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MOB changed dress length

Posted by cindyonthebay (My Page) on
Wed, Mar 16, 11 at 11:14

Help! With 3 months before our son's wedding, I just talked to MOB and she has found a long dress to wear to the wedding to replace the tea length one she had previously committed to. Bridesmaids are wearing knee length, and I have found the perfect cocktail/knee length to wear. I'm told to wear whatever I want, but doesn't protocol dictate that I have to go long? It's a noon wedding, late June, Mid-Atlantic, and will be HOT! Do I have any options? Thanks so much, I'm afraid I have to go shopping all over again. UGH!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: MOB changed dress length

So you have a tea/knee length dress, the bridesmaids are all wearing knee lengths and you want to change? The MOB will be the odd (wo)man out if you ask me. I don't really see a need to change your dress. Your length is appropriate for the time of day the wedding will take place. Stick with what you have.
P.S. My husband was looking over my shoulder reading this. He said to tell you the only ones that will notice is older women. Guys won't notice or care he says. They will forget what the ladies were wearing 5 minutes after the ceromony is done. MEN! LOL. NancyLouise


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RE: MOB changed dress length

Hi Cindy - I'm not an expert, but I say wear whatever you want. Are you thinking that protocal dictates that you have to do whatever the MOB does? Frankly, in my opinion, throw protocol out the window. If you have a dress that you like and are comfortable in, wear it!

I sure would be uncomfortable in a long dress given what you've said about the potential weather. I hope the MOB doesn't regret her decision. But I don't think that you have to change from your perfect dress to a long one just to conform.


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RE: MOB changed dress length

I wouldn't change either. My wedding (nearly 30 years ago) my MIL wore a nice afternoon dress which was below the knee while my mother wore an over the top white, gold embroidered full length dress. Of the two I thought my MIL's the more suitable but didn't say anything about either outfit to them, ever. In fact I had no idea what they were wearing until they came to the wedding. I think the idea that brides (or anyone) should dictate the exact attire of any wedding guest is ridiculous.


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RE: MOB changed dress length

From a protocol perspective, when the bridesmaids wear shorter dresses, the moms should also, particularly for a mid-day wedding. I agree with NancyLouise - your dress is appropriate, so don't be concerned about finding another one. The MOB is the one who will look overdressed.


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RE: MOB changed dress length

Thanks for all your responses. While I know that the short option is more appropriate for the time of day and the season, one thought keeps coming back to me - if the MOB didn't care what length I wear, why did she tell me of her change with a 3 month lead time? I'm still undecided, but it's her party (they are paying) and I'm a guest, albeit and important one. It's our 3rd and last son being married in less than 2 years, I'll be glad when I'm out of the wedding business!


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RE: MOB changed dress length

Doesn't matter when she told you or why. Or that they are paying for the wedding. Stop second guessing yourself and over analyzing the situation. I'm sure the dress you have is gorgeous. Stick with what you have. End of conversation. NancyLouise


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RE: MOB changed dress length

Well, everyone here was of the opinion that you not change, but you're still torn. So why not just ask the MOB what her intention was of telling you she'd switched? That seems to be the best, and most direct, way to get to the heart of the matter.


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RE: MOB changed dress length

It's the end of the world.


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RE: MOB changed dress length

I would stick with the dress you have. Just because she will be dressed inappropriately doesn't mean you should be.


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RE: MOB changed dress length

The rule is that the mothers of the Happy Couple should be dressed in the same level of formality. The length of the dress isn't the issue. The issue is how formal is the dress?

These days, it is perfectly possible to have a long dress and a knee-length dress be of a similar formality. Sixty years ago? Not so much.

Also, someone has told you to wear whatever you want to wear. Was this the bride or her mother? Either way, you have permission to wear the dress you have. If they really want you to get a floor length dress, they have to say so. They can't expect you to be a mindreader.

If you are really worried that someone will be upset with your perfectly appropriate knee length dress, then you have to pick up the phone and call either the bride or her mother and ask, point blank, "MOB is now wearing a long dress. Does that mean that I should get a long dress, too?" because that's the only way you'll know for certain sure.


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RE: MOB changed dress length

I hear you, Cindy --

I'm a MOG, too. And I am dealing with the same issue.

Everything everyone else has said is correct. But I know that that doesn't end the analysis.

