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Etiquette

Stepmother Attire

My step mother is threatening not to attend my wedding because she cannot find a dress within my constraints. These are my constraints:
1. Bridesmaids are in plum, so no plum.
2. My mother is in a dark teal and FH mother is in Navy, so avoid those
3. I don't think key females in our wedding should be in black, for a july wedding

She has bought or borrowed a pewter, and ice blue and a coral dress, but says none of them are right.
I know they all fit her or need minor alterations and I have put her in contact with a seamstress that is very cheap.
I know she really wants to wear this black dress that is almost 15 years old (she bought it to wear to a nephews wedding) It is a basic black tank dress, very plain and she wore it to my sisters wedding 6 years ago.

She has been a MOB and MOG before. She has been asking me since we got engaged what color everyone is wearing. Am I wrong for giving these guidelines that she has asked for? 

She is also mad that I want my Dad AND Mom to walk me down the aisle.
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Re: Stepmother Attire

  • kipnuskipnus member
    Knottie Warrior 1000 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    You shouldn't be dictating her attire. She asked what everyone else was wearing; tell her, and let her decide on her own what to wear.
    imimblesPrettyGirlLostRetreadBride
  • She keeps asking me my opinion. You ask my opinion I am going to give it honestly. She knows this about me. She keeps saying that I have limited her colors to nothing, but she had in her possession 3 that the colors were not an issue that she has discounted on her own. I don't care about short or long. I have even offered a couple dresses of mine (we are similar is size, and she can wear slightly younger styles). 
  • nrocke129 said:
    My step mother is threatening not to attend my wedding because she cannot find a dress within my constraints. These are my constraints:
    1. Bridesmaids are in plum, so no plum.
    2. My mother is in a dark teal and FH mother is in Navy, so avoid those
    3. I don't think key females in our wedding should be in black, for a july wedding

    She has bought or borrowed a pewter, and ice blue and a coral dress, but says none of them are right.
    I know they all fit her or need minor alterations and I have put her in contact with a seamstress that is very cheap.
    I know she really wants to wear this black dress that is almost 15 years old (she bought it to wear to a nephews wedding) It is a basic black tank dress, very plain and she wore it to my sisters wedding 6 years ago.

    She has been a MOB and MOG before. She has been asking me since we got engaged what color everyone is wearing. Am I wrong for giving these guidelines that she has asked for? 

    She is also mad that I want my Dad AND Mom to walk me down the aisle.
    I do want to make sure though... Is your wedding outside in July? I could see a black dress getting hot if you're outside. But you still can't forbid it. You could say, "I think the black dress looks great. I was only trying to discourage it because I worried it might get hot in the sun, but I'm sure you'll pick whatever is best."
    But then, only say that if that was actually your concern.... which I'm thinking it wasn't.
    RetreadBride
  • My concern with her in a black dress is that, I know old fashioned, but it can be seen as a disapproval of the union. Also I am well aware of the black dress that she wants and it is not flattering on her. It is a very dated style, has a thigh high slit and she wore it to my sisters wedding 6 years ago and my cousins wedding last year. 
    She asked the bridesmaids, MOB and MOG colors so that she would not pick them, that was her intention was to not wear those colors.
    She had a pewter one picked out but my dad said it looked like a new years eve dress. I am not sure that that means but this is my dad who wore a hawaiian shirt and a shark tooth necklace to an indoor evening wedding in October in Michigan so I don't know if I count his opinion.
    [Deleted User][Deleted User]
  • That whole black means disapproval thing is garbage.
    Just tell her the black dress is fine and move on.
    image
    wittykitty14polly212PrettyGirlLostRetreadBride
  • nrocke129 said:
    My concern with her in a black dress is that, I know old fashioned, but it can be seen as a disapproval of the union. Also I am well aware of the black dress that she wants and it is not flattering on her. It is a very dated style, has a thigh high slit and she wore it to my sisters wedding 6 years ago and my cousins wedding last year. 
    She asked the bridesmaids, MOB and MOG colors so that she would not pick them, that was her intention was to not wear those colors.
    She had a pewter one picked out but my dad said it looked like a new years eve dress. I am not sure that that means but this is my dad who wore a hawaiian shirt and a shark tooth necklace to an indoor evening wedding in October in Michigan so I don't know if I count his opinion.

    Well if she decided not to wear teal/navy/plum because she didn't want to, then that's on her (though I find it odd).

    In general, you need to get over the black dress stigma. Black is a very traditional color for formal, evening events. Anyone who decides a mother disapproves of the union solely because she's wearing a black dress to a formal event, really needs to get a reality check. That's on them and not you or your stepmother.
    You can't dictate a grown woman's wardrobe because of a totally outdated and inaccurate idea. That just isn't fair.

    Now as far as the specific black dress itself... You may think it's unflattering, but for whatever reason she seems to feel good when she wears it.

    So you should tell her she may wear whatever she wants. If she's asked you your opinion you can of course say "Well I personally love the way the coral dress looks on you, but it's totally your decision."
    But in the end if she decides on the black dress you have to just let her wear it.


