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Groom's Mother Won't Wear A Gown!

My FI's mom has picked out a clover green cocktail dress as her dress for wedding. She refuses to wear a gown! And this dress is more for a guest to wear then a mother for sure. I definately think her top should be covered up more also. I am having a February wedding - extremely formal! Anyone else ever have this problem. I never heard of a groom's mother not wearing a gown or formal attire.

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Re: Groom's Mother Won't Wear A Gown!

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    edited December 2011
    Honestly, I don't think it's that big a deal. If that's what she feels comfortable with, I say let her do it. Maybe ask her to add a shawl, but I don't think the top is too revealing either.
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    sgdc2011sgdc2011 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Why don't you go shopping with her and show her things you think are more appropriate, she might be thinking something different than what you have in mind as a gown and once you show her she might change her mind.
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    edited December 2011
    Is your entire wedding very formal?  Like black tie?  Also, are you getting married in a church where the excess skin might be an issue?  If so, I would have a talk with her because she'll stick out like a sore thumb during family photos and may look strange walking down the aisle in the church. 

    However, if you're not having a black tie wedding, then I may be in the minority but I think the MOB/MOGs should wear whatever they want... if for no other reason than for comfort.
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    gia0404gia0404 member
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    edited December 2011
    I'm thinking/hoping the same thing! When I origionally told her (very nicely) she said she has never been told what to wear to a wedding! (She's a spicy kinda meatball!) So I try not to argue or anything cuz she will make a huge thing out of it But I just don't feel she is just a guest at wedding, she is way more than that!
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    gia0404gia0404 member
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    edited December 2011
    OH no, this is total black tie! Very old-school italian wedding! In Catholic Church. My Mom & even step mom will be wearing gowns also! FI's Mom just says she hates gowns & it's for the brides family anyway(gowns formal wear etc...) She happily wore gowns to her 2 daughters weddings!
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    edited December 2011
    Oh, then I'd definitely have a nice talk with her!  :-)
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    Lola MinnieLola Minnie member
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    edited December 2011
    The spicy meatball made me laugh!

    I would nicely talk to her or have fi talk to her and say this is a very formal affair and we would like you to wear a gown and differentiate yourself from the other guests since you are the MOG.

    If she eventually doesn't relent - then hey, she's the one that looks like a fool, not you. 
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    edited December 2011
    i'd make FI tell her she needs to be in a gown so that you can avoid a fight. but i agree, that dress isn't going to fly for a black tie event.
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    gia0404gia0404 member
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    edited December 2011
    I wish FI would grow a pair & talk to his Mom but in all reality, he won't. Says, you know you can't tell her anything.... Which I know is true but really - never, ever expected this from her. We've been waiting 3 yrs trying to save up for a wedding and can finally do it. She has been talking about this for years & now it's finally here & she is wearing that!! LOL
    I feel like it's a dress I would wear as a guest to a friend's wedding! But def not to my son's LOL
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    edited December 2011
    I wouldnt worry about it.  Who cares?  I hate to be that way but is it really worth the fight.  Its still a pretty dress.  I dont think people will even notice that she isnt wearing a gown. 

    My wedding is formal and my MIL is wearing a cotton embellished maxi dresss.  Its not at all something my mom would wear but I dont care.  I would rather not start a fight.  And I think the dress will look lovely on her.  Its what she wants to wear so she will wear it. 
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    mbcdefgmbcdefg member
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    edited December 2011

    My mom didn't wear a gown to my wedding. She wore a knee-length skirt suit and she looked very nice. She would've been horribly uncomfortable and unhappy in a frilly gown. (I don't have a MIL, so I can't relate there. And FWIW, this was a Catholic wedding with an evening reception.)

