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Did I mention that my son was getting married this summer? (Scroll down to see what I wore).

Here is a picture of my son, Jake, and his wonderful new wife, Rachel.  It is a black and white photo and they are both laughing.  She is wearing a gorgeous strapless white dress with a long trailing veil.
Here is my darling son Jake with his wonderful bride Rachel! So happy!

Is your boy getting married and you might want to see some long sleeve Mother of the Groom dresses?

Do you hate showing your arms and prefer to wear a long sleeve Mother of the Groom dress?

My youngest son, Jake, just married his lovely bride Rachel this past weekend (photo, above). I was the proud mother of the groom. It was such a wonderful weekend. I loved Rachel’s dress, the bridesmaid dresses, all the tuxes, as well as the pretty wedding guest dresses.

I looked at quite a few dresses before settling on a slightly off-the-shoulder portrait neckline long gown for the wedding day. But, I saw so many gorgeous dresses that had long sleeves, three-quarter length sleeves, or even off-the-shoulder looks that I thought it would be helpful to show you a bunch of options.

In this post, I will show you some of my favorite choices both for the rehearsal dinner party as well as the wedding day.

In this post...

What are Some Mother of the Groom Wedding Fashions?

When considering mother-of-the-groom fashion, you should first of all pick styles that you feel good wearing. If your arms are bothersome, consider long sleeve dresses, dresses with some illusion sleeves, lace sleeves, or consider a sheer chiffon shawl. If you have a bit of a tummy, consider a dress with ruching which is strategically placed tucks and gathers that mask that area. If you have great legs, consider a knee-length, midi length, or tea-length dress instead of a long gown. If you just prefer pants, consider a dressy pantsuit.

What Color Should the Mother of the Groom Wear?

The question of what color should the mother of the groom wear is a hot topic. My advice is, first of all, to consult with your bride. Ask her if she has any preference for color as well as any colors she does not want you to wear. It’s best to avoid off-white and white for both the rehearsal dinner as well as the wedding ceremony as that should typically be left to the bride.

After consulting with my daughter-in-law-to-be, I decided to wear black. She preferred that I wear a full-length gown and I really enjoyed wearing that length. I felt very elegant and stately. Even though it was a hot and humid July summer day (with major rain throughout the entire ceremony!), I am glad I wore the long dress! I might have felt differently if the reception was outdoors, but instead, as it was held inside a hotel, there was sufficient air conditioning to accommodate my long dress.

Can the Mother of the Groom Wear the Same Color as the Bridesmaids?

The answer to this is again, to consult with the bride-to-be. She gets to decide. When I learned that Rachel was leaning toward black for the bridesmaids, I asked her if she had any color preference for me, including black. She did not, and she said she was entirely good with me wearing black. Remember, you want to look great for your son’s wedding, but, much more importantly, you want the bride to be happy and comfortable with your choice. She is the Star of the Show on her wedding day. Ask her to opine before making your final selection.

Should the Mother of the Bride Pick Her Dress Before the Mother of the Groom?

Again the answer to this question is, to communicate with the bride and her mom. Let them choose first so that no bad feelings develop. There is an old adage that says, “The Mother of the Groom should wear beige and keep her mouth shut!”. There is definitely something to be said for being an agreeable Mother of the Groom! I am incredibly lucky to have a (now) daughter-in-law (and her lovely mom, Michelle) who were very communicative and reasonable to work with with respect to every detail of the wedding. Pro-tip: Overcommunicate rather than assume. The goal is to have a lovely day but the overarching principle is to develop an easy relationship with your new in-laws. That’s forever!

Long Sleeve Mother of the Groom Dresses

As I mentioned above, there are many different styles of dresses and long sleeve mother of the groom dresses work in many settings. They are glamorous and many middle-aged women feel more confident in long sleeves. If you are worried about being too warm, consider a long sleeve mother of the groom dress with sleeves made of a sheer fabric. The sheer sleeves mask the arms in a pretty way and are not as hot to wear at a warm summer wedding reception.

