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Essential Wedding Style Tips for the Mothers of the Bride and Groom

Age-appropriate, figure-flattering, photo-perfect ideas

Contributing Writer
A Bride Helping Her Mother with Her Jewelry
Photography by: Sposto Photography

Forget what you think you know about mother-of-the-bride and-groom dresses. Although old-school etiquette says that moms should wear something very understated (and probably beige), there's little truth to that now. Instead, moms are choosing big-day outfits that are stylish, suited to their body shapes, and appropriate for both their age and the wedding's style. To ensure you nail your look, read through the following for tips before you choose your ensemble.

 

Mother-of-the-Bride Dresses That Aren't Matronly

 

Think beyond the two-piece suit.

While the classic dress with jacket is still popular, it may not be right for you. Think about what styles flatter your curves, which body part you'd like to highlight, what style makes you feel good, and which dress is most appropriate for your age. Many designers offer both gowns and short dresses that are perfect for moms to wear to a wedding. Whether you like sleeveless or strapless, crew or V-neck, chiffon or lace, rest assured you can find just what you want from a variety of different retailers.

 

Pick an outfit that complements the bridesmaids.

You'll be posing for many group shots so you'll want a look that doesn't stand out in the crowd. For that reason, it's best to avoid bright hues. Neutrals like silver and champagne are lovely choices, especially if they have some sparkle. No matter what color you choose, make sure it complements the color of the bridesmaids' dresses—it can be a different style from theirs, but the hues should feel cohesive.

 

Don't look like you're competing with the bride.

White is out (even if the bride is wearing pink). It's a hard-to-wear hue for many women to wear anyway so cross it off your list.

 

"Plunging neckline" are words that should never describe your dress.

Unless you're a part of a reality television franchise, you probably wouldn't dream of showing lots of cleavage at your daughter's wedding. But just in case…please don't.

 

Wear shoes you can walk in.

If you're not used to wearing stilettoes, your daughter's wedding isn't the place to start. Be kind to your feet and get dressy shoes with a comfortable heel. Be sure they're appropriate for the setting; at a garden wedding, for example, you'd be wise to wear a platform wedge, block heel, or flat to prevent you from sinking into the grass.