I suspect you aren't so much worrying about what any of the other guests will think or whether etiquette permits or requires you to do one thing or another.

I'm guessing that you like your future daughter in law and her mom and you want them to have the wedding just the way they picture it. Is that it?

That's what it is for me. Future Mrs. Thing One told me she is hoping (or at least she was months ago when we had this conversation) that she is hoping that the women will wear long dresses; however, the invitations will say "black tie optional." She has chosen lovely long soft-green chiffon gowns for the bridesmaids. When I went shopping, the women at the stores all told me they recommend that the moms don't wear a matching color, but rather a harmonizing one -- in this case, perhaps navy, gold, lavender, or beige. Also I think that the same shade as the bridesmaids would look match-y, but a different shade could look clashy. (Keep in mind that this is a Jewish wedding, which means that the moms and dads are up at the canopy for the ceremony -- so, visually, part of the wedding party.)

It isn't easy to find a long green dress this year, let me tell you! There are "mother" dresses you can order in any color, but I don't seem to look good in any of them -- I'm only 5'1", and they all seem designed for tall women. I have found a few regular gowns that I love in blue or navy.

When I asked her about that, she said fine, it didn't have to be green. So I thought I was all set.

But then, they sent a photo of a dress her mom is considering. It is long green chiffon, very like a mother version of the bridesmaid dresses -- similar but with a lace medallion at the hip and a lovely lace jacket. And I looked back at the pictures of her sister's wedding last year, and the bridesmaids, both moms, and both grandmas were all wearing shades of purple. So I am wondering if a matching look is what they prefer.

Now, I know that I don't HAVE to wear a long green gown even if they specifically said I should, and here I even have "permission" to wear a different color (I didn't ask about length; I don't mind wearing long).

But I am wondering if she was just being nice about it and really would prefer I wear green -- either because it is the look she wants, or because her mom will feel more comfortable if I do. If that is so, then that is what I want to do, never mind what I "have" to do. But if she truly doesn't care, then I would prefer to wear another color.

Is that where you are, too, vis-a-vis length?

My plan is just to ASK her. I don't want to put her on the spot, because she is so nice, she may say she doesn't care even if she really does. So when they are here next month, I might show her the (navy) dress I like best and see whether she says "Wow, great, go with that one!" or "Yes, it's nice ...." as if she wishes it were green. If I don't get a clear signal then, I will ask her directly, although maybe in an email so she doesn't have to respond directly.

Would that work for you?


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RE: MOB changed dress length

When the photographer composes the shot, he will definitely notice if one person in the party looks outstandingly different. The easiest solution to the differing hemlines would be to put her to the back of the group where it will not show. You may want to point that out to her.


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RE: MOB changed dress length

"When the photographer composes the shot, he will definitely notice....."

Oh goodness! No, no, no!!!!! Please do NOT pawn this off onto the photographer!

I spent considerable time in the business. The photographer may or may not notice anything in particular. He/she may or may not know your culture/family/personal expectations....what's important in your eyes or what's not. This is entirely unreasonable!!!!!

If this is that huge a deal to you, handle it directly yourself. Don't expect the hired hand to be a mind-reader as well as a professional photographer!


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RE: MOB changed dress length

I think what Scarlett was trying to say is that if it's pointed out to the MOB that the photographer *may* put her in the back due to different "looks".... MOB may change her mind about the different hemlength.

I say pshaw. Wear your dress. Maybe she was just trying to make conversation with you.


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RE: MOB changed dress length

Actually, all the etiquette books say that long dresses are NOT proper for daytime weddings.

Wear your dress.


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RE: MOB changed dress length

So, cindy have you given the MOB a call yet or decided to keep your dress? NancyLouise


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RE: MOB changed dress length

Talley Sue, what about the maxi dresses that are back in fashion this year? Not evening gowns, much more casual but long dresses, worn with sandals or boots and casual jewelry -- you know what I mean. I assume they are okay for daytime, right?

What time do the books say is the start time, as it were, for long dresses? Is it the same for all party clothes and accessories?

I wore a short but dressy cocktail dress and accessories to my cousin's recent wedding. The ceremony was at 3:00 or 3:30, but the reception went until 10 or 11, I think. I did feel odd in all that bling in the middle of the afternoon, and I would have chosen something more transitional had I not known that she wanted us to dress up. In the end it was fine, though. Nice to have hit the age where it's easier to remember that no one came to look at me!


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