You might remember I blogged a couple months back about my younger son’s upcoming wedding, my anxieties about the mother-son dance, etc. Well, I’ve moved on to new anxieties--THE MOG (mother of the groom) DRESS.
When my son and his future bride first got engaged and I started thinking about what to wear, I had thought to get a nice fancy dress, but not a gown. Then the MOB (mother of the bride) said to me, “Oh, this is going to be a formal wedding. Of course you should get a gown.” Then my sister (herself a MOG several years back) advised me it was protocol to wait for the MOB to choose her gown. As the MOB, apparently a more honored position, she gets first dibs on color, style...whatever.
So I waited, and every so often I checked with the MOB. After about six months, she had purchased three gowns and couldn’t decide which to wear. So I waited some more. Finally she told me to just buy what I wanted. She didn’t care. Relief! Time to go shopping.
Off I went with my sister and close friend to a New Jersey mall that has a Macy’s, a Lord & Taylor and a couple other higher-end department stores. After spending a couple hours, traipsing through four department stores and trying on about 15 gowns, I came away empty-handed. But I did have the names/tag numbers of a couple gowns we really liked but couldn’t find in the right size or color.
Speaking of color...there aren’t a lot of options in gowns for women of a certain age (who might want to cover up, for example, the fleshy part of the arm!). I found black, navy or other shades of blue, champagne and pewter. I could have found more at a bridal salon, but those aren’t cheap, and I had no intention of spending $300 on a dress (plus alterations). Yes, it’s my son’s wedding, but I’d rather give the money to them than spend it on a dress. Besides, no one will be looking at me...except for that minute or so in the mother-son dance...
Anyway, back home I spent hours online searching for those few I had liked, but again came up empty. I found a site that had gorgeous gowns in lots of colors and decent prices, but it was in Hong Kong. I kept trying to figure out how I’d return the dang thing if I needed to...shipping to Asia probably meant a lot of money, maybe customs forms and who know what else. Sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.
Finally, with less than three months before the big event, I asked the bride-to-be to go shopping with me. That day we set out for a nice mall with a good variety of department stores--a Macy’s, JC Penney’s, Nordstrom, Dillard’s...I forget what else. Several hours, four stores and about 20 more gowns tried on later, I came away with an Adrianna Pappell (I love her stuff), and it was on SALE at Dillard's! Yes.
(To review, it took the bride one visit, one shop and about six tries to find her dream wedding gown.
Me, the MOG?...Two states, eight department stores and 30-35 try-ons. Might have been more. After a while they all started to blur into one gown...)
But it was worth it. I LOVE this gown. It makes me feel wonderful. It makes me feel like I’m half my age...like I still have some va-va-va-voom left. I tried it on for hubby when I got home and he said, in typical hubby fashion, “Well, I guess you better not gain any weight.”
Moments later he clarified with,“You look FABULOUS,” and then eyeballed the cleavage. (Maybe I do still have it!)
As for now, the gown is safely (I hope anyway!) in the alterations shop for hemming at a perfect length to show off the new bling-y shoes I bought. They have three-and-a-quarter-inch heels. Even if I only wear them for the church and that minute or so during the mother-son dance, I’ll enjoy every minute.
This wedding thing is starting to feel real!
Leah writes stories of mystery and romance, good and evil and the power of love. After all this wedding prep, she’s starting to dream up wedding stories. Who knows, they might actually make it into a book at some point. Learn more at leahstjames.com or visit her on Facebook. She loves visitors!
Wow, the pressure! I'm glad you found THE DRESS without spending an arm and a leg. And shoes! Now it's only the hairdo and make-up. You are almost at the finish like for a fun event. Please provide pictures of you in your gown at the wedding....and above all, have a great time.
Argh! Where's the pix of this fabulous gown? You're not leaving us in suspense are you? This isn't a romantic suspense story, Leah. Not fair, but a really fun post.
Having been MOB twice and MOG once, I can certainly relate to the dress search. Isn't it a thrill when you find 'the one'? Next year I'll be MOG again and I'm sorely tempted to wear one of the previous numbers. Some advice about the shoes-make sure they're reasonably comfortable from the get go. Most of all, enjoy yourself. BTW what color did you choose?
Which one is it??? We want to see! Congrats on finding a dress you like. I looked for something casual for my daughter's graduation and gave up and wore capris pants. Dress shopping is painful!
Yes! Inquiring minds--polite for nosy--want to know the color of the dress. Bet you had fun shopping for the darn thing, and I say that factitiously. I hate trying on clothes in a store. I order everything online, almost. Besides, I'm too busy writing to shop. We have a mall here we visit only to go to the movies. Back to you, I'm sure you'll look fabulous for your son's big day. Take plenty of tissues in your purse for those weepy moments.
Yay! I love Adrianna Pappell, too, and I'm sure you'll look gorgeous. After my recent search for a dress for OG's 50th high school reunion, I know exactly what you mean--when you put the right dress on, zip it up, and it feels perfect. What a relief!
Uh, hair? Make-up?? Something else??? :-) I will post photos for sure!
Yes, I am keeping it a secret for now! I'm afraid to jinx myself! It's still not in my hands! :-)
Thanks for the tips, Margo. I think the shoes are okay but I plan to have a second pair on standby. The gown is a true Navy with sparklies on the shoulders. The bodice had all the narrow pleats which the shoes also have. Probably one of the few times on my life I'll be coordinated!
Painful is a perfect description, Jannine. I rarely shop for anything but groceries. I think capris are great for a graduation. I'm sure you looked wonderful and we're comfortable.
I hate trying on clothes,too, Vonnie. I just resolved to be strong and get through it! :-) It helped that I had great company both times.
Yes...and in the right size and price! Relief is right!
Oh Leah, what a tale. I hate shopping so this would've been a nightmare for me. Congrats on persevering and I'll await the pictures.
Love this post. So glad you found the perfect dress. I hate dress shopping. (Actually, I hate shopping period.) When I was the MOB, I didn't know about the so-called protocol until daughter mentioned the MOG was waiting for me to get my dress. She finally did her thing and got a navy blue dress. Guess what color mine was? Yep, navy blue. Okay, different styles. When son got married, I found the cutest pants outfit, perfect for a beach wedding. Unfortunately, it wasn't in my size. The salesperson said I had to pay for it before they would order it...and no returns. No way. So I found a great dress at Macy's. Navy blue again. Guess what the MOB wore? LOL So, we were the Bobbsey Twins in the wedding pictures. Almost looked planned.
What a fun post! I enjoyed hearing about your shopping escapades. Glad you found the perfect dress. Can't wait to see it! Those shoes are gorgeous, but...ouch! :) I will be a MOB in October (if they can stand each other that long), but it will be a very casual wedding. I was an AOB in April (Aunt of Bride) and I bought and wore a dress, though not a fancy one. But still, it has been ages since I've worn a dress. I also hate to shop, and the shopping for that one was quick and painless. Best wishes...I'm sure the wedding will be spectacular!
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