves
    If you will read more carefully, I never called YOU a dictator.  In fact, if we are insinuating here, I said brides are not dictators.  As you are a bride, that would naturally flow to you not being a dictator.  The fact that you interpreted it quite the opposite is telling.

    Somewhere, deep down, is a part of you that knows browbeating your mother over something so silly and passing is wrong, and you identified with the word all on your own.
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  • It is nice you have a good relationship with your Mom. My daughter could not care one whit what I wear.
  • Please don't listen to everyone who is telling you that you are being rude, etc. Some people tend to get a bit judge-y on these boards and write things they would never actually say to you in person. You definitely do not come accross as bridezilla or a dictator, etc. For everyone who is saying you don't get to have a say in what you mom wears, I've actually read quite a few articles and such that say a bride does get to have an opinion on what her mom wears, and some also say the same regarding the MOG dress as well.For what it's worth, everyone that I've talked to about the subject also agrees, so maybe it's a location thing? When it comes to grey areas like this, no one answer is right because there are a lot of different opinions on the subject.  In many weddings, the parents are a part of the wedding party and take part in the ceremony or at least get special mentions and are in tons of pictures. I'm not quite understanding why some brides see the logic in making their bridesmaids wear the same dress, shoes, hairstyle, etc, but then say moms are grown adults and able to dress themselves? Aren't bridesmaids also grown adults and able to dress themselves as well then? LOL it's silliness like this that made me and my FI seriously consider eloping.

    Anyways, I went through pretty much the exact same thing with my mom, though a big part of her reasons for picking out her dress (which is pretty much a wedding gown itself) is because she hated her own wedding and frequently has mentioned that throughout the entire planning process for mine... so I guess this is kind of a do-over for her. I was definitely annoyed, and suggested it would be more appropriate for a vow renewal (which she shot down), but in the end I decided a better way to deal with the situation is to concentrate on making sure my own dress is fabulous. Anyone who says that no one will be looking at the MOB is wrong - she is an important part of the wedding and yes people will be looking at her. However if it's obvious that what she's wearing is too over the top then people will probably recognize it. In the end, try not to let it bother you and concentrate on how lovely you will look. The day of the wedding you will be so distracted and happy I bet you won't notice or care what she's wearing :)

  • In Response to Re: Mother's Dress Nightmare:
    Freya..... The wedding websites and bridal magazines ensure the bride that she gets a say in all that because they want everyone who attends the wedding to go out and buy a new dress.  That's why bridal salons carry "mother of the bride" wear. The wedding industry IS an industry, and everybody wants a piece of it: dress shops, shoe stores, jewelers, hair salons, cosmetic stores, the travel industry, hotel chains, limousine rentals. The industry starts programming women from cradle onward that t THIS! IS! THE! MOST! IMPORTANT! DAY! OF! YOUR! LIFE! and it's all about you, the bride. They want your parents to feel as if they don't love their little girl if they aren't willing to pay for her last grand parade of girlhood.  They want her friends to believe they are bad friends if they don't spend, spend, spend on wedding party attire and hosting parties for the bride. Guess what? Bridesmaids DON'T "have" to wear matching dresses! That's a 20th century custom. Prior to that, the bridesmaids wore their best dress when they stood up with the bride.  The bride usually wore her best dress rather than a new wedding gown, too. Please do some REAL research on wedding customs, and lose the entitled attitude before you lose friends and offend relatives.  The wedding industry doesn't care if you piss off your friends, because it's done with you once your wedding is over.  It can't make more money off you after that. Think about it.
    Posted by RetreadBride
    Wow, way to take what I wrote and completely twist it around. For your information I absolutely agree with you that bridesmaids DON'T have to wear matching gowns - that's why I'm asking my BM's to buy styles that they feel comfortable in, in colors that they can wear again. I mentioned some brides dressing their BM's up the same in pointing out how SILLY it is that they feel like they can expect one thing from certain people in the wedding party, but not others - all based on what websites and magazines tell them is 'normal'. Guess what - I also very much agree with you that the WIC is all about $$$ and enforces way too much the idea that it's all about the bride. That's why my FI and I are having a wedding that is centered on making sure our friends and family have a great time, because the only reason we're not eloping is because our family and friends really wanted to have this celebration with us. Now, tell me again how 'entitled' I am and how I'm going to tick off all my friends and family. Because apparently we actually agree on most things - but you decided to jump down my throat instead all based on you assuming things that aren't true. It's that kind of self-righteous rude behavior that I mentioned 1st thing in my original post. Alisha is someone who came here to post for the first time, just looking for support and advice... so excuse me for actually trying to support another bride and help her feel good about herself.
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