What to wear: a rainbow of options for the mother of the bride

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While tradition has its place, there’s a fine line between paying homage to those who’ve come before and simply appearing old-fashioned. As the mother of the bride, your daughter’s wedding day is your opportunity to appear before the masses in a classy and elegant style – understated, yet attractive. So throw those outdated guides to wedding day etiquette out the window and opt for a little pop of sizzle, nothing that will upstage the star of the show, of course, but a design that highlights your coloring and body type in amazing ways.


There really isn’t any hard and fast rule about the length of mother of the bride dresses. You should wear a length that’s comfortable and that allows you to interact easily with your daughter – adjusting her train or veil when needed. At the same time, you don’t want to be caught out in a dress that’s woefully long or scandalously short either. A dress that falls one inch above or below the knee is generally a good choice. This length is just short enough to appear trendy without constricting your movement or compromising your reputation.


Who says the mother of the bride can’t wear white? As long as your dress is understated and classically elegant, it can be any color you like. Choose one that works well for you. Just steer clear of the gingerbread on this most important day: no lace, sequin, or pearl adornments on the mother of the bride dress. The baubles belong to the bride, after all.


Unless the bride specifically requests it, your dress does not have to coordinate with the dress worn by the mother of the groom. The matchy-matchy element of the wedding will be covered by the bridesmaids and groomsmen. As the mother of the bride, you should wear a dress that appeals to you, that flatters your best features, and that makes you feel empowered. There’s an emotional element involved with your baby’s big day; the last thing you want to worry about is coordinating your dress with someone else’s.

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