Making Over Mom for Your Wedding Day


Mom's a big help with shopping for your wedding dress. How can you help her if she needs a makeover?“Mom’s a big help with shopping for your wedding dress. How can you help her if she needs a makeover?Digital Vision/Thinkstock

Unless you’re still 18 years old, perky and cellulite-free, you probably have an idea of how the old aging process goes. Mothers of the bride, in particular, have had several extra decades to get behind the times in terms of fashion and fitness. After all, they’ve devoted countless hours to career and raising happy, healthy children. The everyday chaos of life often results in an inattention to fashion, until they one day realize that they’re still sporting a hairdo and duds better suited for an entirely different decade. Also, pesky pounds often creep on slowly and steadily, and are much harder to get off than they were to put on.

For pretty much anyone involved in a wedding — not just the mother of the bride — impending nuptials are an excellent motivation to get back in the swing of modern fashion, makeup, hair and physical fitness. Still, you don’t want to insult your madre by suggesting she have a makeover. So, unless she specifically addresses the issue, you’ll have to find another way to nudge her in the right direction.

For example, casually mention that you’re hitting the style counter at your local mall for a free makeover because your cosmetics are woefully out of date. Ask her to come along and then look for an opportunity to suggest that she has a little fun playing with the products, too! This is the perfect opportunity to encourage her to sport flattering, up-to-date eye colors, or the stylist can teach her how to play up her best features and minimize skin imperfections.

If her hair is lovely, but the style is begging for an update, make sure to point out cute hairdos that would flatter her face, bone structure and physique. This is a cinch to pull off when watching TV or thumbing through a bridal magazine. Or, after you’ve had highlights, straightening or other treatment done, strut your stuff and show her how fantastic your mane looks. When she exclaims in wonder, hand her a card and tag along on her appointment for moral support.

If physical fitness is an issue, ask your mom for back-up as you try to lose those last pre-wedding pounds. Set a schedule by which she can speed walk with you a few times a week, or set dates to prepare nutritious meals in healthy portions.

She’ll probably solicit your help during her mother-of-the-bride dress and jewelry shopping excursions. Consult on the color, cut and fabric that will be the most flattering for her frame. Reassure her that she doesn’t have to stick with dowdy, understated colors if she doesn’t want to. Bright is absolutely fine, although she should coordinate with the groom’s mother, so that they don’t show up wearing the same shade. She also might need assistance picking a gown appropriate for the time of day and season. A formal gown might sound look like a dream, but for an afternoon wedding it is all wrong.

She may not turn into a Brooke Shields lookalike, but chances are that a few simple updates will increase her self-esteem and confidence. As much as your wedding is about you and your beloved, it’s also a golden opportunity to let those who raised and supported you shine, too. And really, is there anyone better to share the spotlight with?

Lots More Information

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  • Elliot, Amy. "Dress Ideas for Real Mothers-of-the-Bride." Bride. June 2010. (Sept. 23, 2012).
  • Fluker, Elayne. "Mother of the Bride Makeovers." Bride. 2012. (Sept. 23, 2012).
  • Jacoby, Rachel. "Hilary Clinton’s Mother of the Bride Makeover." In Style. Aug. 4, 2010. (Sept. 23, 2012).


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