Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Groom's Side.......Part I

As many of you who read my blog “The Engagement”  know, my son is getting married early next summer. So this is going to be a year of many “firsts” for both of us. And since I am not one to typically stand on ceremony or tradition, I am going to work very hard at fulfilling my duties as mother of the groom. Problem being…other than hosting the rehearsal dinner, and in spite of millions of weddings proceeding this one,  no one for sure knows what they are!

So I have decided to bring you along on my quest to find the answers, to navigate the proper etiquettes, whatever they may be, and to periodically blog on “The Groom’s Side” of things over the next year.  And please don’t confuse this as just a drive to increase my readership. No, this is a cry for help! So please feel free to add comments at any time along the way!

First things first; you would think the first blog would be about the wedding budget, who should contribute and at what point – but it’s not. Today, I am going to write about what has been first and foremost in my mind. The thing that has me looking at fashion magazines (something I never do), the thing that sometimes makes me even a little queasy at times  – my expected wedding day apparel. My son had only been engaged for about thirty minutes when he leaned over to me and said “you are wearing a dress to the wedding”. It wasn’t a suggestion.

This analogy will help you understand; if I were to suddenly disappear and police were looking in my closet for clues to where I might have gone, they would surmise “she must have gone somewhere requiring dresses, because there are none in here.” Well, they better come up with another angle because if truth be told, there was never a dress in there. In fact, the only dress in my house, hangs in the attic, preserved in plastic and came with a veil.

And it’s not that I don’t like dresses, I just don’t like them on me. I’m of average height, above average weight, and have a long body with short legs. The waist of a dress never lies where it should be. And unfortunately for me, my bra size does not match my dress size, so the top is always too big. So here’s the picture - the dress is too long, the top is too big and the waist is somewhere between my boobs and naval. Not a pretty picture. It is a fashion challenge that I have covered with dressy slacks and long tops for most of my adult life. Until now……

Add this conundrum to the fact that many web sites state that as the mother of the groom, I should defer to the mother of the bride when it comes to a dress! A foremost wedding site, “” has this to say:

“It’s customary for the mother of the bride to purchase her dress first. Her choice is meant to subtly dictate what the mother of the groom will wear and set the tone of the attire. This may seem a bit old-fashioned, but we suggest you at least have a conversation. Get a sense of what she’s wearing (length, color, style) before you buy your dress. Then you’re free to find something similar that you’ll feel comfortable wearing.

My saving grace here is that, not only have I been blessed with a great future daughter-in-law, Kat, her mom, is equally terrific. Last week, the bride-to-be asked me to join her and her mother, Jean, for the time honored tradition of shopping for the all-important bridal gown. I was surprised but thrilled to be included. I took this opportunity to follow the advice of “” and had the dress “conversation”. When Kat was done with the evenings' bridal fashion show, (and I have been sworn to secrecy here), her mom and I started to also look around.

Now, Jean is a slender, attractive woman and could most likely wear any style dress she chose, so I was a little apprehensive about the “something similar” part of the web site’s suggestions. But she immediately put my mind at ease, “Jo Ann, you buy whatever you are comfortable wearing. No rules to follow here.” Yes!! Since she was looking at sleeveless, halter and strapless dresses, I was very relieved to roam around without looking over my shoulder to see what was catching Jean’s eye.

And I did get a few ideas, but with 11 months before the big day, I have time to join a gym, hire a personal trainer and whip myself into shape. This is basically the same plan I have every January. Only this time is different. And no matter how successful I am, it’s still not going to change the long body, short legs issue, but I have in mind a short dress with a jacket that just might disguise the problem areas. If I’m wrong, one of my sisters and EVERY FRIEND I HAVE – has offered their expertise in guiding this rookie through a dress shop. So I have confidence that in the end, I will find something stunning….that goes with flip flops! Oh yeah, it’s a beach wedding and I am told that is what I will be wearing…….stay tuned!

Cartoon by


  1. Empire cut dress, no waist line, fixes the problem with you long waist. I think would flatter your shape! Long sleeves and a good pair of Spanks! Your good to go! Don't overlook beautiful jacket and skirt....think you would be more comfortable. PS...I am your sister and anything outfit you buy will be tailored to fit. I insist!!!!

  2. Whoa....okay then! Guess that solves the problems?