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Mother of the Bride Dresses Buying Guide

Just because it's your daughter's big day doesn't mean you should forgo any thought about your own beauty  and attire !  In fact, the bride will definitely appreciate some careful planning and choice when it comes to your mode of dress , so we're here to help hone your search and make sure you don't step on any toes.  There's a little bit of etiquette that goes along with buying that perfect mother of the bride dress (or suit ), and you want to make sure that the bride has her say on the overall look, from the style to the cut and colour.  Check out the rest of this guide for some quick tips on staying stunning for the wedding day .

MOB Etiquette

  1. Always wait for the bride  to buy her dress first.  This way, she can tell you all her preferences on length, colour, sleeves and styles.  If she wants your outfit to coordinate with the bridesmaids' dresses, you'll have to wait for her to select those too. 
  2. No matter what, your dress should be purchased no later than one month before the big day.  This way it can be "approved" by the bride, so to speak, and you can move on to helping with the other important aspects of planning.
  3. Compromise, compromise, compromise.  You should be willing to concede a little on things like colour and style, especially if the bride chooses things she thinks you look best in.  What you shouldn't back down on, however, is comfort.  You want to be able to enjoy the day too, as well as be able to run around to help with last minute arrangements.
  4. Consult with the mother of the groom  asap.  After you select your dress, taking all the appropriate cues from the bride, it's considered a polite tradition to inform the MOG so she can select an outfit that complements yours.  Just don't expect her to wait for your blessing forever--this is mere courtesy to her, not a requirement.

Colours and Style

When choosing a colour keep in mind:

  • The bride's wishes.  If she thinks you look good in a certain shade, try your best to find that colour in an outfit that you find flattering and comfortable.
  • You're not the centre of attention.  This means you want to avoid white or ivory because those are reserved for the bride.  It's also customary to shy away from red, as this can be too flashy, and black, which is more suitable for an occasion of mourning than one of celebration.
  • Subtlety is key.  You want to go for fresh, stately colours like lavenders, blues, beiges and silvers.  Burgundies and champagne shades are also becoming more trendy, but remember to consult the bride first.
  • Consider the bridesmaids.  Although you don't have to match or coordinate unless the bride requests it, sometimes it's nice to sport a different colour within the same colour family.  Plus, it helps you narrow down your search!

As for formality, you don't have as much wiggle room.  You need to make sure your gown matches the style of the rest of the wedding party  as well as the event on the whole.  If it's a black tie affair requiring dinner jackets on male guests, you should probably buy a ball gown style dress, avoiding casual jersey fabrics and short hemlines.  If it's a small beach wedding , a simple, lightweight sheath dress would be much more appropriate than a glitzy gown.

Some Ideas

Pant Suits 

Skirt Suits 

Long Sleeved Dress 

Ball Gown 

Sheath Dress 

Related Guides

Related Guides

Wedding Gowns

Bridesmaid Dresses

Groom and Groomsmen's Attire

Flower Girls and Ring Bearers

Wedding Shoes