    She'll wear this outfit for a few hours out of one day of your lives. Is it REALLY worth arguing with her over this? As long as her nipples aren't hanging out, I would just keep quiet and let her wear what makes her happy. Complaining about it to her, or getting your FI to talk to her, is only going to make you come across to her (and possibly other people in her family) as the "biitchy daughter-in-law," even if your intentions are good. Plus, if people think she looks foolish, that's a reflection on her and not you. Nobody in their right mind would say, "Ew, why did Gia put her in that?" because they know that she would've picked out her own outfit.

    I think it's fine to show her photos of what your bridesmaids and mother are wearing and say, "I just wanted to show you what everyone else is wearing, so that you can compare the formality levels and make sure that you are satisfied about your own outfit. I want you to be comfortable, both in the actual outfit and also when you're around everyone else." If she feels it's too informal, she will look for something else. If she's O.K. with it, though, drop it ... it will do you no good to argue with her or if your FI tells her to get something else. People hold grudges over the stupidest stuff, so even if you manage to get her into a gown for the wedding day, you may be suffering the repercussions of it for years to come. Would that be worth it?

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    VanessaB24VanessaB24 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    my fmil is wearing a purple cocktail dress and my other fmil is wearing a dress suit. I really don't see what the big deal is.
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    VanessaB24VanessaB24 member
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    edited December 2011
    oh wait spoke too soon. i just read it formal church style... yeah you should talk to her about it. good luck.
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    uppereastgirluppereastgirl member
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    edited December 2011
    My only issue would be that she'd be underdressed compared to guests.  But both of my best friends' moms wore dresses like that as MOBs and they both looked adorable.  And they were very comfortable in their dresses.  Matronly typical MOB/MOG gowns just don't fit everyone.  If she's pushing back, I'd just let it go.  Or at the very least, let your FI fight his mom on this.
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    maddie7maddie7 member
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    edited December 2011
    I disagree with you- I like that dress.  People should wear what they are comfortable in.  My mom is wearing a "cocktail length bridesmaid dress" it looks great on her.  Ball-gowns are not her thing and not real re-wearable. My FI mom is wearing the suit, knee length. My girls dresses are cocktail lenght also.  My wedding is formal, but I will be the only one in a long gown and Im fine with that.  Im the one getting the attention....
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    edited December 2011
    Ditto what the PP said about showing her the BM's dress and your mom's dress.  Maybe you can say something to her daughters and they can be the one to say something to her about her dress.  But in the end, it is her choice and if that is it...then that is it.  You could...if you are worrying about the amount of skin showing in the church....give her a pashmina to match or complement the dress for her to wear in the church.  Then drop the subject.  In the long run of things...it is not that important.
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    edited December 2011
    This is not worth arguing over.  Seriously, let her feel silly for wearing it, not your problem
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    LolyalyssaLolyalyssa member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Sounds like she is having a mid-life crisis?  Is this her "last wedding" as far as her kids?  Maybe she wants to mix it up because she is MOG this time and not MOB...that's probably why she thinks she can go short.

    Tell her its black tie and let her dig her own grave.... :)
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    edited December 2011
    Is it true black tie where every male guest will be in a tuxedo or just formal "old-school Italian in a Catholic church"?

    Black tie definition:


    If it is truly black tie, and every guest will be in formal long gowns/fancy cocktail dresses and every male in tuxedos, she will look out of place. But then you won't need to worry about it - it's not you, it's not your family that will look out of place. She will, and everyone else in black tie will know that she is out of place.

    However, if it is just "formal" - then this dress would be fine for any other guest, and then you really shouldn't worry about what she is wearing. Also, what time of day is the wedding? If it is in the early afternoon/afternoon, then she would be more appropriate than a guest in a gown.

    There are distinct definitions/guidelines for the time of day and level of formality for functions. If it is not "black tie" where "black tie" is listed on the invitation, then her attire is fine.

