A Guide for Mother of the Bride & Groom Dresses

Wedding Attire Etiquette for Mom

We all are well aware that mother knows best, but when it comes to what she should wear to the wedding of one of her children she might need a little talking to! Mothers of the bride or groom should follow these rules when choosing her wedding dress:

  • The bride's mother is responsible for paying for her own dress.
  • Wedding etiquette dictates that the mother of the bride chooses her dress before the mother of the groom. The mother of the groom is then expected to choose a dress to complement the bride's mother's dress. For example, if the mother of the bride chooses a wine-colored, floor-length gown the groom's mother should not choose a pale green cocktail dress. The contrasting colors and lengths of the mother's dresses will look terrible in the wedding pictures.
  • The mother of the bride should choose a dress that matches the color and style worn by the bridal party. For example, if the wedding party is planning to wear pale gold, tea-length bridesmaids gowns, the mother of the bride should choose a dress that would coordinate well in the wedding pictures, for example a two-piece gold skirt and jacket set.
  • If the bride's step-mother is included in the wedding she should be notified as to the color and style that the bridal party and other mothers have chosen to wear.
  • Formal wedding etiquette says that the bride's mother's dress should be a formal, floor-length gown. Semi-formal or casual wedding etiquette says any dress length and style is appropriate as long as the bride's mother coordinates well with both the bridal party dresses and groom's mother's dress.
  • The bride's mother's dress should never be black. Even though wearing black at an evening wedding is now considered appropriate the mother of the bride is supposed to be celebrating and black denotes mourning or superstition.
  • The bride's mother's dress should always be complimented with a corsage that matches the bridal bouquet; the groom's mother should also be given a matching corsage.
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