A couple of weeks ago I posted a video showing me applying my eye makeup. One comment on Facebook bothered me because the gist of it was: "what a waste of time and effort when you're too old to go clubbing and the people in the Co-Op (supermarket) don't care what you look like!"
If your daughter is having a fairly traditional wedding then you are going to be the second most important female there. You will also be needed during the preparation stages on the day to calm nerves, supply support and encouragement to the bride and her bridesmaids and then, both during and after the ceremony, you will have an important role to fulfil. But I am getting ahead of myself because, for me the pre-wedding stage was the most challenging.
My youngest daughter Suzy got married first.
Her father and I had been divorced for around 15 years and had not spoken and had rarely seen each other during that time. The same was true for a considerable number of friends from the marriage who I would be seeing at the wedding for the first time since the separation. My ex had re-married (someone 10 years younger than me) and I was without a partner. The wedding threw up a huge number of very difficult issues which were eventually resolved, but suffice it to say that I wanted to look really fabulous and also have a significant part to play. Fortunately I have a very close relationship with both of my daughters and I also really like the men they were marrying - so they were happy for me to be a very involved Mother of the Bride.
What to wear as mother of the bride?
First - what to wear! I knew that I wanted to avoid any Mother of the Bride shops or departments. I didn’t want to look overly colour co-ordinated or to choose occasion wear as such. So I went to the Armani department in Selfridges and asked for help. The sales assistant was fantastic and I ended up with beautifully cut black trousers, a black silk bustier (perfect for the evening party) topped with a fabulous silver metallic jacket with trumpet-shaped sleeves (see photo above). I was only (!) 57 years old in 2004, so my feet were in better shape than now and I was able to wear (and stand and dance in) a pair of very high heeled black suede boots which I had bought in France.
Second time around, two years later I wanted my outfit to be completely different, so this time I went to Liberty in Regent Street and asked for their help. I was taken round the store by their personal shopper and ended up buying a gorgeous Moschino silk dress in black and white and decided to accessorise it with red suede shoes, a red hat and a black clutch bag. The dress was an amazing shape and cut so beautifully that it made my pear shaped body look slim and shapely - in a good way! I do realise that this was quite an expensive route but the personal shopper in Liberty's showed me a wide variety of outfits in a range of prices. I never felt under any pressure to buy the most expensive and I can honestly say that on both occasions I felt really confident in what I was wearing - and we all know that when you feel good, you walk taller and carry yourself better.
I knew that I wanted to wear an amazing hat for both occasions too.
I love hats but I am far too timid to wear them every day, so this was a perfect excuse to indulge in some head wear. A friend of Anna’s gave me the name of a young hat maker who would come to me at home and design something bespoke - at a very reasonable price because she was just starting out. For Suzy’s wedding she looked at my metallic jacket and decided that a very dark grey shot through with a slivery glint would be perfect. She also decided that as I was about 5’10” in my heels I could take a large disc posed at an angle with three or four curved thin black sticks positioned on top to create drama. I LOVED that hat - it was unusual and very stylish. The red velvet disc made by the same milliner for Anna’s wedding was also perfect. As you can see it sat snugly and securely on my head and worked really well with my bobbed hair.
My 7 tips for the Mother of the Bride
You are important too! Yes - its all about the bride and groom but you will also be the centre of attention. Take time and trouble to choose an outfit that reflects your personality whilst making you feel wonderful.
Wear something you will be proud of in those wedding pictures (and video) in years to come. Lose those few extra pounds if necessary (I did this for both weddings).
Colour co-ordinate with the bridegroom’s mother. You don’t need to match but clashing is not good.
If you wear a hat, get your hairstyle right. Take the hat to your hairdresser to see what works best.
Practice your makeup beforehand. Makeup has to work really hard on a wedding day - tears, heat, dancing, drinking, hot flushes - and a very long day/evening. But your makeup really can withstand all of that if it’s the right makeup and well applied. We have a video (see below) to help you!
Make sure that your feet can stand for hours and dance in your shoes. At one wedding (as a guest) I had one pair for the afternoon and a (more comfortable) pair for the evening because I LOVE dancing.
And finally - when all the preparations are completed - relax and enjoy yourself. Despite certain apprehensions beforehand, my daughters weddings were undoubtedly two of the best days of my life. I felt immensely proud of them both but I also felt that I did them proud too!
So far we have received two testimonials from proud Mothers of the Bride who both used Look Fabulous Forever makeup on their big day. Here's what they said:
"I came across LFF whilst looking for online makeup tutorials and placed my first order. I worried that the order would not arrive on time for my daughter's wedding. Tricia was wonderful and went the extra mile to ensure that I had my goodies. I cannot praise her enough. The products are wonderful and I applied them on the day using the techniques gleaned from the tutorials. End result? I couldn't compete with my lovely daughter but I think I did her proud AND the makeup stayed put all day despite tears and dancing. Thank you, again, Lynda."
And Jenny wrote from The Netherlands:
"Its been awhile but wanted to send you these pictures of the wedding this past summer July 18th. The one of myself and daughter has me of course saying cheese lol, but I wanted to let you know that your makeup lasted all day even though it was 30 degrees outside. It was a beautiful day long to remember. Hoping you had a great summer also. Wishing you all the best.” And here's the beautiful photo she sent me:
Look Fabulous Forever does an Occasion Collection. It contains 12 products to create your complete look for the day - that stays put all day.
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