Mother-of-the-Bride Dress Shopping Tips

Wedding Stylist Chelsea Hobbs from The Wedding Suite at our Downtown Seattle store offers ten tips for dress shopping that every mother of the bride can cherish.


A dress for tall, slim frames: Tadashi Shoji Textured Lace Mermaid Gown

1. Comfort is key. You’ll be spending a long time in your dress; don’t be distracted by a style that makes you fidget or feel self-conscious.

Ruched detailing offers ease of movement on the dance floor: Tadashi Shoji Asymmetrical Ruched Mesh Gown (Regular & Petite)

2. Color you beautiful. The hue you choose should complement the rest of the wedding party’s attire, but doesn’t have to match exactly. Above all, find a shade you love that flatters your skin tone and hair (but doesn’t outshine the bride).

Vintage flair for curvy frames: Pisarro Nights Beaded Mesh Dress (Regular & Petite)

3. Take cover. Sleeves can be more flattering, and at many church weddings, they’re considered a must. With modern options like sheer lace long sleeves, off-the-shoulder necklines and chic shrugs, age-appropriate no longer means matronly.

4. Go long…or short. These days, the rules for dress lengths are less about time of day and more about the wedding’s theme and your own preferences. So while you may want to steer clear of floor-length sequins for a rustic, afternoon wedding, there’s room to play.

Great lengths: Sue Wong Ribbon Trim Illusion Bodice Dress (left); Adrianna Papell Beaded Illusion Bodice Mesh Gown (right)

5. Location, location, location. If the wedding is on a beach or other remote destination, you’ll want to wear something that travels well and packs easily—ideally in your carry on bag. If there’s one outfit that must make the journey, it’s your wedding ensemble.

Travel-friendly: Komarov Beaded Neck Charmeuse Dress & Jacket

6. Be body conscious. As in, consider your shape when you buy a dress. Certain styles work better for curvy vs. slim, tall vs. petite, etc. For a quick overview on what to look for, read our Women’s Dress Fit Guide.

7. Plan ahead. If possible, buy your dress six months before the wedding. Give yourself the luxury of making a leisurely decision instead of waiting too long and rushing this important purchase.

8. Include the bride. It’s her day, after all, and shopping together can be a sweet bonding experience amid the hustle and bustle of wedding planning.

9. You’re not alone. Connect with an expert: our Wedding Stylist service offers styling help for all wedding participants.

10. Pack tissues. Yes, even shopping is emotional when it’s your little girl’s wedding.

For more inspiration on what to wear for her special day, shop our complete collection of mother-of-the-bride dresses.