BRIDAL GURU / Jul 01, 2022


As the bride’s mother, you hold an important role in your daughter's wedding. Among the duties you're responsible for is finding the perfect mother of the bride dress.

Mother of the bride attire etiquette can be confusing at first, mainly because it largely depends on the dress code, season, and bride's preferences. However, what matters is that you find something that both you and your daughter love.

But to help set some guidelines for your search, let's discuss the fashion do's and don'ts for mother of the bride etiquette.

1. Don’t 🚫: wear white or similar shades

This may seem obvious, but the color white is reserved for your daughter, the bride.

Shades similar to white, like ivory, may be up for discussion—but it's essential to run this by the bride first.

If you prefer to wear a light or pastel color, there are many other options for you to choose from. Shades of gray and green are very on trend this year. You can also never go wrong with metallics, like gold and silver.

silver chiffon mother of the bride dress

Get the look: style GL3068 | Beads Embellished Embroidered A-line Dress w/ Scoop-Neck

2. Do ✅: wear midi or long dresses

Unless you're off to a casual beach wedding, we recommend wearing midi or long dresses as the mother of the bride.

Now when we recommend midi and long dresses, we're not suggesting something frumpy. When it comes to mother of the bride etiquette, there's a misconception that you need to dress overly conservative.

There aren't many rules for the cut of modern mother of the bride dresses. You can choose a dress with a mermaid silhouette, a deep V-neckline, or a slit in the skirt. You can even wear a jumpsuit if the dress code allows it!

purple jewel embellished dress

Get the look: style GL2958 | Embroidered Cut-Away Shoulder Jersey Long Dress w/ V-Back

3. Don’t 🚫: feel obligated to match the wedding party

When it comes to mother of the bride etiquette, we're often asked: Do we need to buy a dress that matches the bridal party?

The answer is typically "no." Unless the bride specifically asks for you to match their wedding's color scheme, you can wear any color you'd like.

Some mothers of the bride choose colors that complement the wedding party. For example, if the bridesmaids wear a light yellow, you may want to wear gold, deep yellow, or orange.

Before shopping for your mother of the bride dress, we recommend touching base with the bride first to see if she has any expectations.

champagne sheer neckline sleeveless chiffon long dress

Get the look: style GL1565 | Chiffon Illusion Sweetheart A-Line Long Dress with Cut-Out Back

4. Do ✅: connect with the mother of the groom before shopping

Traditional mother of the bride etiquette suggests that the mother of the bride chooses her outfit first to inform what the mother of the groom should wear.

This tip is a bit old-fashioned. While you don't need to match the groom's mother or dictate what she will wear, we still recommend touching base with her.

This will help you coordinate colors (if you'd like) and avoid clashing or wearing the same dress. (If you both decide to shop at GLS Collective, you don't have to worry about that last one though, we have plenty of options for mothers of the bride and groom.)

How stunning would you two look in these gemstone-colored dresses with gold accents?

navy chiffon embroidered dress

Get the look: style GL2519 | Embroidered Lace Bodice Chiffon Long Dress with Cap Sleeve

burgundy chiffon embroidered dress

Get the look: style GL2288 | Flower Lace Chiffon Long Dress with Sheer Back

5. Do ✅: consider the dress code and venue

Another mother of the bride etiquette question we hear often has to do with formality. How can I ensure I'm not over or underdressed?

Take a look at this blog on wedding dress codes to get the lowdown on attire expectations for black-tie, formal, semi-formal, and casual.

You can totally dress to the nines for black-tie and formal weddings—and wear dresses with full skirts, more embellishments, and luxe fabrics.

emerald green embroidered dress

Get the look: style GL3070 | Illusion V-Neck Embroidered Mesh A-line Dress w/ Open V-Back

6. Don’t 🚫: ignore the bride’s wishes

Lastly, it's your daughter's wedding day. The biggest advice we can give you when it comes to mother of the bride etiquette is to consult the bride on what you plan on wearing—and accommodate her wishes.

Every bride's preferences are different. Touch base with her on the color, style, and formality of your dress to make sure you find something both of you will love.

Find mother of the bride dress inspo

Now that we've covered mother of the bride fashion etiquette, let's explore dresses for your daughter's big day. Check out these blogs that feature some of our favorite mother of the bride dresses: 

Leave a comment

*Please note, comments must be approved before they are published