Mother of the Bride Dress Guide

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016 Wedding IDEAS, INSPIRATION AND INSIDER TIPS


You’ve been waiting for this day, the day your baby girl becomes a married woman. In a blink of an eye, the time has finally come, and here you are getting ready for her wedding!

You know your daughter will be the star of the night in her beautiful wedding dress. As her mother, you also know you want to look your best in the dress you choose for the special occasion. So where do you start? We’ve compiled a guide of ideas to consider when searching for your mother of the bride dress (MOB) for this special occasion.

First off, talk to your daughter. This is the best and most important advice that we can give you. Her opinion matters a lot since it’s her big day. Some brides may have a very specific idea on how they want their family and bridal party to look, while others may just want you to feel comfortable and wear what you think is best, no matter the color or dress style.

To help with this decision, ask the bride the following questions:

  • What color would you like the mother of the bride to wear? Should the dress color match with the bridesmaids dress color? Or should it be in the same color spectrum?
  • Are there any styles you want or don’t want to see?

  • The bridesmaids’ dresses are sequin dresses. Should the MOB dress have sequins as well?

  • Would you like to come along when choosing the mother of the bride dress?

By asking these questions, you are showing your daughter that her opinion matters to you. Even though it’s her big day, you also want to look your best. Pictures will be taken all night long and you want her day to be picture perfect in every way possible.

What Does the Mother of the Bride Wear?

So here’s the big question, what do you wear? First and foremost, pick a dress that is flattering on your body. Unless your daughter is okay with it, do not pick something that is too sexy or revealing. As MOB, you want to look classy and elegant.

Choose a dress that you will be comfortable in for a long period of time. You’ll be moving around, meeting and greeting guests, and perhaps dancing all night long, so you want a dress that you’ll be comfortable in. This is going to be a long day and probably exhausting, so being uncomfortable can make the day less enjoyable.

While picking the dress, you should keep in mind the venue and formality of the wedding day. You want a dress that complements you, the theme of the wedding and also the venue. If your daughter is having a beach wedding, you would not want to go with a ball gown. Vice versa, if she is having a formal wedding, you wouldn’t want to show up in beach/summer style dress.

The latest trend for bridesmaids dresses are sequins. If her bridesmaids are wearing sequin dresses, she may want you to match with them and have a little sequin and sparkle on your dress. To match a bridal party wearing sequin dresses, an elegant lace and sequin mother of the bride dress with a cap sleeve could be the perfect choice. A dress like that will make you feel like you are a part of your daughter’s bridal party.

If sequins are not part of the bride’s agenda or if you’re not comfortable in sequins, there are plenty of other options. You can never go wrong with a flattering, classic evening dress that has a little bit of lace to capture the elegant feel. This type of dress fits perfect for a formal wedding, bringing sophistication and timeless grace together. The most important thing when choosing a gown is to make sure you feel great wearing it.

What Color Dress Does the Mother of the Bride Wear?

The color of the dress is as important as the style you wear on your daughter’s big day. There are a few options when it comes to color, depending on what the bride wants.

You can pick a dress that is the exact same color as the bridesmaids’ dresses, in the same color spectrum as the bridesmaids’ dresses, or a complementary color that is on the opposite side of the color wheel.

As the MOB, avoid white, ivory, champagne, as these are reserved for the bride’s dress. Also, you may consider avoiding black as it’s a color associated with mourning rather than celebrating.

If your daughter wants you to match the bridal party, pick a dress that is the exact same color hue as the bridesmaids’ dresses, or something very similar to the color. This choice will look very uniform in the pictures and give everyone a sense that you are a part of the bridal party.

If your daughter decides that she wants you to wear something that is in the same color spectrum as her bridesmaids, what color do you choose? If her bridesmaids dresses are lavender, a plum colored dress would pair perfectly. If the bridesmaids are wearing red, a dress in the teal family would pair wonderfully together.

To make your mother of the bride shopping experience as convenient as possible, opt for a gown that is available in a variety of colors, such as this lace evening gown. With multiple color options available, it will be easier to find the color you are looking for.

Where to Buy Mother of the Bride Dresses & When

Mother of the bride dresses can be found at different retailers. Many mothers forget that bridal stores are a great place to shop for mother-of-the-bride dresses, especially if your daughter bought her wedding gown from the same bridal boutique.

Specialty stores, such as bridal salons that offer MOB gowns have vast knowledge on what styles and fits pair with different body shapes. They will have dresses specifically designed for the occasion and will know what to choose to complement your daughter’s wedding dress as well as the bridesmaids’ dresses.

Plan in advance! You should order your dress at least three months before the wedding, allowing room for alterations. Often times, mothers wait until the last minute to order a gown, only to realize that it takes at least two months to special order a mother-of-the-bride dress. Don’t let that happen to you!

What Does the Mother of the Groom Wear?

Again, the mother of the groom should consult the bride when deciding on a mother of the groom dress. Some brides will want her future mother-in-law to wear similar dress colors, or styles to match the bridal party, and some may just want you to wear what you feel comfortable in. Either way, asking for the bride’s advice and possibly bringing her along when shopping for a dress will help make sure you find a mother of the groom dress that everyone loves.

If you are planning a bridal shower for your daughter, check out our bridal shower checklist article for tips and ideas.

If you are ready to start shopping for your mother of the bride dress, find an authorized retailer near you to pick out the perfect outfit for the special occasion!
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