My oldest son and daughter-in-law to be are marrying in July. This means, after the outfits for the bride and groom are chosen, the most important thing are the clothes of everyone else in the wedding party. Am I really saying that? My sons are groomsmen and best men and my daughter is a bridesmaid. My non-groom sons’ girlfriends are in the wedding party too, and have picked out beautiful dresses. The mother of the bride and the mother of the groom have not. Not yet. Why?
This is no joke. Certainly not to us. Mothers can be picky in general and when an event is significant, in particular. What makes a dress a success? The color, shape, cost, how you feel in it, if others’ like it? I’m not sure and it can be all of the above, but what I can say with confidence is – how pretty and appropriate you feel in what you wear, matters.
The bride’s mom and I had planned to head into Manhattan to search together for the dress that works for each of us. The weather report predicted torrential rains with winds gusting at 50 mph. The possibility of these winds sliding us off the bridge on our way there, along with the need to wade through pond-sized puddles on the sidewalk, has stalled the endeavor.
But we will not rest easy until all the players in the cast are clothed, and clothed well. When and why clothing has taken center stage in our lives is not apparent, but it has. Ask Zac Posen and Vera Wang.
I am a jeans/tank top, sweatpants/sweatshirt kind of woman. I value comfort and look good in casual. This does not mean I don’t dress up nicely, I can, and do, but I prefer soft, giving fabrics, ones that I can wash easily, and restock in my drawer to wear again. Practical. Mom called these outfits my uniforms, referring to what I liked most and wore most often.
I don’t need enormous variety, I stick to what I know and what I like.
I dressed for work when I owned and operated a Diet Center in Manhattan decades ago. I enjoyed buying classic suits and pretty blouses. Colorful shoes and out of the box handbags. I liked having variety but I liked what I liked. I wasn’t great at giving my outfits equal time. If I liked you (as in said clothing or accessory) I wore you. I was painfully aware of not wearing the same article too often (duh) but if I had been less concerned with what others’ thought, I just might have.
Back to the dress. I want to feel beautiful (isn’t that an inside job?), I want others’ to think I look beautiful (how can I not, I will be beaming with joy). I tend to be safe on style, wear black, stand out while blending in. I also want – in this case – to be adventurous, wear a bright summer color, and let the world know I am the mom of one of the two people being celebrated.
Bride’s mom and I will make another attempt.
More importantly, we will remember the sanctity and the import of the day, dresses aside, that our children choose to spend their lives together. How awe-inspiring it will be to take that metaphorical step over and through the threshold that will alter what was into what is. For our children and ourselves, and all the relationships to be affected. Lovely dresses though they’ll be, nothing can be as meaningful as being there, participating in a matrimonial ceremony and celebration that starts new memories, friendships, and the continuation of a love begun.