Mother of the Bride Dresses

With the right amount of ruffles and a business-like cut, this mother of the bride dress screams class.

With the right amount of ruffles and a business-like cut, this dress screams class.

Choosing the dress for the bride’s mother can be a bit tricky. For one, there are certain colors and even styles that should be avoided. Of course, the bottom line is that mom should be sensitive to what her daughter prefers.

Brides differ quite a bit in their expectations. If the bride is open to any style or color, then lucky mom! Chances are, however, that the bride will have some expectations for the mother of the bride dress.

Ideally the mother of the bride dress should be purchased before the groom’s mother buys her dress. This is done to avoid clashing colors, overdressing, or other potential fashion problems. It also helps prevent a competition. The most important thing is that both mothers wear dresses with the same level of formality. The mother of the bride or the bride herself should pass on her preferences for the mother of the bride dress and the mother of the groom dress. Chances are, the groom’s mom will appreciate the heads-up.

Likewise, the location of the wedding and reception means everything. The venue’s formality should be reflected in all the dresses including the mother of the bride dress.

Traditional Expectations

For Mother of the Bride Dresses

  • If the bride or groom has a stepmother, take care to determine what colors and style they should wear and communicate it carefully. The last thing you want is to do is offend anyone and create bad feelings from a step-mother’s dress showing up over either mother.
  • The mother of the bride dress does not have to match the bridesmaids’ colors. In fact, this is a great opportunity to choose a dress that is a different shade of the same basic color or a complimentary color.
  • Don’t be afraid to have the mother of the bride dress be a completely different color than the bridesmaids’s dresses. Traditionally, it is inappropriate for the mother’s dress to be white or cream, as this would match the bride’s dress. Black gowns usually suggest mourning and red is usually considered too flashy. But as long as the bride approves of it, any color can do!
  • Mother of the bride dresses should reflect the formality of the occasion. Just as daytime weddings suggest light fabrics and  bright colors, it is typically appropriate to wear floor length and sparkly gowns in the evening.
Photo of lace dress courtesy of Nordstrom

Mother of the Bride Dresses Tea Length Can Be Elegant.

Photo courtesy of Nordstrom

This champagne colored mother of the bride dress is perfect if a bride has a long dress

Photo courtesy of Nordstrom

This is a beautiful look for an evening wedding.

The Mother of the Bride Dress Should Reflect The Bride’s Wishes

The bottom line is that most brides do have a few ideas of what she wants and does not want for the mother of the bride dress. The bride’s mother should ask her daughter what her preferences are for her mother of bride outfit. Of course that does not mean that the mother of the bride has no say in what she wears. Both bride and mother expressing what will and will not work is key. Having clear communication will help in smooth selection all the wedding clothing, including the mother of the bride dress.

Mother of the Bride Dresses Works Cited

Tips for dressing as the mother of the bride

Appropriate attire for Mother of the Bride dress