    PrettyGirlLostRetreadBride
  • You should call your stepmother and tell her to choose whichever dress she feels comfortable in and that you have no restrictions.  And then don't offer any more advice or even ask what she is planning to wear.
    harper0813Kate61487PrettyGirlLostRetreadBride
  • The fact that she's voiced possibly not coming to the wedding over this means you've made this a really stressful, negative issue for her. She has something she wants to wear - so what if it's black and you think it looks "unflattering"? Let her worry about it being July and hot. She's not an idiot - I'm sure she's considered that weather in July is hot and she understands the properties of dark clothing in the sun.

    The fact that you listed out your "constraints" means you don't seem to think they're too difficult to comply with (i.e. she must not be trying hard enough) and/or you don't seem to think they're unreasonable. What she has expressed to you is that they ARE hard for her to comply with (she has tried) and everyone here is trying to tell you that they ARE unreasonable because she's tried, been unsuccessful and you're not being flexible. 

    If you care about your relationship with her more than what she wears to your wedding I would seriously apologize to her - she probably feels horrible at this point.
    *********************************************************************************

    image
    RetreadBridePrettyGirlLost
  • Just let her wear whatever she wants.  Seriously.

    I went to a wedding where the WP was in plum, and the MOB also had a plum dress that matched color, and was in a completely different style.  It looked beautiful.  I've been to weddings where the parents completely clashed with other people in the WP.  It wasn't weird at all, and their photos are great, because everyone is happy.

    My FMIL was asking me about what to wear, and I told her to wear whatever color/style she wanted.  She eventually found a green and white oriental dress (which is really cool because she's from Vietnam), that's 60% white.  She was worried that it was too much white, and she asked me if she could wear that.  You know what I told her?  Yes!  I don't know if she ended up ordering that one or not (it was beautiful, so I hope so), but the bottom line is that I wanted her to be happy and comfortable.

    chaiteachick[Deleted User]RetreadBridePrettyGirlLost
  • I know that there are some circles that still view black as a sign of disapproval, but honestly it's her job to decide if she wants to face the possible scrutiny, not yours. And so what if it's outdated? Again, she's the one that will be "judged", not you, so don't worry about it.

    I highly doubt people will even notice what she is wearing, unless it's a bridal gown, or a sequined figure skating costume with a hot pink feather boa.
    image
    RetreadBridePrettyGirlLost
  • If she is threatening not to come to your wedding she must feel you have painted her into a corner and to that I say yes, you are wrong here, all the way.

    I'm a 3 time MOB and SMOB.  I wore black to 2 of them and looked fantastic if I say so myself.  Get over the black means disapproval of the union thing.  Yeah, I know there are still some circles where this is taboo, but do you really think she is wanting to wear the dress because she disapproves?

    If she likes the black dress, apologize profusely for your reaction to it so far and tell  her she should wear it and feel beautiful.  It really doesn't matter what you think of her dress.  My girls had absolutely no input on my attire and the one single daughter left in the bunch won't either.
    [Deleted User]RetreadBride
  • My FMIL is wearing a white dress to my wedding... it is from a bridal store and many there said it is a common second wedding dress. As peeved as I am... I have not said a word to her or anyone else about it.

     

    She is an adult. She can wear whatever she wants. I am not going to risk setting the tone of our future relationship as a negative one by attempting to dictate what she wears. If anything, she is the one that will look like a fool for her choice- but it will be her choice alone.

     

    Please listen to all of the great advice above!

    RetreadBride
  • I have also learned the hard way not to give an opinion on parents' wedding attire. My dad keeps coming to me with what I think are jokes (because he is a big goof) about what he wants to wear at the wedding. A couple weeks ago, I laughed at his idea of wearing brightly-colored Nikes with a great suit and suspenders to match the shoes because what FOB does that? Turns out: my dad was being dead serious and I hurt his feelings.

    Just let her wear what she wants to wear. None of her wardrobe choices will reflect badly on you (or reflect well for that matter, because you're not wearing it). Black is fine. Heck, I usually wear black to wedding. And guys often do too, you know, in their black suits.

    RetreadBridePrettyGirlLost
  • It's a tank dress so the style of the dress will be ok for the time of year. What about adding a nice colored shawl to compliment your wedding colors and some nice colored jewelry that will pop against the black. You said your girls are wearing plum, what about some lighter brighter purple jewelry? This way she will have some nice pops off color and won't be all black? It would be kind of a win win situation. She gets to wear a dress she feels comfortable in but then she's not in all black either. Going shopping for those pieces together could be a good bounding moment for you two also.
    [Deleted User]
  • My FMIL is wearing a white dress to my wedding... it is from a bridal store and many there said it is a common second wedding dress. As peeved as I am... I have not said a word to her or anyone else about it.

     

    She is an adult. She can wear whatever she wants. I am not going to risk setting the tone of our future relationship as a negative one by attempting to dictate what she wears. If anything, she is the one that will look like a fool for her choice- but it will be her choice alone.

