Can the mother of the bride wear a fascinator with a long gown, if the partner of the groom’s father is wearing a short dress? My daughter is marrying a Brit this Memoeial Day weekend at 4:00 in Chicago. She is now a Londoner and is very metro-minded wanting an elegant, understated wedding and reception. She has chosen a lovely long gown and her bridesmaids will be in long Seafoam green/blue chiffon dresses. We expect approximately 120 guests 1/2 coming from the UK.
Even though the wedding starts at 4:00, I was planning to wear a long, tailored dress with a fascinator since the reception will consist of a cocktail hour, followed by a sit down dinner with dancing until at least midnight. My new son-in-law lost his mother 3 years ago to cancer, so there will be no MOG. However, his father is dating a lovely woman who has already purchased a cocktail length dress. I think for the MOB it would be most appropriate to be in a long gown since the bridesmaids will be, but I want to take into consideration the groom’s father’s significant other. What’s your best advice?
As the mother of the bride you want to know if you can wear a long gown with a fascinator to your daughter’s 4:00 wedding. Wearing something you’re happy in is the most important thing. When you’re walking down the aisle you want to feel good about yourself and how you look. If the long dress makes you feel good, then by all means wear it.
There is no protocol for wearing a fascinator with a long dress. Although, traditionally, a tiara would be worn with an evening gown, but since your daughter’s wedding is at four o’clock in the afternoon a fascinator would be more appropriate. As long as the fascinator is proportionate in size and is not fighting for attention with your long dress, it should look quite lovely. If the fascinator is delicate, elegant, and subtle, then you should wear it happily.
As the mother of the bride, you set the dress code for the mothers. Meaning not just the mothers of the bride and groom, but aunts, grandmothers, godmothers, stepmothers, and probably for other women guests your age. Because the partner of the groom’s father doesn’t appear to be in an official capacity, you are free to do your own thing. I suppose you could wear a knee-length outfit with a fascinator to look more in sync with her, but it really is more your special day than hers.
Newport milliner Lisa Stubs was my expert on answering your question about whether you could wear a fascinator with a long dress. Mrs. Stubbs has designed fascinators and hats for British Royals and many distinquished ladies to wear at Ascot. Here is one of her fascinators:
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