Our families and wedding guests cover a broad range of styles and tastes. Some will wear elegant cocktail dresses and suits, some will be Steinmartastic, while others will wear new Walmart shirts or their best 80’s church dress to this 5:30 wedding and dinner dance reception. The bride and groom want everyone to feel comfortable without giving up the formal affair of their dreams, so whenever they add a formal element like candelabras they balance it with an informal element like Queen Anne’s lace. Black & white with green decor, but no placecards or chair ties… Elegant monogrammed invites in a black pocket folder, but RSVPs to a website… It all is turning out to be comfortably elegant, but hard to define. What should the MOB wear?
Bridesmaids are wearing strapless black cocktail dresses, but they are embroidered with a white flourish and some black jewels which match the flourish and jewels on the front of the bride’s very formal strapless dress. The boys are wearing tuxedos with green vests and that match the sash and shoes of the girls. Fathers have silver vests. MOB is wearing a silvery crinkled light green jacket with wide collar and black sash that the bride and groom love. The MOG chose a purple knee length dress in a similar fabric which she will probably add a silver jacket and shoes to. So the question is: what length skirt does the mother of the bride wear? She tried to get a short skirt, but found that she only looks good in full length (that she can wear to other formal affairs) or tea-length. Does she have to wear a short skirt to match bridesmaids and MOG?
Jodi R R Smith, The Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting
Author, The Etiquette Book, A Complete Guide To Modern Manners
Great question! Your best option is to ask your daughter to see how she feels about the skirt length. Model your outfit with the longer and then the shorter hemlines. Take pictures if you can. Then discuss which would be better. Presuming the bride is wearing a full-length gown, the MOB in a full-length skirt will be fine. Not every silhouette looks great in a short skirt. It is better for the MOB to wear something in which she feels fabulous. And of course, for a wedding with elegant touches, the full-length is the more elegant option.
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Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca
I agree. Length is only one element of formality. Just make sure your choice is in the same formality as the bridesmaids and you should be fine.