How to Dress the Mother of the Bride

November 29th, 20106:45 am


How to Dress the Mother of the Bride

After having suffered several headaches trying to pick out your own bridal gown, and then the dresses of your bridesmaids and maid of honor, now comes the task of dressing the mother of the bride.  Though this isn’t a choice that is traditionally as much a choice of the bride as it is her mother, it is still customary that the bride come along when her mom shops so that she can give her mom her “two cents” on what she chooses to wear.

Color Choices

The traditional approach to having the mother of the bride buy a dress is to not allow her to buy anything that is white, ivory, champagne, or any color that matches the bride’s dress.  The attention should all be on the glowing bride, after all, and not her mother.  Dark, dramatic colors should also generally be avoided, such as black dresses or flashy red outfits.  The general rule is to have the mother of the bride wear subdued, lighter colors like silver, burgundy, blues or lavender.

Another important thing to consider is whether or not you want your mother’s dress to be the same color as the bridesmaids.  Some brides want their mother to wear clothing that is within the same color shade, but more recently brides and their mother’s alike want their mom to wear a dress that is a different color so that the mother can stand out in her own way.

If you’re a bride who really wants her mom to match and blend in with the bridesmaids, try coming to a compromise by suggesting she wear a color that is within the same color family as the bridesmaids (for instance, your mom can wear a midnight blue pant suit while your bridesmaids may be in powder blue dresses).


Though mothers of the bride are expected to wear a dress, this isn’t always the case any more.  A lot of older women do not feel comfortable in a dress, especially if it is above her ankle or her knee.  Do not try to coerce your mother into wearing an outfit you know she’ll be self-conscious in; this will only make her uncomfortable at your wedding and ruin the party for her!

A skirt with a nice top can be a great alternative option to present to your mom, or even a gorgeous pant suit will do.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the mother of the bride shouldn’t be so outlandish in her style (say, wear a dress that is short enough to rival a mini skirt).  A mother of the bride should give the presence of distinction and elegance, not flirtatious or frumpy.

TIPOne thing that a bride often wonders after shopping with her mom is when she should inform the groom’s mother.  The traditional way of doing this is to advise the groom’s mother once the mother of the bride has selected her dress, and to let her know the style and the color of the dress.  These days, however, the mother of the groom doesn’t expect that “heads up” and will purchase a dress on her own time (which may before or after your mother finds hers).

Categories: Dresses