    If you just wish that she would wear something a bit more formal, you either need to tell that to her (even though she won't want to hear it) or take her shopping/offer to buy her ensemble.  Just saying that you don't feel it is formal enough and telling her that isn't enough to make her change her mind/buy a new outfit, if it does fall within the realm of "appropriateness."
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    Pink7781Pink7781 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    You can not tell an adult what to wear. All you can do is show her your MOB and BM dresses and as previous posters said, let her make the determination if she feels this dress is too informal.

    As long as she is comfortable, does it really matter what she's wearing?
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    jchristeljchristel member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Is there anyone else in your FI's family that you can recruit to help?  Does he have a sister or is he close with one of his Aunts?  Maybe she doesn't realize how dressy everyone else will be dressed?
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    edited December 2011
    Like PP said, is there anyone else you can have talk to her?  Are you close to your FSIL's???  Tell them what she's planning on wearing...I'm sure they won't mind telling her that she should be wearing something more formal!
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    edited December 2011
    Haha I hear ya hun, in the same boat with my FMIL. She sent a pic of her dress...a white, very casual cocktail dress. My FI reached out to her and pretty much told her it's a formal wedding and told her that she will feel out of place when she gets there. He also told her that white was more inline with what a bride would wear. I also casually sent her an email telling her my mom got her dress, and I explained it to her and if she wanted any help looking to let me know. I think once she realized and understood what my Mom was wearing ( I don't think she wanted to be out done) So then a few days later, she sent me pics of dresses she saw and liked...all were long, and not white. You def have to speak up,whether it's tell it how it is, or causally say something.
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    melissa82melissa82 member
    5 Love Its First Comment
    edited December 2011
    As far as the dress, I'd let her wear what she wants to wear. Maybe encourage her to be a bit fancier so she looks like a part of the wedding party and not a guest, but ultimately it's on her if she looks inappropriate.

    [QUOTE]I wish FI would grow a pair & talk to his Mom but in all reality, he won't. Says, you know you can't tell her anything.... Which I know is true but really - never, ever expected this from her.
    Posted by gia0404[/QUOTE]

    But this is kind of a problem. Your future husband needs to be able to talk to his mom. Chances are, there are going to be bigger conflicts in during your marriage than this and he needs to be able to take a stand for his wife.
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    chrissy31805chrissy31805 member
    Combo Breaker First Comment
    edited December 2011
    if you are putting "black tie" on the invitiation, then you should explain to her that that means everyone will be wearing a gown to the reception. or she can wear the cocktail length dress and feel that she is not dressed properly and then would be embarassed =P
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    edited December 2011
    I have the same problem!  She is wearing a short St. John Dress Suit. Its a beautiful suit, but not exactly black tie!!!   I plan to show her pictures of other weddings where everyone posed (and the pictures captures the entire full length body shot of all the gowns/tuxs etc) and how she is going to look "out of place" with her short dress suit.  If that doesn't convince her, I hope she'll take the jacket off at least lol. 

    I really do love her, and in the long run, I know its not going to matter what she wears.  I just don't want her to regret it - but she's a big girl and can make those decisions :)
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    DMLJDMLJ member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Leave it alone, but maybe suggest she gets a shawl to cover up at the church.  Oterhwise, it is what she wants to wear.  My step-mom keeps procrastinating about getting a dress.  My father and I have basically said, if she doesn't want to go buy one she will just wear something out of her closet---- like someone else said, let her dig her own grave.

    Sparkles- St. John is gorgeous, high end stuff..... she will look just fine
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    kewltifkewltif member
    First Anniversary First Comment Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    This would irritate me, but there's really nothing you can do without causing a fight and looking bad.

    I know it's easy to say, "FI should grow a pair and talk to his mom," but you have to realize that he has probably never spoken to his mother about an outfit choice of hers in his life.  It will come off really inauthentic and uncomfortable.  He probably doesn't even really understand why you're upset, so it's a hard fight for him to fight.

    I just don't understand people who can't dress appropriately.  I'm going to a wedding in Poland this summer and I specifically asked about attire and whether it was typical to wear long or short dresses because I want to fit in!
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