     

    Please listen to all of the great advice above!


    I'd be pissed about that, but I wouldn't say anything. It's just going to make her look foolish.
  • My fiance's grandmother said she's going to wear the same dress she wore to my fiance's cousin's wedding. THE HORROR! She likes it, she doesn't have to buy a new one, and she'll look lovely. It doesn't bother me in the slightest that she's wearing it again. For the sake of sounding egotistical, I'm pretty sure everyone is going to be more focused on my dress than anyone else's and I'm sure your guests will be focused on yours v. your stepmother's too.

    Like others have said, apologize for setting restrictions on her ("Stepmother, I went a little overboard in regard to what you wear to the wedding - sorry about that, I got caught up in the moment. If you like the black dress, by all means wear it. You'll look fabulous!") and move along.
    RetreadBridePrettyGirlLost
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I'd back off and apologize to your stepmother: "Stepmother, I'm so sorry that I've made this so hard for you.  The black dress will be fine, as will any dress that you feel and look good in."
    RetreadBridePrettyGirlLost
  • I disagree with people on here. You can ask for them to wear certain colors. My mom and FMIL asked what colors to wear. I told them. My mom fussed some, but she's walking in the wedding for the sand ceremony. I don't want her clashing.

    I don't think people should wear black to a July wedding. It's not a funeral.
  • chaiteachickchaiteachick member
    Tenth Anniversary 100 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited June 2013
    I know that there are some circles that still view black as a sign of disapproval, but honestly it's her job to decide if she wants to face the possible scrutiny, not yours. And so what if it's outdated? Again, she's the one that will be "judged", not you, so don't worry about it. I highly doubt people will even notice what she is wearing, unless it's a bridal gown, or a sequined figure skating costume with a hot pink feather boa.

    ...Or a prom dress. Last wedding in the USA I attended, MOB was all up in a chintzy, strapless, acrylic prom dress from Sears that didn't fit properly and changed colors in the light. Right or wrong, a huge amount of people were criticizing the choice OUT LOUD--including MOG (who, by the way, I love, and is hilarious, but you know). 

    Anyway... yeah. 

    Also, I have no idea why I'm stuck typing this in a grey box. Sorry. 
  • I'm wearing black to my engagement party Saturday night. Does that signify I don't approve of my own wedding? So silly. 

    Let her wear whatever she wants. If you don't you're going to look back at your pictures and regret making someone you care about miserable for the sake of your own wedding vanity. 
    RetreadBridePrettyGirlLost
  • Crap. I made it worse. x-P 

    I really have to figure out how to properly respond to quotes on The Knot. 
  • nrocke129 said:
    My step mother is threatening not to attend my wedding because she cannot find a dress within my constraints. These are my constraints:
    1. Bridesmaids are in plum, so no plum.
    2. My mother is in a dark teal and FH mother is in Navy, so avoid those
    3. I don't think key females in our wedding should be in black, for a july wedding

    She has bought or borrowed a pewter, and ice blue and a coral dress, but says none of them are right.
    I know they all fit her or need minor alterations and I have put her in contact with a seamstress that is very cheap.
    I know she really wants to wear this black dress that is almost 15 years old (she bought it to wear to a nephews wedding) It is a basic black tank dress, very plain and she wore it to my sisters wedding 6 years ago.

    She has been a MOB and MOG before. She has been asking me since we got engaged what color everyone is wearing. Am I wrong for giving these guidelines that she has asked for? 

    She is also mad that I want my Dad AND Mom to walk me down the aisle.


    Well then every single one for my BMS is not approriate according to your theory. They are all in black dresses.

    Let her where what she wants. If its a "basic black tank dress" then I am failing to see how it would look old unless its torn and tattered. It sounds pretty timeless to me. Let her wear it if it makes her feel comfortable. She can always add a pop of color with shoes or a shawl.

     

    And to the second bolded part. Yes you are wrong. You can give your opinion on what she wears if she asks but you cannot give her guidlines. She is not a child and she is not a BM.

    RetreadBride
  • You're getting great advice here. And FWIW, my BMs are in black dresses. It's a classy, timeless color. My FMIL called and asked me what my mom is wearing to the wedding, so I just let her know. If she asks, it's fine to tell your stepmother what others are wearing. But let her know she can wear whatever she feel beautiful in. Even if it's the black tank dress.




    RetreadBridePrettyGirlLost
  • My FMIL asked me about ten times what I want her to wear and what would be okay with my mother. She had a really bad experience with her other two sons weddings where the brides and MOBs dictated what she could wear, so she now thinks she has to ask for my approval.
    I don't care how many times she asks me because I just kept responding the same way:" wear whatever you want." That's it. Just keep repeating that. She bought a dress and wanted to show me and I told her how great she's going to look, and even if she had bought a purple dress (color of bm dresses) I would have said the same thing.

    Also I'm wearing a black dress to my rehearsal dinner. Just sayin'.
    image
    PrettyGirlLost
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