Figuring out what to wear as the mother of the bride can be a stressful and complicated process. Which color should you pick? What style is appropriate? When is the right time to shop for the dress? This is your daughter’s big day, and you not only want to make a lasting impression but also want it to be a memorable and successful event. You want something flattering and fabulous, but also a dress that will make you feel confident and comfortable on the wedding day. If that’s confusing enough, this guide will help you choose the right dress for the mother of the bride.

Understand the Theme of the Wedding

While you may have your own ideas of how you want to don your dress, keep in mind that it’s your daughter’s day. She has already spent months planning the day of her dreams. Hence, be sure to check in with her to get the details of things like the theme, colors, formality, and timing of the wedding. This will make it easier for you when deciding the type of dress you want.

Additionally, if the wedding celebration is a merging of cultures or the celebration itself is entirely different from your traditions, be sure to get those details as well. The various religions and cultures have varying dressing codes for wedding ceremonies and may impact the way you’ll dress.

That said, culture or no culture, there are certain factors to keep in mind not to look out of place.

Match the Wedding Day Theme and Atmosphere

Remember, your daughter may have a few ideas of how she’d want you to dress on her wedding day. The last thing you want is to surprise her with an out-of-the-world dress. Therefore, it’s advisable to find time to go shopping together (and have fun while at it).

You’ll understand the theme of the wedding celebration in more detail, and you’ll even throw in a few ideas of your own. Ask her if there are colors or a certain style she’d prefer on you. Discuss details like fabric, if V-neckline is too revealing, etc.

Most importantly, don’t argue with your daughter if you disagree with what she has in mind – just try on everything. You may be surprised to fall in love with something you never thought you would.

Consider the Time and Season

Is it a daytime or evening affair? The time of day dictates the dress codes for the event. If it’s a daytime celebration, light and bright colored fabrics seem more appropriate. If it’s an evening event, you can flaunt with sequins, beads, and other sparkles in darker hues.

The season should be factored in as well. Bold colors and airy fabrics are more befitting for the warmer months, while rich materials and deeper tones warm up the cold seasons.

Mind the Location

The location of the celebration may influence your dress code. If it’s an outdoor event that will be held at a botanical garden in the early morning, you may want to forgo a floor-length gown to avoid sweeping the dewy ground.

If it’s an outdoor event, will there be air conditioning or a satisfying heating system? Additionally, get details like if you’ll be sitting a lot or doing a lot of walking. The idea is to get a dress that will make you feel comfortable the entire event.

General Requirements that a Mother of the Bride Outfit Should Have

While wedding outfits and celebrations may differ from one country, religion, and culture to another, there are some general requirements that a mother of the bride dress should have. These include:

  • It shouldn’t be the same color as the wedding dress. Again, check with the bride to get the theme and dress code of the wedding event, not to mention the color. You don’t want to be mistaken as one of the bridesmaids!
  • Avoid all black. Black is the color for mourning. You can mix black with another brighter color for that chic look. The black and gray combination also goes well.
  • Avoid an overly sexy dress. Don’t wear a dress that’s too revealing, for example, showing too much cleavage. It’s your daughter’s day, and she should be the sexiest girl in the room!
  • Don’t be too flashy with the colors. Bright colors might be great, by you don’t want to stand out too much. So, avoid flashy shades like bright pink, yellow, or red. Opt for a multi-colored dress and a fashionable coat, for example, if it’s summer.
  • High-quality material. No matter the dress you choose, be sure to go for good quality fabric. It should be ideal for the time of day, the location, and the season.

Closing Remarks

It’s always wise to do your shopping well in advance. Don’t wait until the last minute considering that this can be quite a stressful time, with all the preparations going around. All in all, as much as you want to please your daughter with a style she likes, stick to your personality as much as you can.

All images by Shutterstock


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