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  • Valerie Millinery Collections

Help, I'm a Mother of the Bride and I don't know where to start!

Your son's or daughter’s wedding day that seemed so far away is now just around the corner.

As we shrug off the winter blues, we need some encouragement to start somewhere, but where?

Don’t worry, for you are not alone, many other mothers of the bride/groom feel exactly like you.

Where to start?

  • The outfit- choosing one that will suit you, your body shape, fit in with the wedding theme and also make you feel comfortable on the day.

  • Not forgetting the minefield of shoes, handbag, accessories and whether they match or contrast!

  • And last but not least, does wearing a hat fill you with excitement or utter fear? Do I really have to wear one?

The best piece of advice that I can give you is -


Let’s get started.

High street, designer or bespoke made outfits- all have their own pros and cons. However it all goes back to what you want. Ask yourself the question, what is it that you want from your outfit? - ‘Make me feel a million dollars’, ‘must have sleeves to hide my arms’, ‘I want to pack a punch’, or ‘it must be something I can wear again’.

After some time shopping around, doing some research and deliberating all 3 options, go with the one which answers this question best.

Ultimately it’s your choice what you wear, you should feel comfortable and confident on your son or daughter’s big day.

At this point it’s important to know that designer mother of bride/groom outfits are usually released twice a year- Spring|Summer which arrives in shops in January/February and Autumn|Winter arrives late September/October. To allow yourself the best chance, start shopping early.

“I'm Mother of the Bride but I don’t like Mother of the Bride outfits”

There is no right or wrong here. Most importantly, be yourself whether it be classic and timeless or fun and eccentric. You want to look back on this day and still feel the same love for this outfit as the day you bought it.

“I need matching shoes and handbag too!”

Pause, and breathe. Focus on the overall picture. Your shoes, bag and hat do not necessarily need match however; you want them all to complement each other. Enjoy the shopping trip out and look at various shoe/bag style and colours. If you are unsure if your shoe/bag colours should match or contrast, this can be discussed at our initial consultation.

Sometimes we can overlook just how important a handbag is. It is a good way of giving your hands a place to be, in turn keeping your posture right and head held high for those all-important photographs.

Your headpiece can be whatever you wish it to be. A hat can be made to match, to contrast & enrich an outfit, to add a pop of colour to a somewhat plainer outfit or your hat can be made as subtle as you want it to be.

Again, this is supposed to be an enjoyable experience and I am here to listen and ensure you feel the best version of you.

“I have found an outfit but I don’t believe hats suit me”

This is often the first thing a client says to me. It is completely understandable. Hats are something we do not wear often and most people are unfamiliar with what suits them and how best to wear one. Some want the big extravagant hat and others wish to have a smaller, more delicate piece. You won't know unless you try them on. Speaking to someone who can explain and talk you through hats, will make all the difference.

How long do I have to wear my hat?

This is entirely up to you, tradition says the mother of bride wears her hat until after the meal and until then all female guests keep their hats on. Or you can chose to ignore the tradition and party into the night with your beautifully bespoke made hat still on! Why Not? See my previous blog on "Wedding truths & traditions" here:

Another option is to have a transitional piece to wear in the evening, something less formal yet as beautiful.

Having an evening hat would continue to enhance your confidence and your important role on the day. Why not look as glamorous in the evening as well!

"Why should I choose a bespoke made hat?"

Your hat plays a major role in complimenting your whole outfit, giving it that extra pizzazz which will make you stand out as Mother of the bride or groom.

At Valerie Millinery Collections we will explore various hat shapes and sizes until you find one that you are comfortable and excited to wear. It’s about finding it together and ensuring your hat reflects your personality and style. A bespoke hat will be colour matched to your specific outfit. It may even contain materials from your dress if available. Finding an off the shelf hat that ticks all of the above could be difficult to find.

Going through this process will give you great confidence in wearing your bespoke hat, knowing your outfit is complete on that special day.

Make use of your complimentary consultation. You won't be disappointed. Book here:

"What do I bring to the appointment?"

Bring your outfit, shoes, handbag, jewellery, and any other accessories. The details in these can help with colour matching and trimmings on your bespoke order.

Once an order has been placed it can take up to 4-6 weeks to ensure your bespoke hat is complete and you are happy with everything. This time frame allows for 2 more visits to discuss the design and details.

Remember, this is one of the most important events in your life. You want to enjoy the whole experience, feel on top of the world and let’s be honest have everyone compliment your look.

A hat by Valerie Millinery Collections will do this, and will be a talking point guaranteed!

So, let’s give them something to talk about!

Plan early, book an appointment, and enjoy the whole experience with


Mother of the Bride, Vanessa wearing dress by Alexandre Vauthier. Bespoke Headpiece by Valerie Millinery Collections, Harrogate. Shoes & bag by Gucci, Hair by Marcus King, Make up by Make Up by Jo, UK. Wedding venue: Grantley Hall, North Yorkshire. Photographer Geoff Love Photography,

Mother of the bride Naomi, wearing Bespoke Dress by Jillian Welch, Harrogate. Bespoke Hat by Valerie Millinery Collections, Harrogate. Hair by Lottie Haigh Hair. Make up Bridal by Emily Josephs. Wedding Venue: Wollas Barn. Photography by M and G Wedding Photography.

Mother of Groom, Karen wearing dress by Marina Rinaldi. Bespoke hat by Valerie Millinery Collections. Hair Cut & Colour by Tru Hair. Nails by The Nailery. Wedding venue: Bingham River House. Photography by Natalie j Weddings.


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