What should the mother of the bride wear? Here's your absolute guide

Determining what the mother of the bride should wear with so many fashionable options can be incredibly overwhelming.

What should the mother of the bride wear? Here's your absolute guide

Once upon a time, mothers of the bride were expected to wear matronly dresses in Easter egg pastels or washed out shades of beige.

Thankfully, that's in the past. But now that they're free to express their sartorial sensibilities, determining what the mother of the bride should wear with so many fashionable options can be incredibly overwhelming. Talk about spoiled for choice.

Whether you're a bride who's hoping to help your mom find the perfect look or the materfamilias to the lucky lady herself, we've got the who, what, when, where, and how of mother of the bride dress shopping.

  • Let the bride be your guide

If you take away only one tip, let it be this one: Follow the bride's cues about style, colour, and degree of formality. She and the groom set the tone for the event, whether that means a casual country wedding complete with cowboy boots or a formal black-tie affair. You're an important member of the wedding party and you'll want to look the part. So, ask your daughter for some guidelines and follow suit.

  • Take colour cues from the wedding party

Traditionally, the mother of the bride's dress should complement the wedding party's colours (though not necessarily match). Therefore, it's best to wait until your daughter chooses the bridesmaids' dresses to begin shopping. See if you can get a swatch of their fabric to take with you—it will be super helpful when searching for a harmonizing hue.

  • Time it right and communicate your choice

You should start searching for your dress no later than three months before the wedding to allow time for special orders and alterations. You may choose to look in department or specialty stores for your dress, but don't pass over traditional bridal salons. Many have options for the mother of the bride, as well.

  • Get pretty just prior to the wedding

There aren't any special rules for mother-of-the-bride hair and makeup. Again, think elegant, understated, and appropriate — and reflective of your style. As with the bridal party, you'll usually want to get a fresh 'mani and pedi' the day before the wedding and have your hair and makeup done the day of. Whether you do this with the bridal party is up to your daughter.

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