Monsters-in-law battle over wedding spotlight

31 Aug 2011

Monsters-in-law battle over wedding spotlight

Mothers-in-law have thrown out the wedding etiquette rule book, much to the annoyance of brides, says Debenhams.

Thanks to increasing numbers of step-mothers-in-law now invited to nuptials, a new breed of thrusting, cougaresque mothers-in-law have ripped up the first commandment for weddings; thou shalt not upstage the bride.

While the happy couples have cut back slightly on the big day to save cash, research for Debenhams has found spending by fashion savvy mums has soared to an average of £430. This is compared to five years ago when they paid out an average £190 – a 126% increase. *

By comparison the overall cost of getting married has risen by only 52% to £19,779**. This is a drop from an all time high of £20,273 in 2008.

According to high street store Debenhams, the growth in sales has been driven by the increasing numbers of divorces and second marriages: when asked the reason for wanting to look extra special, 39% of mothers-of-the-bride or groom said they were competing with their ex-husband’s new wife or girlfriend.

Says Alain Mehada, Debenhams Personal Shopper, “It seems that brides are a casualty of the sartorial battle between wives past and present.

“In their determination to make an impact, mother-in-laws are regularly ignoring the main tenants of previous decades, such as “do not wear white, do not wear black and do not wear anything low-cut, tight fitting, or which is likely to gain you more attention than the bride on her big day.”

Personal shoppers have dubbed it the ‘Raquel effect’ after Raquel Welch’s famous thunder-stealing behaviour at her son’s wedding.

Raquel Welch, aged 65 at the time, turned up 12 minutes late to her son Damon’s wedding, wearing a skin-tight, little black dress with cutaway frontage revealing that famous décolletage, all topped off with a huge brimmed white hat and dark glasses.

Nearly 80% of women questioned said their main goal when dressing for their child’s wedding was to look younger than their years, with 63% of women agreeing that an expensive looking outfit was imperative.

Women agreed that a figure accentuating dress was the most important part of the look with an eye-catching hat or fascinator, expensive-looking high heels and immaculate hair and make-up following accordingly.

Debenhams looked at spending through its personal shopper service and found the average outfit bought by style conscious mothers for weddings cost £130, handbag £40, shoes £75 and hat £60 and £50 went on new cosmetics.

* Figures from Debenhams’ Personal Shopper Records

** RPI figures June 2001 to June 2011

supplier finder

Get a quote

Looking for that perfect local supplier?
Let us know what you need and we’ll start looking for you.

supplier finder

Find a supplier

Search over 200,000 Suppliers in the UK.

or

bride

Everything for your wedding

Wedding Photo of the Week: Jessica Reynolds Photography

Each week we’re inviting all wedding photographers to submit their images to be Bri...

11 unique and unusual wedding gift ideas

Ask your guests to give you these quirky and personalised wedding gifts  ...

How to manage hay fever on your wedding day

Kick hay fever to the curb on your wedding day with this guide to managing your symptoms ...

The best wedding dresses for your body shape

If you don't know where to start when searching for your dream wedding dress, consider st...

9 expert tips for buying a bespoke engagement ring

How to ensure you stay on budget and on brief when buying a bespoke engagement ring ...

Looking for that perfect local supplier?
Let us know what you need and we’ll start looking for you.

the wedding show