mother of the bride dress

mother dresses

A wedding is a most special occasion, one that everyone wants to look their best for, especially for memories and pictures that will last a lifetime.

Brides aren’t the only ones looking for that perfect dress. Mothers of the bride and groom will also want a dress that’s elegant and flattering. One that will make them feel like the special women they are in their children’s lives.

So where do you start? Think about how you want to look and begin window-shopping after you learn a few rules on etiquette when it comes to wedding attire. Take your time and enjoy the process of it all. When you find your dress, you will experience happiness combined with a sense of relief. Here’s how to choose your style, colors, as well as where to shop for your mother of the bride dress.


Most mothers of the bride (and groom) should choose their dresses after the bride has chosen a bridal gown and bridesmaid dresses. There’s a good reason for this. The mothers should buy dresses that will compliment the other dresses, although the bride’s mother usually chooses first, followed by the groom’s mother.

Do not think that you need to look like a stereotypical mother or matron. Today’s mothers are modern and appreciate sense of style. Their dresses should be of the same formality and length of the bridesmaids dresses but don’t get carried away and attempt to look like a bridesmaid. You can certainly aim for a gorgeous mother of the bride look and be individual at the same time.

Ask the bride for her opinion and find out if she has any ideas or preferences for your dresses. Most popular, is a dress with a jacket or cardigan that can be removed later for some serious celebrating. Besides not matching the bridesmaids, it is suggested that the mothers do not match each other but there’s no set rule. Discuss everything beforehand so that everyone understands and there’s no hurt feelings.


In no way should the mother of anyone wear a color that competes with the bride. If someone says that it’s okay to wear white, off white, or bone, don’t listen! Nor should you wear the same color of the bridesmaids, however, a different shade is acceptable. Better yet, a complimentary or accent color is a good choice, as is a neutral. Avoid flashy patterns, gaudy embellishments, or bows, lest you be the topic of a conversation you’d rather avoid.

If the groom is in the military, he may opt to wear his uniform. This is just a preference but keep in mind that if other's are in the military too, you will have to make a decision on who will be wearing uniforms and who will be dressed in civilian clothing.


This comes up over and over again and deserves it’s own discussion. Is it okay for the mother of the bride or groom to wear a black dress to the wedding? The short answer just a few short years ago was no. It happened but was often viewed as mourning or passive-aggressive disapproval of the union. Today's mothers need to be cautious but can wear black if everyone agrees and it fits in with the theme of the wedding. Also, there are fine alternative colors to black such as gray, charcoal, or navy blue. Choose one and have no regrets.

where to shop

You can begin looking for a mother of the bride dress at bridal salons when your daughter is looking for her wedding gown. It’s probably too early to make a purchase then but you’ll get ideas for styles and colors. There are no rules on where to shop. You are not limited to bridal salons and your dress does not have to be labeled as a mother of the bride dress. Look in department stores, outlets, or online too. If are on a tight budget and want a cheap dress, consider looking in a consignment shop or other second-hand store. There, you may be able to find a vintage dress that’s unique and fun.

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today's tip

Don't forget the perfect undergarments for a smooth look and boost of confidence. Choose something comfortable and not too restrictive.