Your Guide to Grandmother of the Bride Dresses
By Donna Sundblad
, last updated December 9, 2011
Do you feel like you need a guide to know what's appropriate for a grandmother of the bride dress? There's much to consider when choosing the right dress to celebrate the big day. Different types of dresses are appropriate for formal, semi-formal and casual weddings, and the role of wedding etiquette plays a part, too. While grandmothers have more freedom to choose than the mothers of the bride a groom, you do want to choose a dress that looks great. After all, weddings are one of the most photographed events in family histories.
The formality of the wedding influences what type of dress the grandmother of the bride wears. Past traditions recommend that for formal weddings the grandmother of the bride wear an elegant, floor length gown or skirt suit with heels if possible. However, in the US it has become more acceptable for grandmothers to wear a dressy pant suit for a formal wedding if they prefer.
For a semi-formal wedding it's appropriate for the grandmother of the bride to wear a dressy pantsuit, or a nice street length or tea length dress.
While it is appropriate for guests to dress casually for an informal wedding, the mother and grandmother of the bride should wear their Sunday best unless the location dictates otherwise. For instance, for a beach wedding a more casual dress is appropriate.
Wedding Etiquette for Grandmother of the Bride
Once you decide on what type of grandmother of the bride dress is appropriate for your granddaughter's wedding, there are a few other basic guidelines to follow no matter the formality of the wedding. In all cases, the grandmother of the bride dress should not: resemble the bride's dress in style or color, resemble the bridesmaids’ dresses in style or color, wear white or a cream color, and in most cases black is considered inappropriate.
Where to Find Grandmother of the Bride Dresses
Bridal boutiques and specialty shops offer a selection of dresses appropriate for older women who want to look their best for their granddaughter's wedding. Finding the right dress will not only make you feel glamorous but will highlight your honored status as grandmother of the bride. Along with specialty boutiques and department stores, several online retailers offer a selection of dresses appropriate for grandmothers to wear to their grandchild's wedding. This option takes much of the legwork out of the shopping process. It not only lets shoppers know what's available along with a price range, but it helps to narrow the choices all from the comfort of home.
Who Chooses the Grandmother of the Bride's Dress?
Traditionally, the mothers of the bride and bridesmaids talk with the bride about dress choices. However, grandmothers can use this guide to shop for their dress without involving others. Another option for the grandmother, if she doesn't want to buy a dress that she’ll only wear once is to rent a dress for the day.