The four dresses above, all have long sleeves and all the sleeves happen to be somewhat sheer. Click on any of the photos to see the actual dress details. The fourth dress in the deep gray color has ruching at the waist which is especially flattering to the middle age tummy. At the end of this post, I have selected many more dresses including long sleeve dresses for the mother of the groom. There are also lace gowns for those who prefer that type of fabric.

for you to evaluate. All are photos that when you click on them, will open and show you the product details as well as pricing.

Short Sleeve Mother of the Groom Dresses.

Short-sleeved mother-of-the-groom dresses are a beautiful option. I especially like the dresses with a bit of off-the-shoulder detailing. Most women don’t gain weight in their shoulder area and it can beautifully elongate the neck to wear this type of neckline. I love the look of a wrapped shoulder in several of the dresses below. As most women especially don’t love their upper arms, the wrapped shoulder helps camouflage that area. Or they wear a coordinating jacket with their dress.

Sleeveless Mother of the Groom Dresses

Sleeveless mother-of-the-groom dresses are the last option I will show in this post. These dresses can include classic sleeveless looks, halter necklines, strapless dresses, and even one-shoulder dresses. I love all of these necklines, but as I said above, be sure to pick a dress you feel comfortable in. That will make you look your most confident and lovely.

What I Wore to the Rehearsal Dinner

Here I am wearing a dress for the rehearsal dinner.  It is a dark floral fit and flare dress and I am also wearing an ivory shawl.   My shoes here are silver open-toe sandals,
Here I am in my rehearsal dinner look. An Eliza J fit and flare dress with pockets!

I wanted my dress for the rehearsal dinner party to be a different look than the dress for the wedding. I picked an Eliza J dress in the fit and flare style. It was sleeveless and I added an ivory shawl. My dress was from last season, but I have included several Eliza J dresses in the links of this post. Also, scroll down to the very end of this post to see lots more choices of pretty dresses.

I think this fit and flare style, where the bodice is fitted to the waist and then flares out, is a fun style for a party. It’s very feminine and the dress also has pockets which are always a bonus.

What I Wore to the Wedding

Here I am in a long black crepe gown with a portrait off-the-shoulder neckline.  It is not one of the long sleeve mother of the groom dresses
, but it is another option to consider.
My dress for the wedding was a black crepe portrait neckline dress that was a bit off-the-shoulder.

I chose an off-the-shoulder portrait neckline long black gown to wear for the actual wedding. This is me at the bridal shop trying on the dress for the first time. It was made of black crepe which was a fairly heavy fabric. It draped beautifully and was so comfortable all day and night. I have linked several similar styles above in the clickable photos.

Here is my son Jake being walked down the aisle by his dad, Mike and me.  We were so proud of our boy!  He and his dad are in black tuxes. I am in my black crepe long gown and am carrying a small bouquet of white roses.  My shoes are black open toe sandals.
Here is Jake’s dad, Mike, Jake, and me walking down the aisle. So exciting!
Here is Mr. G.Q. and me walking down the aisle after the ceremony.
Mr. G.Q. and I are on our way out of church right after the “I dos”.
Here is Rachel, the lovely bride as she is walked down the aisle by her dad Brian, and her mom, Michelle.
Rachel’s sweet dad, Brian, Rachel, and her wonderful mom, Michelle

Shoes for the Mother of the Groom

The first thing to consider in choosing a shoe is comfort! I wore a very simple black suede open-toe sandal with an ankle strap. The heel is a razor heel and it was phenomenally comfortable ALL DAY! Here is the actual shoe I wore. The heel is only 1 1/2 inches and it’s actually on sale right now for $70! This is such a terrific shoe! And a tremendous value! It would be good with a dress, dress pants, jeans, and even dressy shorts. Check them out!

I am a huge fan of nude shoes, but with this long black dress, I decided to go with black. The suede fabric is so comfortable as it molds to your feet. Pro-tip: If you find your shoes to be a bit pinchy or tight, try this very cool product below. You just spray it on the shoe, put the shoe on your door, and then wear the shoe for a while as the shoe stretches. It really eases a tight spot on a shoe!

