Things You Should Know About the Mother of the Bride’s Outfit


The bride’s mother is always vital to any wedding planning process. Besides serving as the bride’s family liaison, she is the bride’s guide and advisor during the wedding planning process and plays a vital role in choosing her outfit. 

Granted, the attire rules, in this case, are not as rigid as they are for the bridal gown. However, the task isn’t as easy as it seems. For one, the bride’s mother must consider the wedding theme, the bridesmaids’ gowns, and the couple’s preferences. 

Ultimately, the final choice will differ for every wedding, and we can’t dictate that. So in this post, we will cover the general guidelines for selecting an outfit for the mother of the bride. Read on to learn more!

What Counts as “Appropriate” Attire for the Mother of the Bride?

Traditionally, and across different cultures, the mother of the bride is expected to wear matronly or overly conservative gowns. In modern times, however, etiquette rules are much more flexible.

Now, the mother of the bride can wear anything they like, provided they consult the bride before making a choice. As a result, outfits like maxi dresses, evening gowns, classy jumpsuits, and fashionable midis are increasingly popular and acceptable attire options.

Apart from her tastes and preferences, certain external factors can influence her choice of attire. One significant factor to consider is the climatic conditions. For instance, it would be logical to wear a sleeveless evening dress for a summer wedding. On the other hand, during the winter season, the most appropriate attire would include long, heavy dresses, trench coats, and shawls.

Different venues may also call for specific attire choices. For instance, a laid-back event like a beach or garden wedding would call for an equally casual outfit. To avoid standing out in the wrong way, the mother of the bride is highly advised to take inspiration from the bridal gown and the bridesmaids’ dresses, as they are usually selected to match the venue settings.

Who Picks the Mother of the Bride’s Dress?

Ideally, the choice of attire for the bride’s mom should be made by both the bride and the mother. However, the bride deserves a say as it is her big day after all, and she will undoubtedly have a clear idea of what she wants her mother to wear. 

Of course, the bride’s mother should have a say on the issue and be allowed to pick the outfit that fits her personal style and values. It best matches the bride’s color and style for the day. 

What is the Perfect Color for the Mother of the Bride?

Different colors mean different things in different cultures, and there is no one perfect choice of color for the bride’s mom. 

However, it is advisable to think beyond the white and ivory hues. These hues are a bit shouty and may take attention from the bride.

Admittedly, there has been a resurgence in the popularity of all-white weddings, so white, champagne, or ivory attire at such an event wouldn’t look out of place.

Does the Mother of the Bride Need to Match Bridesmaids’ Dresses?

The bride’s mother is technically not part of the bridal party and does not need to wear matching colors with the bridesmaids or the rest of the wedding party. 

However, some brides prefer to have their mothers’ dresses match those of their maids. Where an identical match is not possible, the mother of the bride’s outfit should at least be in a similar hue.

Some brides do not have strong preferences on what their mothers should wear, and the older ladies must make the choices themselves. In that case, any color and type of outfit will do, as long as it is appropriate for weddings.

Should the Mothers of the Bride and Groom Match Their Outfits?

Although some couples choose to have their mothers wear matching colors, the practice is not rooted in longstanding traditions and is, therefore, not a rule. 

From a logistical perspective, having the moms match colors is the most accessible and convenient option. Primarily, the mothers will have an easier time shopping for outfits if they know what’s needed. In addition, the process will be even more straightforward if the two ladies collaborate and make the selections together. 

Collaboration also prevents style mishaps, which are likely to get noticed at the ceremony. But for the process to work, the couple must discuss their preferred colors, styles, and levels of formality with their mothers beforehand. For example, “Blue would fit better with our overall theme, and we’d like a casual evening look” is more helpful than “can’t wait to see your dress for the wedding, mom.”

To avoid unintended glitches, it is advisable to talk to a consultant at a bridal saloon when choosing color-coordinated outfits. 

Take Away 

In summary, the bride’s mother does not just represent herself at the wedding; she also represents the bride and her family. As such, the pressure to choose the ‘perfect’ outfit will always be there. 

Consulting with the bride and even the groom’s mother can help the bride’s mom get a clearer picture of what to wear, making the selection process less stressful.


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