What to Wear as Mother of the Bride or Groom

What to Wear as Mother of the Bride or Groom

A Complete Guide to Dressing for Every Wedding Event.

Congrats, Mom! A child’s engagement and wedding day are such a special time full of excitement and, of course, choices. From how involved you’ll be in the wedding planning and budgeting process to finding a look for all of the exciting events along the way to “I do,” there’s a lot of decisions to be made. Out of the many, many questions our stylists get about wedding
attire and bridal shower dress codes, the most common is: what should the mother of the bride or groom wear?

Whether shopping with the bride or searching on your own, our team of bridal experts has compiled the ultimate list of dos and don’ts when choosing an MOB dress that will make Mom feel her best for every wedding event.


The bridal shower is often the first event on the way to the wedding day. Whether the mother of the bride or groom is hosting, or just in attendance, this look sets the stage for her style. Bridal showers most often take place during the day so a day dress or smart casual look works best. Take cues from the venue when selecting your bridal shower outfit. For example, a shower at a country club is likely to be dressier than one hosted in a backyard. A floral dress or a simple sheath dress with sophisticated details are always timeless options for the mother of the bride or groom. If dresses aren’t Mom’s thing, a daytime jumpsuit or dressy pants and top are also an appropriate choice.

Here are the best bridal shower looks for the mother of the bride and groom, according to our stylists:

Seeking a thoughtful bridal shower gift from the mother of the bride or groom? Our friends at Unbox the Dress offer beautiful and meaningful gifts for the happy couple or bride-to-be by transforming wedding dresses into something she’ll cherish forever. Whether gifting your own or providing her with a gift card so she can have her gown made into a heritage gift, Unbox the Dress has so many wonderful options. Learn more here.


The planning is done and it’s time to celebrate as a family! When it comes to what to wear to the rehearsal dinner as the mother of the bride or groom - opt for a dressy evening look without going too formal. An elevated jumpsuit or simple cocktail dress are options that always shine.

Skip overly flashy looks, like a fully beaded formal gown, but a sparkling accent here or there is a beautiful choice. As with the bridal shower, consider the venue, as well as the overall wedding dress code. The mother of the bride’s rehearsal dinner look should not eclipse her MOB dress for the big day. On the road to the wedding, it’s fun to have each look outdo the last.

Our stylists deem these the best rehearsal dinner dresses for the mother of the bride and groom:

It’s finally the big day! When selecting a dress for the mother of the bride or groom ahead of the wedding day, the most important tip is to find a look that fits the aesthetic of the event. From thevenue and theming to the colors the bridal party is wearing, the bride and groom have set the tone for the day.

Dress shopping for the mother of the bride starts with choosing a color or family of colors that will work well with what the bridal party is wearing. Our wedding experts recommend a color that complements the wedding party’s colors rather than matching the exact hue. If the bride opts for a less traditional bridesmaid dress look (for example, dresses in varied shades of the same color), an MOB dress in a classic metallic hue will fit the bill. Most importantly, unless otherwise indicated, the mother of the bride and groom should never choose a dress in the same color as the bride.

Next, consider the venue when selecting a mother-of-the-bride or groom dress. The days of the standard MOB look are gone - thankfully! Now, Moms have more choice when it comes to what to wear on the wedding day. With so many options to choose from, considering the venue is a great way to narrow the search. If your son or daughter is getting married in a traditional ballroom, a floor-length formal gown is a beautiful choice. Alternatively, if the nuptials are taking place on a beach, lightweight fabrics and bright colors may be more sensible.

Finally, take the dress code into consideration. Traditionally, the mother of the bride and groom do dress up more than the average wedding guest, but the checking in on the wedding attire is particularly important to ensure you do not arrive underdressed should you choose to step away from a more formal look.

According to our wedding experts, these are the best dresses for the mother of the bride or groom on the wedding day:


Whether heading to the post-wedding brunch or just feeling those post-wedding blues, treat yourself to a new look you’ll love. There’s nothing more fun after all the excitement calms down than making plans now that things aren’t so busy.

These looks will make you feel special from a day at the office to date night with your honey:

Plus Size Floral-Print Cape Midi-Length Sheath Dress

Stretch Knit Crepe Tie-Front Midi-Length Sheath Dress

Chiffon And Jersey Flounce Drape Dress


The mother-of-the-bride dress may be the main event, but the accessories are just as important. A wrap or shawl is a beautiful way to add a unique touch to your look and warm up. A cover-up is also key if the wedding takes place in a church and your MOB dress is sleeveless. Want a look wrapped with comfort AND shine? Our signature S’HUG® has hidden tunnel sleeves to ensure it stays in place without fuss. Plus, this AP exclusive can be worn time and time again, no matter the event.

Here are the shawls and wraps that will complement your mother-of-the-bride dress:

Chiffon Shawl in Blush 

Metallic Mesh Coverup

Metallic Wrap in Silver


No matter which style you choose as your perfect mother-of-the-bride or groom dress, the perfect look is one you feel your best in. On this special day, it may be tempting to go all out with a trend or choose a look that’s outside your normal style. While there’s nothing wrong with making a statement, it’s important you feel your most comfortable so you can enter the big day with confidence.

When you start looking for the best mother-of-the-bride dress for you, think back to times in your life when you felt you looked your best - what were you wearing? Take elements of those outfits and seek out styles with similar details. Was the dress fitted or was it flowing? Did it have sleeves or was it sleeveless? Are there colors that you are drawn to based on your skin tone or compliments you’ve received while wearing them? These are all things that can help you find an MOB dress you love.

Ready to start shopping for your mother-of-the-bride look? Click here to explore Adrianna Papell’s collection of MOB and MOG dresses.

Still feeling stuck? Our stylists would be happy to help. Email us at

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