Above, is a collection of cute, comfortable, and very affordable mother-of-the-groom wedding shoes. All heels are 2 1/2 inches or lower. Multiple pairs have ankle straps which I find very stable when walking, standing, and dancing. I included both open-toe and closed-toe options. I even popped in a pair of darling pink flats! See what appeals to you. Pro-tip: Buy your shoes at least a month ahead of the wedding and wear them around the house a lot. This will increase your chances of having comfy feet on the big day! And use Hairstyle Tips for the Mother of the Groom

I wear my hair short but some haircuts I get are perfect the day of the cut, while others look better two weeks later. To increase my chances of loving my hair on the big day, I decided to “practice” my perfect haircut by getting it cut several months ahead of the wedding and taking photos from every angle. Then when I went back in May and June for my usual four-week cuts, I showed those cuts to my hairdresser so she could replicate the cut. This worked really well and I was happy with my hair both at the rehearsal dinner and at the wedding. Pro-tip: Having photos taken from all the way around your style will make your hairstylist much more adept at recreating your favorite look, especially if she is doing your hair for the first time!

Here I am at the hair salon several months before the wedding with a front view photo of my silver asymmetrical pixie hairstyle.
Front view of my asymmetrical pixie cut
This is a right side view of my haircut.
Right-side view of my haircut
Here is a right rear view of my hair cut.
Right rear view of my haircut
Here is a head on rear view of my hair cut.
Rear view of my haircut
Here is the left side of my hair cut.
Left-side view of my haircut

Many of you will have your hair done the day of the event by the hair stylists at the hotel you’ll be staying at (especially if the event is out of town, as was my situation). Thus, take the time to have your hair done at home or by the stylist you’ll be using if you’re in town, before the event. Consider bringing in photos of hairstyles you have liked of yourself from before as well as pictures from Pinterest. This will help the stylist do what you want.

Make-up Tips for the Mother of the Groom

I had my make-up done in Philadelphia at my hotel by the same make-up artist for the rehearsal dinner as well as for the wedding. (If I lived in town, I would recommend that you have the make-up done by the artist several weeks before the event and take photos with your phone so she can replicate the look.) Pro-tip: I have very sensitive skin, so I brought my make-up products with me to both sessions. The artist used most of my products but also supplemented them with hers as she needed.

Here is a close-up of my make-up for the rehearsal dinner.  I have artificial eyelashes on the outer third of my upper lids.

I wanted to try a few artificial eyelashes but was nervous that I might react to the glue. (I am really allergic to the adhesive in bandaids and latex.) The artist listened to my concerns and suggested she put some of the glue on my forearm as a test. When I didn’t react in twenty minutes, we decided to “go for it”. She put a small length of lashes along the outside third of my upper eyelid. They looked very natural and I loved them! We redid the same look the next day, and I was delighted with the result.

Mother of the Groom Responsibilities

Typically, the groom’s family pays for a rehearsal dinner for the wedding party, the parents of the bride and groom as well as the grandparents, etc. We had a lovely dinner at the Union League of Philadelphia. This traditional setting was beautiful and we enjoyed cocktails, appetizers, a delicious meal, as well as a dessert platter.

The most fun part for me of the evening involved hearing the incredibly heartfelt speeches of several of the groomsmen and bridesmaids. There were 14 groomsmen and 11 bridesmaids, so it was quite a large wedding party! Jake’s dad, Mike, gave a wonderful speech as did Mr. G.Q. I also spoke as I was so excited to share memories of Jake as a younger child as well as stories of how much we love our new daughter-in-law Rachel.

Another very cool item involved the Groom’s cake. A Groom’s cake originated in Victorian England (no surprise!) and is typically a small cake served on the wedding day, usually as a cake everyone can take home in boxes. It is typically different than the airy white cake of the traditional wedding cake and may even have fruit inside. We decided to have the Groom’s cake at the rehearsal dinner which was a bit more intimate of a setting. I thought that since the group was smaller, Jake might have a minute to check it out without all the excitement of the wedding day.

Here the groom is standing in front of the Groom's cake showing his classic "thumbs up" as he laughs at the Sox logs on the baseball cap which is atop the cake.

