The Ultimate Guide to Mother of the Bride Attire

While looking (and feeling) your best is a priority for any wedding; comfort should never be sacrificed. Thankfully, many mother of the bride dress options are stylish and comfortable.

Gone are the days of matronly dresses in Easter egg pastels or washed-out shades of beige. Instead, savvy moms opt for sleek evening gowns, trendy midis, and even dressy jumpsuits.


While you don’t want to match your daughter’s gown exactly, you should also try to stand out only a little. It’s her big day, after all. She may feel uncomfortable if you wear too bright color or have a dress that stands out too much from hers. It’s a good idea to ask the bride what her thoughts are on this, but in general, you should avoid colors that are too bold or will pull attention from her.

Generally speaking, the bride’s mother should look for a color that complements the bride’s and wedding party’s colors. That doesn’t mean you need to match precisely; choose a hue that will harmonize with her dress. If your daughter chooses pastel pinks and purples for her wedding, you can pick a deeper shade that complements their tone, like rose, mauve, or merlot. Cooler tones work well for mothers of the bride, such as moss green, mint, frosty shades of blue, or lavender.

It’s also a good idea to wait until she has selected her bridesmaid dresses before starting your search. That will help you avoid buying a color that will clash with hers and give you a better idea of what she might look for when shopping.


Choosing the perfect mother of the bride dress length is essential to bridal attire etiquette. Typically, longer dresses are more appropriate for formal weddings, while shorter gowns work well at casual or outdoor ceremonies. However, this is not a hard and fast rule and is up to the bride and mother-to-be.

If you’re looking for a more traditional look, consider a mother of the bride dress in a neutral shade like taupe or beige. These colors feel classic and elegant and won’t detract from the bride’s gown. Alternatively, you could go for a deeper hue like navy or burgundy, which are great options for winter or evening weddings.

Lighter shades like pastels are also a lovely option for daytime weddings. These dresses are often considered more informal but can still be stylish and flattering.

Depending on the wedding style, some mothers may prefer to wear a tea-length mother of the bride dress or even a knee-length gown. These styles are more casual and can be paired with a lighter jacket or shawl for extra coverage.

Whatever length you choose, it’s always a good idea to communicate with the bride and groom and any other vital guests about your choice of dress. This will help ensure everyone is on the same page and avoids surprises or miscommunications on the big day.


There are plenty of styles to choose from when shopping for mother of the bride attire. You want to find something flattering that compliments your figure but doesn’t go over the top. This is an important day for you and your daughter, so you want to make her feel like the dress is a manageable statement.

Many mothers prefer a traditional long dress for the wedding ceremony and reception, but it is entirely up to you and your daughter how you would like to proceed. If you have a good relationship with your daughter, involving her in dressing may be a great idea. It will be a fun and memorable way to bond with her before the big day!

It is also essential to avoid wearing colors similar to the bride’s gown. This includes shades of white, ivory, champagne, and pearls. This will help to keep your daughter from feeling overwhelmed or distracted on her special day. Instead, use neutral hues like blush pink, taupe, and silver.

Another style to consider is the sleeve length. Sleeveless dresses are a popular choice for mothers of the bride, but you can also go for a more conservative look by choosing a beautiful sleeved-gown. Lastly, you will want to consider what shoes you want to wear with your gown. If you are going with a tea-length gown, wearing a pair of show-stopping heels is often a good idea to define your feminine curves.


It’s essential to keep your budget in mind when shopping for a mother of the bride dress. Evening gowns can cost up to $2,000, especially if you choose a designer or custom dress. Start searching for your gown at least three months in advance, so you have plenty of time for special orders and alterations.

There’s no one-size-fits-all for mother of the bride attire, and you can find a dress that fits your budget. Opt for silhouettes that flatter your figure when shopping for your mommy-to-be dress. A-line dresses and fit and flare styles are flattering for almost every body type. Also, be sure to consider the neckline of your gown; off-the-shoulder and sleeveless options are classic.

Add a stylish accessory like a shawl or embroidered bolero for warmth on your big day. And remember to slip on a pair of heels that match your dress. If your mother of the bride outfit is fitted, adding a piece of shapewear will help you look more toned and confident. 

Mother of the bride etiquette has long been known for being matronly or overly conservative, but that’s no longer true. Now, MOBs are encouraged to wear an outfit they love (with the bride’s approval). And with sleek evening gowns, trendy midis, and chic pantsuits available at every price point, you can have an amazing mother-of-the-bride dress without breaking the bank.