By continuing to use this website, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our cookies policy.

Lets Talk Weddings...

The hot blog for celebrity wedding style, top tips for the wedding of your dreams, speech ideas, budget busters & more.


How to Pick the Mother of the Bride Dress

How to pick the mother-of-the-bride dress

It's not easy being the mother of the bride - not only do you have to be the emotional support for your daughter in the lead-up to the wedding, but you also have your own things to think about, including your outfit.

With all eyes on the bridal party, you'll no doubt want to look your best, in which case read these tips to help you find the ideal MOB dress for you.

Bring the bride with you

Mothers with daughters will no doubt know that the most important thing is to keep them happy - or all hell will break loose, especially when it comes to weddings. Therefore, it's a good idea to bring the bride with you when looking for a MOB outfit, or at the very least, consult her in your decision.

Your tastes don't have to be the same, but if your idea of what to wear is completely different to hers, you may have to reach a compromise to suit you both.

Don't go too bridal

It goes without saying that it's taboo to pick something too bridal. That means avoid ivory, lace, chiffon, white or even pale gold, especially if the bride is incorporating these colours or fabrics into her own look.

Choose complementary colours

Some couples opt against 'colour schemes' these days, but even so, it's wise not to pick a frock that could obviously clash with the main players in the wedding. This includes the bridesmaids, groomsmen and flowers.

You don't have to match them or even pick a similar shade, but just don't choose a completely conflicting colour. Of course, if the bride wants you to wear a matching or complementary shade, then by all means do, but again, ask her first.

Don't forget to use our free virtual wedding planning service here - you can send us details of your wedding and we'll find the merchants you need and check availability.

Go for an age-appropriate dress

It can be hard for MOBs and MILs to go dress shopping. In the shops they're confronted by dresses that all seem years too young; in the magazines they're shown pictures of MOBs that look about 30; and anything that does resemble a MOB outfit looks like it was made for the Queen Mother.

Traditionally, MOBs opt for a shift dress with a matching cocktail jacket, which is both smart and flattering. Alternatively, you could go for a dress or skirt suit, or a ball gown if you really want. Just make sure it's age appropriate. That's not to say you need to dress older than your years, but this is not the time to feel like you're mutton dressed up as lamb.

A hat or not?

The question of whether to wear a hat or not can become a fierce debate, particularly between MOBs and MILs. Traditionally, mothers did wear hats at weddings - the larger the better - but this isn't so common anymore.

Of course, you can wear one if you want, but if you'd prefer a fascinator or headband, then choose one that suits your hairstyle and head shape, and of course, that you feel comfortable in. There's nothing worse than photos of people fiddling with their hats all day long.

When it comes to the hat, it's worth informing the MIL about your choice as well. If they're traditionalists, they may not want to wear a hat if you don't, but don't let this put you off your decision.

What are the rules on dress type?

The great thing about weddings these days is that there are no hard and fast rules. If you want to wear a ballgown, go ahead; if you want to wear a strapless maxi dress, do what you think is best. The trick is simply to find a frock that is a) appropriate for the wedding and b) at the approval of the bride.

After all, she may have been controlled her 'bridezilla' moments thus far, but we all know daughters don't hold back when it comes to telling their mothers how they feel!

Where did you find your MOB outfit? Got any advice you can give on how to find some great dresses out there? Chat now in the forum

You'll find all the tools you'll need to plan yourself by clicking here, including a FREE wedding website, table planner, to do list, budget planner and much more.

Click here for more planning blogs and tips.

Share your wedding story with us. Email us at and We'll be in touch!

Email Us

Where Are You Getting Married?

English (Ire)

English (UK)