REDEFINING ‘MOTHER OF THE BRIDE’ WEDDING FASHION

In her 20 years in bridal retail, Flora Petakas has found an essential customer segment that is best served, but ignored at worst.

Pantora Brides dresses and a Pantora Bridal wedding dress.

“Once we’d finished deciding on the bride’s [outfit], my mom would come up to me and ask – secretly, away from the bride, out of respect not to waste her date -” ‘Where can I go by myself?’ “The founder of Union Square Couture said. “I never got the right answer.”

The bride and her mother in custom Francesca Miranda.

The wedding dress shopper’s trusted confidant, usually the mother (we’ll get into the semantics in a bit), can find limited evening wear in department stores, visit in person. Visit stores, filter through an incredible variety of online options. However, more often than not, the service is less than inspiring.

A popular 'mother of the bride' look from the Galia Lahav Pret-a-Porter collection.

“It was really boring, and it felt very outdated. I did the research,” said Daniela Jassir of Francesca Miranda. The Colombia-based director of marketing for luxury bridal and evening wear points out another way the industry doesn’t cater to this demographic: “The experience is nothing special. And you are the mother of the bride.”

A look from the Amsale Fall 2022 evening wear collection.

Never mind that this overlooked group of consumers – mostly Generation X women – are willing to spend. In 2018, a study from The Coca-Cola Company and Mass Mutual found that a group of American women aged 50 and older held more than $15 trillion in spending power, with Forbes calling this group “superheroes” consumers … healthiest, wealthiest and most active generation in history.” Yet this group is often overlooked by marketers in favor of the coveted millennials and Gen Z. would like.

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