How to Choose the Perfect Mother of the Bride Dress

Lace long sleeve mother of the bride dress

Preparing for your son or daughter’s big wedding day can be stressful! As a mother, you want to be there to offer your help during the lead-up to the special event. You also need to consider what you will wear. Finding the right dress can be so difficult and a long process. Many mature women can struggle with this task and find it puts pressure on the happy event.

Thankfully, there are many ways you can make finding a mother of the bride dress a little easier. It’s important you find a great place to shop that offers a full range of age-appropriate dresses. This is key to getting the right look.

You need to keep several factors in mind while shopping at your nearest store. The first step is to simply ask your son or daughter for more information regarding the wedding. Get a good idea of the colors they’ve picked out for bridesmaids, etc. This will help you pick a dress that doesn’t clash with the theme or color palette of the big day.

Another good place to begin is to check out the venue. This will help you determine how formal the event will be and therefore what sort of dress would look best. You need to know if the wedding is formal or semi-formal before you even beginning to look for the right dress.

The rest is all down to you. The dress should be one that looks timeless and elegant. It should make you feel comfortable and be easy to move around in during the day, as you assist during the wedding or simply move from location to location. Make the day easy on yourself by picking a dress that feels effortless to wear.

Here are some of our top tips to keep in mind as you shop for your dress. These will guide you as you search through what’s available.

How to Choose a Mother of the Bride Dress

Red lace mother of the bride dress

  • Start shopping early. If possible, several months in advance. You want to allow enough time for any alterations or mind-changes. It’s a good idea to pick out a dress at least a few months before the wedding, so you can tick it off your to-do list.
  • Pick a color. If for example, you already know the bridesmaids are wearing purple and the groom will be in a navy suit, make sure to avoid both of those colors. Select a shade that is unique to the colors that have been selected so far if possible, or at least in a very different tone.
  • Choose a dress length. This can be determined by the type of wedding it is. If it’s an informal or semi-formal event, a knee or midi length dress is appropriate. If it’s a formal wedding, you will most likely need a full-length gown. The location also plays a role – you don’t want a long dress that drags behind you if the wedding is outside or on a beach.
  • Consider different necklines and sleeve lengths. Both of these are important in how the final look shapes up. You don’t want to pick a very sexy or revealing neckline. For mature women, take a look at a simple v-neck shape, boat neckline or classic sweetheart style. The sleeve length can be picked based on season, or if you prefer to cover your arms. A short sleeve adds a touch of sophistication to any MOB dress.
  • Selecting the silhouette. The shape of your dress is the most important decision of them all. The best option is to remain open-minded and try on a broad range. All types of gowns can be appropriate for the mother of the bride, and it all depends on your body type. Fitted lace gowns are a popular choice, while A-line styles are a classic option. You can also consider the mermaid style for a formal wedding.
  • Staying age-appropriate. You don’t want a dress that looks too ‘young’ for your daughter’s wedding. The key is to pick an age-appropriate classic. That doesn’t mean a boring or dated style but simply avoiding overly trendy options or flashy colors. Instead, pick classic jewel tones, muted pastels or floral prints. Embroidery, velvet or lace are great choices too.
  • Completing your look. Don’t forget to consider the rest of the look once you have made a dress decision. You’ll need shoes that match and are comfortable, a bag (clutch or small shoulder bag), and jewelry. You’ll also need a plan for hair and makeup too.


Mother of the Bride Dresses – Your Questions – Answered! 

Still not sure what to wear, or what the fashion rules are? We’re here to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about mother of the bride or groom dresses. Put your worries to rest and find out the right attire to wear below!

Jovani blue mother of the bride dress

What color should the mother of the bride dress be?

A mother of the bride dress can be almost any color you like. It’s a good idea to avoid a few shades such as ivory, white and anything too pale – as these are most often associated with a wedding dress. You may also want to avoid black, although this is less problematic. It’s a good idea to pick a color that’s unique to you in the wedding party, so not repeating a color worn by anyone else.

What is the average cost of a mother of the bride dress?

The cost all depends on the quality and type of MOB dress. There are many cheap and affordable options, but these are most often made from low-quality material and the final appearance can vary. As the mother of the bride, it’s a good idea to find a high-quality gown that shows you off at your best.

What should mother of bride wear to an outdoor wedding?

For an outdoor wedding, you may want to wear a dress that doesn’t touch the ground – so midi or tea-length is a great choice. The rest of the style is completely up to you and the season.

Can mother of the bride wear the same color as bridesmaids?

It’s not usual for the mother of the bride to wear the same color as the bridesmaids. Usually, she picks her own dress and a color that stands out as an individual.

Can mother of the bride and mother of the groom wear the same color?

They can, but it’s not the usual choice. Mother of the bride and groom usually pick their own dresses that reflect their own taste and style. They are usually different colors.