How to choose the best mother of the bride dress?

What to wear if you are the mother of the bride

The next most important woman at a wedding after the bride is the mother of the bride. Simply because she plays in many traditions a central role and therefore all eyes will be on her and she will be closely examined from what she is wearing, what colour she chose, the type of accessories she favoured to her hairstyle and make up choices. In many weddings, she is the hostess of the reception and or the wedding organizer or at least plays a huge part of it.


The process of how to find the perfect dress style and colour is the same as for the bride. She has to examine herself first in order to know her best options – what her personal dressing code is, before finalizing her best choice. After that you can include other factors such as what the wedding theme is, location, wedding colour palette, season etc.

The mother of the bride has to know first:

  • What body shape she is
  • If she needs to do proportional dressing (e.g. longer body and shorter legs and visa versa)
  • What the dressing code for her height is (which varies if you are short, average or tall)
  • What other body features to consider (she might be conscious of a larger chest, bigger arms, double chin, fuller waist or bigger calves) either to highlight or to cover up
  • What dress colour will suit her best, which is based on her dominant colour. That means it has to work with her skin, eyes and hair all at the same time. The best colours are those which energizes her look rather than washing her out or aging her.
  • What dress style works best with style personality. So if she is a classic she won’t feel comfortable in a dress that is more suitable for a dramatic.
  • How to dress age appropriately. A lot of mother of the brides have remained a fabulous figure and it is quite normal to highlight this in a beautiful dress. But it is something different if you opt for a dress style that shows too much naked skin or going for too sexy a look. It would be too attention seeking and would look like that you are competing with your daughter for the best outfit of the day.
  • How to dress season appropriately e.g. avoiding wearing a coat for a winter wedding, because it won’t show your dress outside the wedding venue, avoiding to wear an umbrella with your outfit because you are fearing it doesn’t go with your wedding outfit, wearing high stilettos for a country wedding because you don’t like wearing flats or wedges, wearing too much make up for warm weather or a going away wedding, because you feel too naked with less.

Once all this has been assessed and ticked off the mother of the bride knows her dressing code. Now she can start to discuss with her daughter about how to reflect the wedding theme in her mother of the bride outfit as well how to coordinate her outfit in colour and style to her wedding dress, her bridesmaids as well to other members of the wedding party. She may choose a different shade of the same color as the bridesmaids’ gowns or choose a harmonious neutral. Or the style of her hat is similar to the veil of the bride. The choices are great and always vary from wedding to wedding.

Tradition has it that after the bride, the mother of the bride has the first dress choice in colour and style. Once she has chosen her mother of the bride outfit the general information such as the colour of her outfit and the type of her hair accessory will be passed on to the mother of the groom, then to other female family members and finally to all female wedding guests. This way you avoid fashion faux pas such as overdressing, clashing colours or choosing the same colour or wedding hair accessory for your outfit.

Wedding dress ideas for the mother of the bride:

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