With all the focus on the bride’s dress, mom’s attire is often left on the back burner. However, make no mistake: The mother of the bride (and mother of the groom) have their own guidelines and etiquette to follow when picking the perfect dress. Here’s a break down of some dos and don’ts for MOBs and MOGs.
Don’t procrastinate. Finding a great dress can take quite a bit of time, and you don’t want this to be a last minute decision. It is customary for the mother of the bride to find a dress first, and then let the mother of the groom know what she’s picked so as to avoid a fashion faux pas, like matching or clashing. Though this tradition is less common today, it is still respectful and considerate for the moms to communicate about their attire.
In addition, the moms need to communicate with the bride. Before making any decisions, ask her if she has any attire requests. While the bride’s opinion should count toward what you choose, also make sure you are comfortable and happy with the choice.
As for the style of the dress, follow suit with the formality of the wedding. If the wedding takes place at night or the bridesmaids’ dresses are formal, the mothers’ dresses should be formal as well. A long dress with a matching jacket is a popular formal style. If the wedding is more casual, takes place outside, or the bride simply tells you it’s fine, a more casual dress or a pantsuit would be appropriate. It is generally a no-no for mom to wear a low-cut, short, or strapless dress. A wedding is not the place for a sexy mama; you want to be sure all eyes are kept on the bride!
When it comes to color, the bride may have a strong opinion. Many brides like the mothers to coordinate with the wedding colors, while others are strict about them not looking like the wedding party. Check with your bride on this. In most cases, bold, bright colors are to be avoided. Much like a revealing dress would catch guests’ eyes, so would a bright red gown. In addition to bright colors, white, black, and ivory are often on the “don’t” list. To be on the safe side, choose a dress in a toned-down color like purple, blue, gold, burgundy, or silver hues.
Though these are common dos and don’ts, all weddings and brides are different. Use these tips as guidelines, but be sure to put the bride’s opinion first.