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“I tried on green velvet. A Rodney Dangerfield line came to me: ‘If that dress had pockets, you’d look like a pool table.’ The dress had pockets.”

-Ilene Beckman, “Mother of the Bride: The Dream, The Reality, The Search for a Perfect Dress”

There are advantages to having a daughter marry in her thirties: She knows what she wants and doesn’t need much help planning her big day.

But there are disadvantages, too: She knows what she wants and doesn’t need much help planning her big day…

Every mother imagines her child’s wedding. But when the time actually comes, few can imagine what to wear.

Yet I’m fairly certain we all take the same silent vow: I shall choose a dress that photographs well.

“Comfort was a key element for me,” recalls Sally Enderle of Kalamazoo, Michigan. “I knew it would be a long day, so I thought a knit outfit would be very comfortable.”

After several shopping trips, Enderle finally chose a long skirt, shell and jacket by St. John for daughter Molly’s wedding.

“It wasn’t even important to me to buy an outfit I could wear again – although I have,” Enderle adds. “I only have one daughter and I wanted to feel comfortable and confident on the day she was married.”

Comfort should be a major consideration for mothers of brides and grooms.

That is why I intend to focus on my feet.

During an interview for The Tampa Tribune, the elegant bridal designer Monique Lhuillier once advised me to “Spend more on your shoes than your entire outfit.”

Out of thousands of interviews conducted throughout my career, I distinctly remember hers, and plan to heed her advice. But – just in case – I’ll bring a second pair to the reception.

(I may suggest it to my daughter, too.)

Photograph by Britt Laughlin: Kathryn Leigh Garrison’s christening day.