After much deliberation, you finally picked a color for your bridesmaids' dresses. You're all excited about the fact that they're going to wear something that's beautiful and complements your wedding's overall color palette. But right after you've finalized their attire, your mom or future mother-in-law calls to let you know that she found her dress, and it just so happens to be the exact shade color as the one you chose for your 'maids. Is it okay for the moms to wear dresses that match the bridesmaids? The short answer: Yes, but you've got to get it right.
Some may think it's gauche for a mother of the bride or groom to too closely match the bridesmaids, but tradition actually dictates that the moms should wear attire that complements what your bridal party will be wearing. While matching may not be ideal, there are ways to let them wear the color they love without getting mistaken for a bridesmaid. First, think about fabric. If you've selected flowing chiffon dresses for your attendants but your mom wants to wear a lace number in the same color, tell her to go for it. Texture can completely alter the way a color appears, and if she does go for a fabric like lace, there could be an underlay that's a different color that would help make her look even more unique.
Silhouette is also important. If your girls are wearing free-flowing looks, suggest your mom choose a dress that's a bit more slim-fitting or curve-hugging. A different neckline or sleeve can help her stand out, too. On the bright side, if the moms and bridesmaids are wearing the same color, your photos will look especially cohesive—even if they end up in different fabrics or in slightly different variations on the color.
If you're really against your mom wearing the same color dress as your bridesmaids, let her know. The dress she loves may come in different colorways, and there's likely another shade she'll love just as much. In the event that your mom has her heart set on this specific dress and color, decide whether or not it's really that big of a deal to you. If you can live with having just a handful of photos of the matching group (don't forget, your mom and 'maids will, for the most part, be photographed separately), then reconsider your position.