There’s no better time to be a Mother of the Bride than the present – at least as far as wedding fashion goes! While decades past may have encouraged a rather “modest” protocol, MOBs today are breaking free from the traditional formula of sheath plus cocktail jacket. And the results are a win for all parties, as you’ll see in the real wedding examples below! Of course, you won’t want to take the full free-for-all approach when shopping for your Mother of the Bride dress. Style is encouraged, but intention is paramount. You’ll want to have a pretty good idea of the style, cut and color before you ever enter the department stores or start shopping online. if not, you’ll end up down a rabbit hole of options and likely end up selecting a piece that while beautiful, doesn’t quite work on the day. Read on to avoid the common mistakes and learn exactly how to choose the mother of the bride dress!
1. Discuss with the Bride
Always remember that the bride is the star of the show, and she’ll be able to offer guidance on such important details as cut, color and style to match the formality of the event, the aesthetic of the venue + design elements and other details like the groom + bridal party fashion (not to mention her own!) You’ll want to make sure you have her input + approval for this decision considering its ripple effects on photos, MOG fashion, etc., so don’t underestimate the importance of this conversation. In this instance, daughter knows best 😉
2. Choose a complementary color
If your daughter doesn’t bring it up when you’re chatting together about your Mother of the Bride fashion, be sure to ask her what the bridesmaids will be wearing. If she can provide a fabric swatch for you to bring along when your shopping commences, even better! This will help you select a piece that harmonizes beautifully with the rest of the bridal party. Be wary of selecting anything super matchy-matchy though! You want to complement the bridesmaids, not look like you’re trying to blend in with them.
3. Be conscious of the wedding style
Again, this is probably something the bride will touch on when you’re talking, but make sure you understand the aesthetic of the venue and planned design elements so you don’t look like a fish out of water on the day. When searching for potential looks online, avoid search terms like “mother of the bride dresses” or “MOB fashion” as these are a surefire way to filter more matronly results. Instead, do some research on how you can flatter your best features and search style terms accordingly (keeping in mind the color, formality, cut, etc. you’ve already spoken with the bride about too!) A few of our favorite sites to kickstart your shopping include Moda Operandi, Net-A-Porter, Shopbop, Saks Fifth Avenue and MATCHESFASHION.
4. Be intentional about your shopping timeline
It’s tempting to jump the gun on this step and want to make a decision early in the planning process to “cross it off the list.” But this can leave you in a pickle later on if decisions like bridesmaid dresses, color palette and florals haven’t been confirmed yet. Best practice is to wait until about 3 months before the wedding to order your Mother of the Bride dress. This tends to be the sweet spot for leaving enough time to both understand the final wedding designs and have plenty of time for special orders/alterations before the big day. It’s also helpful for the Mother of the Groom, who will likely order her dress around the same time as you. If you can choose pieces that complement one another, even better! This will make the wedding day portraits that much more stunning to the eye.
5. Keep the accessories simple
When in doubt, take the path of understated. Too many accessories or statement pieces can just feel cluttered, while simple, thoughtfully-chosen pieces feel elegant + timeless. A pair of beautiful heels, classic earrings, a ring and bracelet are often a great recipe for success.
Trust me, with these tips under your belt, you’re sure to look FAB-U-LOUS. Even if this isn’t your moment in the spotlight, the wedding wouldn’t be happening without you, and you deserve to look like an absolute star. As long as you’re not upstaging the bride, we say don’t be afraid to look your best. How to choose the mother of the bride dress is not as hard as you thought, huh?