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How to Look Great as Mother of the Bride

You don't want to outshine the bride, but looking your absolute best at her wedding is a priority. Here's the best way to go from head to toe.


  • Step 1: Get moist, glowing, radiant skin by using a restoring serum or skin brightener. Avoid mineral makeup, which tends to be drying and matte. Play up one feature with a bright color and go neutral with the rest of your face.
  • TIP: Many brides and their mothers have their hair done by the same stylist the morning of the wedding.
  • Step 2: Don't wear a dated-looking, matching necklace and earrings. Pair one statement piece with a smaller piece, like chandelier earrings or a large cuff bracelet and a small necklace or a bare neckline.
  • Step 3: Finish with a clutch purse. Have fun with sequins, mesh, or stones, and choose one that complements -- but doesn't exactly match -- your shoes. Exude pride and confidence as you welcome a new son-in-law to the family!
  • FACT: In 2007, the world's most expensive wedding dress, worth $19 million, appeared at the Ritz Carlton in Marina del Ray, California.
  • Step 4: Have great-looking hair by visiting a salon for color and a cut about a week before the wedding. On the day of, go for soft curls, a polished blow-dry or updo, and simple hair accessories.
  • Step 5: Ditch old-fashioned pantyhose and try a self-tanner on your legs instead. Experiment with them in advance or treat yourself to a pro job at a tanning salon.
  • Step 6: When choosing your outfit, avoid the seriously passe mother-of-the-bride skirt suit. Opt for a sheath or other knee-length dress -- mid-calf lengths are aging and make you look heavier. To cover up, try a shrug, a wrap, a short, fancy cardigan, or shawl.
  • TIP: Bring the shoes you plan to wear or another pair of high heels.
  • Step 7: Try slingback shoes, or other non-ankle strap shoes. Nude or silver are elegant and go with virtually everything -- or look for jeweled styles.
  • TIP: Get with a pedicure with light-colored polish 1 or 2 days before the big day.
  • Step 8: Put on shapewear underneath your dress to provide a smooth silhouette. And consider getting a professional bra fitting to make the most of your curves.
  • Step 9: Enlist a tailor to get a custom-made dress, if your budget allows. If not, get help from a personal shopper at a department or specialty store to take some of the stress and hard work out of finding something perfect.

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