Modern Mother-of-the-Bride Dress Guide

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.

{ 5 comments… add one }

  • Vicki December 6, 2014, 8:32 pm

    Drove for 2 hours to get a mother of the groom dress from your store. I didn’t see one dress that you show in your mother of the bride section of this website. The clerks said whatever was out was all they had. Can’t I order on line? There are no prices listed either.

  • Jeff Powell, Blogs Editor December 9, 2014, 10:48 am

    Hi Vicki, I’m sorry to read you weren’t able to find what you were looking for in store. We do offer more mother of the bride dresses online, and most should be available for purchase. Our online Wedding Stylists are also a great resource; they’re available to live chat and help you find the perfect mother of the bride dress.

  • Pam Bosmans July 12, 2015, 5:17 pm

    I want to purchase the third dress however I do not know where you can buy it.

  • Stefanie, Blog Contributor July 13, 2015, 9:41 am

    Hi Pam, all of the dresses featured in this post are available online; click on this link to shop the dress you asked about. Once you’re on the product page, you can also enter your zip code to see if the dress is available in a store near you, or you can connect with one of our wedding stylists for more help. Good luck!

  • Mother Of The Groom October 10, 2015, 12:11 am

    Its a great idea!

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