An Outfit Guide for the Mother of the Bride

In all the excitement of helping to plan your daughter’s wedding, it’s possible that deciding your own choice of outfit for the big day has been relegated to somewhere near the bottom of the list of “to-do”s. If this is the case, this guide to mother of the bride attire is for you

Generally speaking, the mother of the bride should consider something both she and the bride love. The bride will likely want you to feel and look your best on the day, so make it a collaborative effort and pore over a few ideas together to help you decide what to wear.

Day to Night

At one point, mother of the bride outfits were known for being stuffy or overly formal. Thankfully, those days have gone, and in their place is a wide selection of styles to suit your individual aesthetic. When planning your outfit, consider doubling up with a lighter-coloured day outfit for the service followed by something darker for evening (Jovani Fashion are excellent for their intricate brocade and lacy designs) or, if you prefer something a little more minimal, tailored suiting or a structured jumpsuit.

Check the Weather

It may be a summer wedding, but it’s always good practice to plan your outfit with the possibility of inclement weather conditions in mind. For winter weddings, cover-ups like wraps, shawls or faux fur stoles can help to keep the chill out, and in summertime (or for humid destination weddings), opt for light breathable fabrics and a sunhat to keep off the glare. For weddings where there is the slightest chance of rain, a few compact umbrellas stashed nearby is also a good idea.

Dress Code

By now, you’ll probably be aware of the dresscode for the wedding. If you’re feeling a tad unsure about how to tailor your own outfit to the proceedings, take a few notes from the bride and bridesmaids to get a feel for the pieces you need to look out for. In general, the more formal the event, the longer the hemline: floor-length gowns suit white and black-tie events, but are less suited to casual weddings where a hem falling to just below the knee is more preferable.

Festive Weddings

If the wedding has been planned around winter celebrations, look to cocktail parties for inspiration: fun colors, faux furs and shimmery detail are all good options, but avoid going overboard.

Choose Your Shoes

In the last few years heels appear to have become somewhat less popular, but if you’re still a heels devotee, make sure they’re well broken-in and comfortable to wear all day long. If in any doubt, pointed flats are generally a good option: for grassy outdoor weddings, they tend not to sink into the turf like stilettos do, and for evening events, they have the added bonus of being extra-comfortable to dance in, while still looking elegant.

Comfort and Style

Staying with the theme of comfortable clothing for a moment, it’s important to also consider the wearability of your outfit, as what might look good on the hanger might not necessarily feel good if you have to wear it all day. Eschew tight, restrictive pieces like pencil skirts and stiffly-structured tops in favor of more flowy, elegant items that allow for comfort and freedom of movement, whether you’re sitting down to a banquet meal or sashaying around the dancefloor with the other guests.

Color Scheme

When choosing your outfit, ask the bride whether there are any specifics regarding color scheme. If there are, this can help narrow down your options somewhat through selecting hues from a particular palette. The golden rule of wedding etiquette is never to wear champagne, ivory or white hues (unless the bride and groom have opted for an all-white themed wedding), but overall it doesn’t have to match to work: just look to the bridesmaid dresses for reference and seek out something in a complimentary shade.

Should You Match the Mother of the Groom?

Matching outfits with the mother of the groom is a strange concept in itself, although wearing complementary colors can potentially work well. In either case, it’s typically best to have a discussion with the mother of the groom prior to selecting your outfit to avoid any awkward moments. While imitation is supposedly the best form of flattery, it’s not exactly convenient if one of you has to change, so confer with her first to ensure you both get the memo.


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