The institution of marriage pre-dates written and oral history. The rituals and traditions we observe today are thousands of years old. One of the most curious traditions is the role of the father of the bride. Many people wonder why the father gets to give his daughter away. Like many rituals, it once had social significance.
As the head of the household, fathers were responsible for their children. Since women did not work outside of the home, it was dad’s job to find an eligible bachelor. The father of the bride would actually interview suitors and come to an arrangement with the best candidate. The groom-to-be would agree to take care of the bride-to-be and their children. In exchange, he would receive a handsome dowry. The father of the bride was also obliged to pay for the wedding.
Because it was often a substantial investment, the father of the bride put his wife in charge of wedding planning. The mother of the bride was responsible for the entire ceremony. She helps determine the venue, the guests, the flowers and the wedding clothing including mother of the bride dresses.
In recent years, however, her role has been redefined. Since most modern couples are employed when they announce their engagement, they are expected to pay for the wedding. And because they are paying, they also get to plan the ceremony. This leaves the mother of the bride with little to do.
Tradition is a funny thing. Even though the father of the bride has little or no influence over who his daughter marries, he still plays an important role on the wedding day. Yes, it is largely symbolic. But the father of the bride still gets to walk his daughter down the aisle, give her away, and dance with her. He even gets to give a speech. But mom is left pretty much out in the cold.
All she has to do is support her daughter and find a dress. Believe it or not, most moms adore their new, limited role. Really, who wants to plan a modern wedding? They take nine to twelve months to coordinate and costs tens of thousands of dollars. Pardon us, but we’ll pass.
Being a mother of the bride takes poise and patience. As a member of the wedding party, she must wait until all of the other girls select their dresses. Once her daughter and her bridesmaids have found their gowns, she can start shopping. Finding a flattering mother of the bride dress is never easy, especially for mothers with curvy or full figures.
The first thing a mother of the bride should consider is the color of the dress. The reason she has to wait until the other girls find their gowns is because mom is expected to take her color cues from the bridal party. As you might expect, she cannot wear white. Only the bride and the flower girls can wear white to a wedding. The mother of the bride also must avoid a color clash with the bridesmaid dresses. One simple trick is to choose a color that is a few shades lighter than the bridesmaid dresses. If your daughter’s friends dress in hot pink, you can select a rose-pink gown.
When human beings age, they tend to put on weight. It is as ineluctable as the sun rising in the east. The difference between the sexes when it comes to weight is where they store it. Men tend to carry it in their stomachs, while women store excess weight in their hips and thighs. This figure or body shape is often described as pear-shaped. In spite of the fact that it is quite common, many dressmakers do not design many dresses for real women.
Because women with pear-shaped figures are bottom-heavy, what they need is a dress that will help them balance out their figures by adding to their top halves. The cut or silhouette of choice for curvy women is the A-line. As the name implies, an A-line gown is narrow on top, and it flares out gently as it falls. When paired with a scoop or décolleté neckline, it can create an optical illusion that helps to balance out even the most uneven of figures. Stylish jackets, scarves and other colorful accessories can also help bottom-heavy women add weight to their upper halves.
For women who are curvy all over, the best bet is a body-hugging sheath dress. These gowns cling to a woman’s natural curves and show off their many natural assets. Of course, a mother should never upstage her daughter on her big day. If the sheath dress is a little too revealing, it may be a good idea to pair it with a light jacket or a colorful sash.