Mother of the Bride Dress Etiquette


If you are going through the ups and downs of the wedding process as the bride, you no doubt have found counsel and comfort in your mother. That’s why a big part of your preparation should be dedicated to your mother dearest. You might have made up your mind about your entourage on end, so now it’s time to listen to what will make your mom happy about her look. Read on about mother of the bride dress etiquette, because after all, it’s her special day, too!

The Do's

Do be imaginative with the design

The best thing that makes mother of the bride dress etiquette much easier to deal with is that it is not strictly an outfit of the entourage. Fixing the look of the entourage was probably a headache for you, so this should be good news. Separate research and fittings should be done for your dear mother, so allow her to dream up what she desires. Maybe you can even ask her to cut out magazine clippings or teach her how to use Pinterest! Let her imagination run wild, and she will love you for it!

Do make the design age-appropriate

Your mother should be able to understand that she is going to the event as your mother, so she should wear something more modest and age appropriate for the occasion. If she loves revealing and audacious outfits, remind her that it's still a formal event and she would stand to benefit with one classy and conservative gown. She could be quite young or even young at heart, but all the attention should be on the bride. Sleeves and lovely embroidery are some of the details that usually adorn mother of the bride dresses. That way, everyone will know her role at the wedding.

Do remember not to upstage the bridal dress

Beyond personality and age-appropriateness, choose a gown that will highlight the simple beauty of your mother. It's best to leave the glitz and glamour to the bridal gown, train, and veil only. It would be great if you could have some matching details for sentimentality's sake, but just don't go overboard with all the embellishments. It's the number one rule of mother of the bride dress etiquette. Your mother is sure to understand. We don't want to have her mistaken as the person the whole event is for!

Do ask your mom for her opinion

Don't be a controlling bride when it comes what your mother will wear. If she is more conservative and shy about her own dress, help her decide what she wants by helping her out with her research. If she has a loud personality and a lot of demands, help her limit her choices by reminding her of your wedding theme and budget! The goal is to provide for her a dress she can feel absolutely beautiful in, that she can move around to help with the ceremonies as she sees fit, and to jump for joy when her beloved daughter finally ties the knot!

The Don'ts

Don't be tempted to stick with a dowdy design

When mother of the bride dress etiquette comes up, most people will roll their eyes at the idea of full length or midlength sleeves, high necklines, structured fits, and knee-length hems that is standard fare these days. Break this mold by introducing some lace detailing, necklines that flatter more, and floaty floor-length gowns. Think of really fun details to involve with the standard design, but show a bit more of her personality. She should be able to feel the energy of youth and feel beautiful with the design.

Don't clash with the rest of the entourage

She doesn't have to wear the same color as your entourage, and should be able to stand out with her own creative dress. A good choice is to opt for a color that goes with everything. This includes pretty nudes like tans or dusty roses, and even grey or silver tones that will make her shine through. This gives a bigger window of possible unique detailing that will look good in all the ceremony and reception photo albums, no matter who they're in the shot with.

Don't go over the budget

The world's best equalizer is a budget. This will help you set some limits and free some out of the box thinking on both your parts. Remember, that while your mother's dress is also of some importance, it should be something she could afford. Pre-made dresses instead of a custom-made dress is also one option that will help to cut the cost.

Don't leave it to the last minute

We reiterate: remember and respect mother of the bride dress etiquette. And to do that you need ample time to think about the actual outfit. It's easy to forget it as a detail, but she will be a huge part of your wedding as she is seriously going to be an important part of your marriage. Even if she is busy on the details of your wedding, you can surprise her by having a custom fitting or a sudden shopping trip. Make the hunt for her wedding look one of your bonding and de-stressing experiences. Have fun!