What should the Mother of the Bride wear to the wedding? It’s a surprisingly common question, but a completely understandable concern. In previous decades, it was a simpler affair with women expected to wear a plain, almost matronly outfit. Thankfully, those days are gone. From choosing dresses or trouser suits to the colours, shoes, accessories, today the Mother of the Bride has the creative freedom to express her style on one of the most special days of her (and her daughter’s!) life. The downside to this is that too much choice can be overwhelming. While you want your personal style to shine through in a flattering outfit, you’re also part of the wedding party.
To help you find the perfect solution, this style guide covers some of the most essential factors the Mother of the Bride should consider.
Choose a flattering silhouette
One of the choices which is entirely yours is the silhouette of your outfit. While trouser suits are becoming increasingly popular, a stand-out dress is often the preferred option for women looking to give the day a sense of occasion. The style of dress you choose should complement your figure (pear, apple, rectangle, or hourglass), but an A-line dress is a great choice for most women. It nips in at the waist and floats gracefully over the middle and hips, especially if you opt for stretch lining. In terms of design, all-over lace design or embellishment has a streamlining effect.
Coordinate colours with the bridesmaids
Colour is a tricky issue at a wedding. Many people steer clear of bright, bold patterns in favour of more pastel shades but the truth is that – aside from black and white – pretty much any colour goes at a wedding. On the other hand, as the Mother of the Bride, you may wish to coordinate your outfit with the theme of the wedding and/or what the bridesmaids are wearing. This doesn’t mean you should match the bridesmaids or the overall colour theme of the ceremony, but you can include them in elements of your outfit or find a complementary shade.
Shoes and hats
We all know the sore and cramping feeling of shoe-regret – don’t let it spoil your day! Choose a pair of shoes which are comfortable for standing around in for the photos and for dancing at the end of the night. Some people choose statement shoes over comfort for the ceremony and photos and change into dancing shoes afterwards, but why bother? Kitten heels or striking flat shoes with bows, flowers, crystals, or lace are perfect.
In terms of hats, ideally the mother of the bride and the mother of the groom should either both wear hats or neither of them should. Your hats should be equally subtle or extravagant, so nobody outshines the other. Of course, if you’re not a hat person, a fascinator could provide the perfect solution.
Preparing for the British weather
The point here is that we often can’t prepare for the British weather! Even a supposed summer day in the middle of August can turn into a wet and muddy adventure while baking sunshine can make an appearance as early as March or as late as October. Not to mention the unseasonable snow we’ve experienced in recent years. It poses an outfit challenge, but three-quarter sleeves are a great choice for coverage without being fully covered and are often more flattering. If you’re concerned about being cold, find a pashmina, bolero cardigan or shawl as an optional extra layer.
If you’re in any doubt about what you should wear to the wedding, why not talk to your daughter? She may well have a vision in terms of whether you should coordinate with the bridesmaids or the style of dress which might complement the overall theme, e.g., modern, vintage, classic.