The Most Fashionable Mother of the Bride Dresses from Real Weddings

Get ideas from some of the best-dressed moms featured in our real weddings, and find out how to choose the perfect mother-of-the-bride dress.

Congratulation on your son or daughter's upcoming wedding! Being a mother of the bride or mother of the groom comes with responsibilities, as well as the task of having to choose an outfit for the occasion. Learn more about how to choose a dress, and see fashionable moms from real weddings.

real wedding photo at hotel bel air planned by rikki and mal ladenheim family photo mother of bride in hot pink dress and mother of groom in gold dress
Photo: Twah Dougherty

You've helped your son or daughter plan their wedding, choose their attire, and prepare for one of the biggest days of their life, and now it's your turn. Selecting a mother-of-the-bride (MOB) or mother-of-the-groom (MOG) dress involves more than just picking a gown; it’s about celebrating your role and finding an outfit to match the celebratory occasion.

In this post, you’ll discover insights for picking a MOB or MOG dress style that not only complements the wedding theme and color palette but also resonates with your personal style. Before diving in, be inspired by some of the fashionable moms from real weddings – and then, read on for advice on how to choose the perfect mother-of-the-bride dress or mother-of-the-groom dress!

Bride with Mother in Pale Blue Gown

Photo by Jodee Debes Photography; Bridal Salon: The White Dress; Planning & Design by Tessa Lyn Events; From Real Wedding: Outdoor Ceremony + Reception with Bright Color Palette at LA Ranch

Mother-of-Bride in Elegant Dress with Peplum

Photo by Kelly Hornberger Photography; From Real Wedding: An Elegant Black, White, and Gold Wedding in Houston, Texas

Mother of Bride in Sleeveless Ivory Gown

Photo by The Hickenloopers; From Real Wedding: Former Miss America Savvy Shields' Artsy Industrial-Chic Wedding

Bridal Processional with Father and Mother in Black Floral Gown

Photo by Michelle Beller Photography; Planning & Design by Alyson Fox, Levine Fox Events, Inc.; From Real Wedding: Summer Backyard Wedding with a Yellow Garden Theme in LA

Bride & Mom in Off-Shoulder Gowns

Photo by Stephania Campos; Planning & Design by The Savvy Consultants; From Real Wedding: A Breathtaking Garden-Inspired Wedding with Personalized Details in Houston

Stylish Mother of Bride in Blush Gown

Photo by Adam Barnes; Floral Design by Amaryllis Floral & Event Design; From Real Wedding: Elegant Real Wedding at a Charming Resort in the Countryside

Mindy Weiss with her son Jordan on his wedding day short sleeve mother of the groom dress

Photo by Elizabeth Messina; Planning & Design by Mindy Weiss Party Consultants; From Real Wedding: An Earthy & Elegant Eclectic Wedding with Rustic Elements

Mother of Bride in Fur Stole

Photo by Elizabeth Messina; From Real Wedding: Fairy-Tale Wedding with Enchanted Forest Theme in Santa Barbara

Mother of Bride Hugging Daughter

Photo by Abigail Lewis Photography; From Real Wedding: Hometown Wedding with Green + Gold Color Palette in Nashville

How to Choose the Perfect Mother-of-the-Bride Dress

bride in off the shoulder dress with mom yellow off the shoulder flounce sleeve mother of the bride dress

Photo by John Cain Photography

While the gown selected should be a reflection of the mother's personality, it must also align with the formality of the wedding as well as the bride’s vision. Take a look at some tips for finding the perfect mother-of-the-bride dresses and mother-of-the-groom dresses.

Understanding Your Personal Style

The dress you wear to your son or daughter's wedding should be an elegant reflection of your personal style. Embracing your individuality is key to feeling comfortable and confident on the wedding day. Whether you favor classic silhouettes or contemporary cuts, bright colors or neutral tones, and so on, your dress should make you feel like the best version of yourself.

That being said, it’s vital that your personal style doesn’t conflict with the overall aesthetic of the wedding. Striking a balance between your preferences and the wedding theme can often be challenging, but the couple will appreciate maintaining a harmonious look. Be sure to check in with the couple to see if they have any strong preferences before finding your dream dress!

