The bride isn’t the only one who wants to look her best at the wedding. But try to find information for the mother of the bride or groom, and you’re not likely to turn up a whole lot. That is, you wouldn’t have been likely to until Croton-on-Hudson’s Erica Laudon and her mom, Jane Price Laudon, launched Modern Wedding Mom, a website where modern, stylish moms can get advice on wedding fashion, beauty, and etiquette. We caught up with Erica to ask her about writing for “the second most beautiful woman at the wedding.”
Did you always set out to start a website?
My background is actually in financial services. I worked in investment banking and I’ve also worked for different financial-service companies like Standard & Poor’s. I also do legal marketing and business development for some of the big law firms in New York City.
So what made you want to launch Modern Wedding Mom?
When I got married in 2007, I was very surprised that we couldn’t find a stylish and fashionable dress easily for my mother. We thought it was interesting that when you went to a search engine and typed in the keywords ‘mother of the bride dress,’ or ‘mother of the bride etiquette,’ there really wasn’t a lot of content out there. We got this idea in our heads: Wouldn’t it be great to have a site that focused on not just the bride, but incorporated the moms, who are also concerned about their sense of style and fashion?
Is that the biggest concern for mothers of the bride and groom—the fashion?
I think it starts off with the fashion, with ‘Oh my gosh, what am I going to wear?’ Then it gets into, ‘I have questions about beauty—I want to start a skincare regimen,’ or ‘I’m under a lot of stress, and I don’t know how to de-stress.’ And there are also a lot of etiquette questions. We see a lot of questions about social media etiquette at weddings. We see questions about whether it’s still expected for the bride’s family to pay for everything. Statistics actually show that, in 80 percent of weddings, both of the couple’s parents are helping to pay for part of the wedding, and, in 30 percent of weddings, the couple actually pays for everything themselves. So there are a lot of changes.
Sue Wong beaded gown
Bride Erica Laudon and mom Jane Price Laudon
Going back to fashion for a moment, what trends are you seeing in dresses for mothers of the bride and groom?
I think Michelle Obama has become a really big fashion influence. She’s showing women that you can be beautiful and stylish at the age of 50, not have a stick-thin, modelesque body, and still look incredibly stunning. In terms of actual fashion trends, I think you see a lot of influence from The Great Gatsby and from Downton Abbey. You’ll see designers like Su Wong incorporating a lot of 1920s Art Deco beading into their dresses. There’s a lot of emphasis on lace, so Tadashi Shoji does a lot of work with lace, as does Adrianna Papell and Aidan Mattox. You also see a lot of three-quarter-length sleeves, which Michelle Obama has popularized again. There’s a lot of emphasis on the V-neckline, because that’s such a flattering neckline for so many women in so many body shapes.
What about accessories?
It used to be that you would go into the vault and find all of your family jewelry that maybe was out of style, but you’d wear it to honor people that are no longer with you. That seems to be fading away, and instead there seems to be more of an emphasis on statement jewelry. J.Crew, for instance, has a lot of beautiful pieces. So does Lulu Frost, and BaubleBar, which is a really affordable site, and they have their own mother-of-the-bride-and-groom section.
Do you write all the content on your site?
Yes, or I have guest posters. For example, I’ll ask a high-level, Emmy Award-winning makeup artist for tips for women who might be older on how to do their makeup so it’s really flattering in person as well as in photographs.
Did you get married in Westchester or the Hudson Valley?
I got married in Rye at the American Yacht Club. I love weddings that are very simple and elegant. I wore a Nicole Miller strapless gown, but it was very simple. I didn’t wear a veil; I just wore some flowers in my hair. I love beach weddings, so I incorporated a lot of seashells, sea glass, orchids, and fans into my wedding. I really love Westchester County. I actually live on the Hudson River Valley side, but I love the natural beauty of Westchester County, so for me it was very special to get married in Westchester by the water and to incorporate a lot of the natural elements into my wedding. It was an incredibly memorable day.