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This blog is dedicated to all the incredible mothers of the bride and groom out there! Over the last 15 years, I’ve helped numerous moms navigate the challenging task of finding the perfect dress for their child’s wedding.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the world of mother of the bride and groom fashion, addressing the unique challenges and offering 7 valuable dress shopping tips that will empower you to feel and look fantastic on this momentous occasion.

Understanding the Challenges of MOB and MOG Dress Shopping

Before we dive into the tips, let’s address why MOBs and MOGs often find dress shopping daunting. It’s not an easy task, and here’s why:

Balancing Act: Your dress needs to strike a balance between being spectacular and understated. You want to look amazing as the event hostess but not steal the bride’s spotlight.

Coordination: Your dress should coordinate with the wedding’s feel and color scheme, which can limit your choices.

Mature Body Type: As a mother, your body may have changed over the years, and it can be challenging to find something that makes you feel great.

Body Image: Some mothers may struggle with body image issues, making it harder to feel confident.

Opinions Galore: There are often many opinions to consider, from the bride’s to other family members and friends.

With these challenges in mind, let’s explore the 7 dress shopping tips for Mothers of the Bride and Mothers of the Groom that will help you navigate this process successfully.

7 Tips for Choosing the Mothers of the Bride and Mothers of the Groom Dress

Tip 1: Etiquette – MOB Goes First

Traditionally, the MOB gets to choose her dress first, followed by the MOG. It’s essential to have open and honest communication to ensure both mothers have ample time to make their selections.

Tip 2: No Need to Match Bridesmaids

You don’t have to match the bridesmaids’ dresses. Coordinate with the wedding’s colors and overall theme, but don’t feel pressured to wear the same color as the bridesmaids.

Tip 3: Don’t Worry About Overshadowing the Bride

You won’t overshadow the bride. She will shine in her wedding dress, and you should aim for a comfortable, appropriate, and stylish look that complements the overall aesthetic.

Tip 4: Consider Strapless Dresses

Don’t rule out strapless gowns. Adding coverage to a strapless dress is possible, especially if you want to conceal your arms. Keep an open mind and explore various options.

Tip 5: Invest in the Right Bra

A proper-fitting bra is essential. Find a store that offers professional sizing and a wide range of options to ensure your dress fits perfectly and enhances your silhouette.

Tip 6: Bustle Your Dress

If your dress has a train, ensure it can be bustled. This will make it easier to move and dance without worrying about tripping or damaging the dress.

Tip 7: Buy for Your Current Weight

Lastly, buy a dress that fits your current weight. Avoid the pressure of losing weight before the wedding. You can always make adjustments if needed, but focus on feeling comfortable and confident.

Guide to Finding The Perfect Mother Of The Bride or Groom Dress

Dress Length Depends on Your Personal Preference

One common question that arises is whether the mother of the bride or groom’s dress needs to be long. The answer is a matter of personal preference. However, long dresses tend to be a popular choice, as they often make mothers feel exceptionally special on the big day. While short cocktail dresses are an option, they should err on the side of being understated and not too casual. Remember, it’s a wedding, and the attire should reflect the significance of the occasion.

Mother of the Brides Should Coordinate with the Mother of the Groom

Coordinating outfits with the mother of the groom can sometimes be a tricky task. The general rule is that the mother of the bride should select her dress first and then notify the mother of the groom about her choice. This approach helps in avoiding clashes and ensures that both mothers feel comfortable with their attire. While coordinating colors and patterns isn’t mandatory, it’s crucial that the level of formality matches. You don’t want one mother looking considerably more formal than the other in family portraits.

Colors to Avoid to Respect Tradition

The one color that’s universally off-limits for anyone attending a wedding is white. This rule, extending to ivory, should be strictly adhered to as it’s the bride’s day to shine. However, when it comes to prints with a white background, it’s advisable to consult with the bride and seek her opinion. Some prints may be acceptable, while others might not be.

Changing into a Dancing Dress – Don’t Forget to Ask the Bride First

The trend of changing into a dancing dress after the ceremony and formalities has become increasingly popular. Brides often opt for shorter, more comfortable dresses, and mothers can follow suit. However, whether or not the mother should change is a decision that should be discussed with the bride. Some brides might feel it’s their exclusive prerogative, while others might be more open to the idea. In any case, respecting the bride’s wishes is paramount.


In conclusion, navigating the realm of mother of the bride and groom fashion is a journey filled with both excitement and challenges. It demands a delicate balance of personal style, adherence to wedding formality, and a keen understanding of the bride’s preferences. While the desire to look your absolute best is natural, it remains paramount to keep the spotlight firmly on the bride throughout this momentous occasion.

Effective communication serves as the linchpin for achieving a harmonious wedding day where everyone, including the mothers, feels comfortable and exudes confidence in their chosen attire. Therefore, it’s imperative to engage in open discussions, coordinate your outfit choices thoughtfully, and fully embrace the joy of this special day.

While finding the perfect dress for the mother of the bride or groom can pose challenges, it also presents an exciting opportunity to celebrate your child’s remarkable milestone. By following the 7 dress shopping tips provided, you’ll be well-equipped to select a dress that not only radiates elegance and style but also nurtures that profound sense of self-assuredness.

Always remember, it’s your day too, and you deserve to shine alongside the radiant couple.

If you have any questions or need further guidance, don’t hesitate to reach out.
You can connect with us at hello@thestylishbride.com