Yeah Weddings

What Should the Mother of the Bride Wear?

The day you’ve dreamed of is coming up, your daughter is getting married! The only problem is you don’t know what to wear. Where do you begin? Are there rules? Should you go all out or wear something simple? What does the mother of the bride wear to the wedding? 

mother of the bride helping bride get ready

As the mother of the bride, you may feel like there are expectations for what you will wear, and you’d be right. We hear all the time how the mother of the bride went overboard and outshined her daughter or panicked and bought something horrid at the last minute.

Don’t let that be you. Let us help you out. Learn all you need to know about the mother of the bride’s attire. Let’s start with some quick tips.

Mother of the Bride Attire Tips

mother of the bride dress with bride

Let’s begin with some rapid-fire attire tips. These are general recommendations, not rules.

  • Don’t wear white or anything too close in color to the bride’s dress.
  • Avoid excess lace as it may resemble the wedding dress too much or look old-fashioned.
  • Do not wear a wedding dress or anything resembling one. There are too many stories of the mother of the bride showing up in her old wedding dress.
  • Keep it modest. You’re there for your daughter, so make sure all eyes are on her!
  • Start with a clear image of what is expected. This includes the level of formality, the bride’s preferences, and the ‘don’ts.
  • Pick something comfortable. It will be a long night, and you never know what could happen at a wedding.

Consult the Bride

bride and mother of the bride

The first thing experts always tell the mother of the bride is to talk to her daughter. Of course, the bride will have preferences for color, style, level of formality, and theme. But, above all, just check in with your daughter. If she says anything goes, then it’s up to you, but nine times out of ten, the bride will have an opinion.

Maybe your daughter wants you to wear an old dress from the back of your closet that she thinks is lovely or has sentimental value. Perhaps she wants you to match the color of her bridesmaids’ dresses.

Whatever the case, both before and after making decisions, check with your daughter. Ask before you do anything, and check in again to ensure what you picked will work.

Talk to the Mother of the Groom


The next step is to talk to the groom’s mother to see what she’s wearing. If your daughter doesn’t have any specific requests and you don’t know how to start, then talk to the groom’s mother.

Find out what the mother of the groom plans to wear and why. Is she coordinating with her husband? Does her son have a preference? Is she going traditional or trying to match the theme?

If the bride and groom’s mother want to coordinate, it’s best to match or complement the colors of the wedding. For example, say the wedding has a gold and white theme, the mothers could wear brass, silver, or platinum dresses. Better yet, if the wedding is a garden wedding, why not try something floral? Just not too floral, or you’ll be camouflaged in pictures.

Account for Season, Formality, and Setting


As mentioned earlier, you don’t want to show up in an evening dress to a barn wedding or short summer dress to a somber church event. You need to ask the bride what level of formality is expected. 

Most weddings include the usual eating and dancing, but some may have more rigorous events that are not suited to tight dresses.

Additionally, especially if it is an outdoor wedding, you need to dress for the season and weather.

We recommend loose-fitting but full-coverage clothing for summer to stay cool and avoid the sun.


For an autumn wedding, think about getting a simple dress and a stylish capelet or shall.


In winter, break out the old fur stoles and long sleeve dresses.

What color is the Mother of the Bride supposed to wear?


Color is a very touchy subject for some. Traditionally, it’s best to avoid white, champagne, ivory, or anything that matches the bride’s dress. If your daughter is not wearing white, then avoid whatever color her dress is, unless she wants to match. 

If you plan to match the wedding party, there are two ways to either match the bridesmaids or match the theme. The mother of the bride doesn’t typically match perfectly, but has a complementary color or style.

Let’s say the bridesmaids are all in bright purple, the mother of the bride may come in dark purple. Alternatively, if the bridesmaids do not match but are all wearing shades of green, then the mother of the bride could wear chartreuse or turquoise. These colors are not the same but are close enough to complement.

Does the mother of the bride match the bridesmaids?


While many brides prefer coordination within the wedding party, there is no rule stating that the bride’s mother has to match the bridesmaids. Therefore, your daughter may want you to be an exact match, wear something complimentary, or have no preference at all.

Ultimately the importance of the mother of the bride’s outfit is that it represents the bride. So whatever you wear, you want it to elevate the bride and show that she comes from a sensible and stylish family.

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