Beth P.: Garden Party

Beth P.: Garden Party

Mother of: Will
Wedding venue: South Coast Botanic Garden, Palos Verdes, California
Vibe: Garden Party Formal
Dress: Theia 

When the bride wants the wedding party in color, you’ve got to go for it.

Natalie and Will fell in love as undergrads at Mizzou and actually lamented that they met too young. But they stuck together through college, two graduate programs, five cities and many jobs before settling in Chicago. Their wedding vision: outdoors, surrounded by plants and trees and flowers. They booked the South Coast Botanic Garden—10 minutes where Natalie grew up, in Palos Verdes, California. Natalie’s request of both mother of the bride and mother of the groom: dress for the venue.

“It was so fun to dress for a formal event at a venue like this—everyone at the wedding got into it, with florals and color everywhere,” says mother of the groom Beth, who wore black for her older son’s wedding just a year and a half ago. “Even men were really into it and not just in traditional black suits.”

Natalie and Will’s wedding took place in April, 2024. Beth started shopping a full year ahead, in spring 2023. “I was worried if I waited too long—fall or winter—I wouldn't be able to find a floral dress in a spring color.” Because she had plenty of time, Beth says, “I enjoyed the search.” She ordered around 20 dresses—everywhere from Nordstrom and Bloomingdales to The Outnet to Anthropologie, Reformation and Mac Duggal.

“Home really is the new fitting room,” says Beth, a branding consultant. “I had a lot of packages coming and going because no two brands fit or size the same, and it took a bit to zero in on what would work best for me in terms of style, cut, silhouette and fit. But I did, and I was thrilled!"

Beth chose a Theia strapless floor length column gown in watermelon pink covered in a gold floral pattern. “It was such a vibrant and pretty dress featuring a gorgeous bodice and a column style that really worked for my height (short!) and figure,” Beth says.

At first, the strapless silhouette gave Beth pause. ”This dress was really structured and well made and it never slipped down—that is key! It was also pretty high for a strapless. I didn’t want to show any cleavage and it was easy to do with the dress I bought. Theia does a nice job there: their dresses are gorgeous and make you feel youthful, but they aren’t too sexy or young.”

Best of all: “It was beautifully constructed…and had a slit up the front that made walking and dancing comfortable and easy.”

Beth and Will danced to “God Only Knows” by the Beach Boys. “Makes me choke up just thinking about it.”

More: Mother of the bride Melani also wore floral.


| Photography by Jessie Rowan Photography

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