Finding Modest Dresses for the Mother of the Bride or Groom

Wedding plans naturally revolve around the couple to be married – the wedding dress, the reception hall, and the bride’s bouquet – but the dresses for the mother of the bride and the mother of the groom have to be planned carefully, too. How do you choose an appropriate dress for your daughter or son’s wedding?

Colors for Mother of the Bride Dresses

It’s a good idea to wait to buy your dress until the color scheme for the wedding has been nailed down. Why? Because in your family pictures, you will stick out like a sore thumb if the bride’s bouquet and the groom’s boutonniere are sky blue and your dress is orange.

It’s a good idea to either go with a shade of a color from the wedding scheme, or pick a neutral color like silver, blue, or chocolate. Tradition also says that black (the color of mourning) and white (the color of the bride’s dress) should be avoided.

Styles of Mother of the Groom Dresses

The style of dress really depends on the theme of the wedding. A formal or evening wedding certainly requires that you wear an evening dress, but for a more casual wedding you can probably find something suitable in your closet. Both one-piece dresses or two-piece dresses are acceptable choices.

When choosing the style of your dress, make sure you it flatters your body type and not just the department store mannequin. Try it on and evaluate it carefully, maybe bringing a friend along to offer feedback. You want a dress that draws attention to your best features, disguises problem areas, and creates the impression of balance in your figure.

How to Choose a Mother of the Bride Dress

Tradition says that the process for choosing a mother of the bride or groom dress is this:

1. Get general guidelines on color and style from the bride
2. The mother of the bride chooses a dress within those parameters
3. The mother of the bride then communicates with the mother of the groom, who chooses a coordinating dress
4. The mother of bride's dress should not clash with the bride's wedding gown.

However, it’s a little stiff, and many families aren’t particularly concerned about whether the mothers have coordinating outfits or not. It’s a delicate balance that your two families must work out together.

Mother of the Bride Shoes and Jewelry

Make sure to find matching shoes and jewelry to complete your outfit ahead of time, to avoid frantic last-minute shopping or squeezing into an uncomfortable pair of shoes on the wedding day.

Choosing the formal dress you will wear for your son or daughter’s wedding is fun. When was the last time you attended a formal event that required a special eveningwear dress? Accept input from the bride, but the final decision is yours. Choose something that looks great on you.

Bonus: To help your daughter (or soon to be daughter-in-law) in finding the perfect gown from all the available Modest Weddings Dresses or LDS Wedding Gowns for an LDS Wedding, please also see our three part article:

How to find Modest Wedding Dresses and LDS Wedding Gowns - Part I, II and III

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Rose Haller, Chief Creative Officer & Editor-in-Chief.
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Author's Bio: 

Rose Haller is a Professional Wedding Planner, specializing in LDS Weddings and LDS Reception Planning for 30 years. She is Editor-in-Chief and Chief Creative Officer of

Rose was a Musical Theater Major as an undergrad. Rose is an Expert on LDS Wedding Gowns. Rose has both a Degree & a Professional Designation in Clothing Manufacturing and Fashion Merchandising. She and her husband, Dr. Howard Edward Haller, live in the Pacific Northwest, they have six grown children and a growing number of grandchildren; they are both active members of the LDS Church. (The Complete Online Planner for LDS Weddings) (Providing Elegant LDS Wedding Reception ideas!)

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