Maintaining Consistency & Formality

Selecting a mother-of-the-bride or mother-of-the-groom dress that's complements the wedding theme is important. If the wedding is a beachside affair, a light, flowing dress in a pastel shade might be perfect. For a black-tie wedding, on the other hand, a more formal dress in a deeper hue might be more appropriate.

The venue itself and the wedding colors should also influence your dress selection. The venue will help lead you down the path of a particular style – for example, a museum wedding may call for a more structured, classic look, while a vineyard wedding may lean more romantic with a soft, flowing skirt or even floral embroidery. In terms of color, many brides suggest choosing a MOB or MOG dress color that complements the palette without exactly matching the bridal party. This way, you will seamlessly fit into the aesthetic of the day while maintaining your individuality as mom.

Prioritizing Comfort for Confidence

When selecting your dress, comfort is of utmost importance. The wedding day will be a long, joyous event filled with dancing, mingling, and celebrating – and one that often starts with an early call time for hair and makeup. The last thing you want is a mother-of-the-bride or mother-of-the-groom dress that makes you feel restricted or uncomfortable for hours.

Choosing a comfortable dress not only allows you to enjoy the event to the fullest but also boosts your confidence as – after the couple, of course – all eyes will be on you during the ceremony, family-photo session, wedding speeches, and mother-son dance (if applicable). You'll want to look and feel your best!

How to Coordinate Outfits with the Bride (or Groom!)

bride in long sleeve lace wedding dress with mom in long sleeve blue periwinkle mother of the bride dress with flower appliques

Photo by John Cain Photography

As the mother of the bride or mother of the groom, your dress or ensemble is not just any outfit, it’s a statement of your special role in this momentous occasion. We love when moms coordinate with the bride (or groom) to ensure the dress creates a fashion moment and contributes to a harmonious wedding aesthetic.

Communication Is Key

For effective coordination, an open dialogue about wedding preferences and attire between you and the bride and/or groom is essential. You'll want to ensure your mother-of-the-bride or mother-of-the-groom dress aligns with the rest of the wedding party.

Consult with the bride on her preferences on dress style, color, and formality. Understanding her vision will guide your dress selection and ensure harmony with the overall look of the event – which also makes for great wedding photos.

Complementing the Bride's Dress

Like bridesmaid dresses, your dress as the mother of the bride or groom should enhance the look of the couple's attire – primarily your son or daughter since you'll be photographed together the most. This, of course, doesn’t mean matching the bride’s dress but instead choosing colors and patterns that complement the look.

For instance, if the bride’s dress has lace detailing or floral embroidery, you might consider a dress with similar lace accents or floral elements. Or if the wedding color scheme includes blush tones, you might opt for a dress in a complementary shade. These subtle echoes of the bride’s dress or the attire worn by the wedding party will make a harmonious statement on the wedding day.

Frequently Asked Questions: Mother-of-the-Bride Dresses

real wedding photo bride in colorful flower embellished wedding dress with mom in strapless red sequin evening gown

Photo by Jay Lawrence Goldman Photography

When should I start shopping for my dress?

It is recommended to start shopping for your dress 6-8 months before the wedding to allow enough time for choosing the dress and any alterations.

How should I choose my dress?

When choosing your dress, consider your personal style, the wedding theme, and your comfort. It's also important to consult with the bride and/or groom to ensure your dress aligns with the overall wedding aesthetic.

Should my dress match the bride's dress?

Your dress should complement, not match, the bride's dress. Choose colors, patterns, silhouettes, and details that resonate with or enhance the bridal party's look.

Do I need to get my dress altered?

Yes, getting your dress altered is recommended to ensure a flawless fit, enhancing your comfort and confidence on your special day. Aim to have your dress altered no later than three months before the wedding.

Opening photo by Twah Dougherty; Planning & Design by Rikki & Mal; From Real Wedding: A Classic Garden Wedding with Modern Touches in Los Angeles