Best-dressed guest: The Mother-of-the-Bride

While we all love a beautiful wedding dress, we’ve also got our eye on the Mother-of-the-Bride

While we all love a beautiful wedding dress, we’ve also got our eye on the Mother-of-the-Bride – second only to the bride in the style stakes. Carole Middleton and Baria Alamuddin (mother to the lovely Mrs Clooney) played their roles perfectly. So, what are the ‘do’s and don’ts’ when it comes to choosing that perfect mother-of-the bride outfit?

DO… Give yourself time

Start dress shopping as soon as possible. The mother-of-the-bride outfit isn’t a purchase you want to rush and you might need to allow for minor alterations. Hit the shops at least three months before the big day.
 

The Mother of the bride - Give yourself time | CHWV

The Mother of the bride - Give yourself time | CHWV

The Mother of the bride - Give yourself time | CHWV
Images © Studio Rouge

DO… Adopt the style of the wedding

Respect your daughter’s decision when it comes to style. If she’s planning an informal, daytime celebration, this isn’t the time for your sparkly ball gown! While you might look fabulous, you will also look and feel out of place. Equally, if she’s going all out for the party look… prepare to get your glad rags on!
 

The Mother of the bride - Adapt the style of the wedding | CHWV

DO… Consider comfort

We’ve all tried on that fabulous dress only to realise that we can’t actually sit down in it and that dancing would be impossible! You’ll be wearing your chosen outfit for a number of hours, so you need to feel comfortable. Make sure you can move easily and that you don’t feel self-conscious in your chosen style. Choose shoes you can dance in (or buy a second pair of dancing shoes to change in to!).
 

The Mother of the bride - Dress for comfort | CHWV   The Mother of the bride - Dress for comfort | CHWV
Image © Studio Rouge

DO… Change for the evening

Think about the day ahead and how you can look your best at every stage. It’s a great idea to consider adapting your outfit from day to evening. You might, for example, replace a jacket with a pretty wrap – accessories can make all the difference here. Add an elegant sash to a dress, swap your hat for an elegant hair accessory or complete the evening look with a statement necklace.

DO... Dress for the season

Dress shopping in advance can always be tricky. It’s impossible to imagine a summer day when you’re trying on outfits in March! However, imagine you must, as dressing for the season is crucial. There’s nothing worse than overheating on a warm day or freezing in the depths of winter. Always allow for unusual weather conditions, particularly in the midst of a British summer. It’s wise to have a beautiful shawl or jacket to hand if the temperature isn’t being as kind as predicted!
 

The Mother of the bride - Dress for the season | CHWV
Image © Gemma Williams Photography

DO… Be considerate with your colour choice

Traditionally, your outfit should complement the rest of the bridal party, so it’s a good idea to wait until your daughter has chosen the bridesmaid dresses. See whether you can get hold of a swatch of their dress fabric and look for something that complements perfectly. Always avoid anything in the same colour as the bride’s dress. While you want to look stunning, she is the star of the show!
 

The Mother of the bride - Be considerate with your colour choice | CHWV

The Mother of the bride - Be considerate with your colour choice | CHWV
Images © Jade Sayers Photography

DON’T… Reveal too much

‘Elegant’ is a word that should be prominent in your mind when choosing what to wear and you should stand out for all the right reasons. Be understated and stylish, avoiding anything too tight or too short. Covering up doesn’t mean you have to compromise on style.
 

The Mother of the bride - Don't reveal too much | CHWV
Image © Studio Rouge

DON’T… Go outside your comfort zone

On this most special day, it’s important to feel as good as you look. Choosing a drastic new hairstyle or wearing a style or colour of dress you’ve never worn before is great if you’re comfortable with it. If not, don’t do it. If you’re planning a style change, give yourself time to get accustomed to it.
 

The Mother of the bride - Don't go outside your comfort zone | CHWV
Image © Senior Mac Photography

DON’T… Wear very high heels

Along with comfort, there is a practical consideration here. During reception drinks at a summer wedding, you’ll sink in to the grass.

DON’T… Clash with the groom’s mother

Traditionally, as mother-of-the-bride, you should buy your outfit first, the groom’s mother then choosing her style and colour. Realistically though, this doesn’t always happen and it’s only polite to have a conversation about what you both might like to wear. If she’s already chosen her outfit, try to choose something that complements hers. You’ll be in plenty of photographs together, so you don’t want to clash!
 

The Mother of the bride - Don't clash with the Groom's Mother | CHWV
Image © Senior Mac Photography

The Mother of the bride - Don't clash with the Groom's Mother | CHWV
Image © Paul Willetts Photography

DON’T… Forget a stylish brolly

The drowned look is never a good one, so be prepared!

Previous Idea

Wedding Checklist: How to Plan a Wedding in 30 Days

Next Idea

10 Signs he / she is ‘the one’

10 Signs he / she is ‘the one’ | CHWV