The cake was almost a poundcake in texture with a delicious white frosting. The topper on the cake was a black baseball cap made out of fondant. The White Sox logo (Jake’s favorite team) was prominently displayed. Then around the cake, we had multiple logos of Jake’s favorite things: Dave Matthews Band, Michael Jordan, The Bears, the University of Illinois, The Bulls, and the funniest was a heart with Rachel and Jake’s initials. It was funny because although Rachel’s initials are RM, Jake’s are JB (not JM as the chef thought!). Jake laughed when he saw the mistake and said that he’s such a progressive guy, he can just take Rachel’s last name instead! Perfect solution!

Here my son is laughing at the heart on the Groom's cake.  The chef wrote the wrong initials for my son!
Here is the groom-to-be with his mom and his nanny who he has known for 29 years!

A Few More Tips for the Mother of the Groom:

I found that there were quite a few last-minute details for the mother of the groom. Pro-tip: I found it really helpful to put “all things wedding” in one spare bedroom for the several weeks leading up to the wedding weekend. My daughter Becky had given me this Mother of the Groom bag for Mother’s Day and I highly recommend it. I realized that I had several key items to transport from Chicago to Philadelphia that I would NOT be comfortable checking. I wanted these items in my line of sight on the inside of the plane.

The items I packed in here included:

  • the guest list for the Rehearsal Dinner
  • the seating chart for the Rehearsal Dinner
  • the place cards for the Rehearsal Dinner
  • the nametags for the Rehearsal Dinner
  • my speech
  • Rachel and Jake’s wedding card.
This is the Mother of the Groom tote which is very useful for the wedding weekend!

Then, on the day of the wedding, I packed the following items here:

  • my shawl
  • my phone
  • my clutch
  • my small make-up bag for touch-ups
  • Shoe Stretch for tight shoes
  • Wineaway (this terrific product is sprayed on your clothes if someone accidentally spills red wine on Rachel’s dress!).
  • bandaids for possible blisters
  • Tylenol and Aleve
  • hand cream
  • Rachel and Jake’s card
  • Kleenex

By having this obviously marked bag, I could hand it to any of the bridesmaids, groomsmen, or wedding planners and they could retrieve it for me whenever I needed it. With photos and people greeting you all day long, you need to know your stuff is all in one safe spot.

The last tip is to carry your essentials onto the plane. I purchased this great lightweight garment bag and put the following inside it:

  • Dress for the wedding and the dress for the Rehearsal Dinner
  • Shawl for the wedding and the shawl for the Rehearsal Dinner
  • Undergarments for the wedding and the Rehearsal Dinner.

Mr. G.Q. also used another garment bag for:

  • his tux
  • his tuxedo shirt
  • his bow tie
  • his tuxedo shirt with special buttons and cufflinks
  • a blazer, shirt, and pants for the Rehearsal Dinner

We each also checked a bag that contained:

  • Shoes for both events
  • clothes for travel
  • underwear
  • pajamas
  • Dopp kit
  • my make-up kit.
  • “care packages” for the couple’s honeymoon with their favorite snacks and a novel.

That about does it. These are the wedding tips from THIS mother of the groom.

Next, I’ve included a few more wedding photos for your viewing pleasure.

I also put together a list of wedding-related items, including long sleeve mother of the groom dresses, etc for you to check out. Click on any photo for product details and pricing. Happy scrolling!


Dr. Julie (Mother of the Groom!)

PS Here are a few more posts for you to enjoy:

Casual Mom Outfits

Date Night Outfits

Delicious Ina Garten Ginger Cookies for Fall!

Dermatologist Advice for Anti-Aging Products

Black Blazer Outfit, Six Different Looks

Here is the lovely couple at the Rodin museum after the ceremony.  Look at Rachels' gorgeous veil and romantic dress!
Here is the groom-to-be on his way to the church with all his groomsmen on the trolley.
Here is the lovely couple on the stairs leading up to the reception.  There are many votive candles lit along the railing.
Here is the couple seconds after they said their "I dos"!  Jake is cheering and Rachel is shouting!  They are SO HAPPY!
Here is the couple two days later on their honeymoon in Rome!

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