Today’s wedding fashion advice post is taking a step away from bridal fashion and instead focusing on the mother of the groom. We love our moms at Lovella Bridal too! If you are a bride-to-be planning your wedding, you may be wondering what advice or input you should give to your mom and your fiancé’s mom on what they should wear on your wedding day. You may want your immediate families to coordinate their outfits so your family photos on the wedding day look cohesive. After all, we want the bride and everyone, especially family members, to feel comfortable and confident on the wedding day! If you're wondering what the mother of the groom should wear, you're in for a treat today. Oh, and we should mention that our wedding fashion advice applies to mothers of the bride too! All moms attending their son or daughter's wedding will find helpful advice in this what to wear post.
Our wedding fashion expert, Nayri, recently contributed to a great article featured on The Knot giving tips and advice for mother-of-the-groom dress etiquette for the wedding day. We couldn’t wait to share these tips and more to help all the mothers look and feel their best on their son's wedding day. From who chooses the wedding day outfit for the mother of the groom to which colors might work best for wedding day attire, we have all the advice you need to help the mothers of the groom (and bride!) choose a great wedding day dress.
As the mother of the groom, you have an important role in the wedding party on the big day. Because of this, you'll want a special outfit for the nuptials to help you look and feel your best. Luckily, mother-of-the-groom dress etiquette has evolved over the years. Traditionally, moms of both the bride and groom wore matronly dresses, but that is not the standard in wedding attire now. Now, moms are encouraged to wear a look that makes them feel fashionable and confident.
Before we dive into all the wedding day fashion advice and frequently asked questions, be sure to check out the full article on Theknot.com for all the Mother-of-the-Groom Dress Etiquette Moms Need to Read.
Photo by: Joey Reger
What Does The Mother Of The Groom & Bride Wear?
When it comes to wedding planning, there are a lot of moving parts and so we always encourage all parties involved to keep communication honest and open. Mothers of the groom will have a few special tasks to plan when it comes to the wedding, including choosing a wedding day outfit. It’s smart to check in with your son and his future wife, and even the parents of the bride, to confirm the formality and style of the wedding so you can ensure your wedding day attire will be well suited for the festivities. You will also want to check and see if the wedding couple wants their family to coordinate wedding day attire in any way.
Luckily, mother of the groom dress etiquette is not complicated. You, along with the mother of the bride, will want to wear an outfit that fits in with the wedding theme. The season and the wedding venue can also help you determine what sort of outfit to wear. An elegant evening dress or chic jumpsuit can be a classic, appropriate option for moms on both sides of the aisle for mothers of the bride and mothers of the groom.
In addition to fitting in with the wedding theme or style, you will also need to follow the wedding dress code. A formal or black tie wedding will require a more upscale dress, while a more casual outfit may be in order for a more relaxed wedding. No matter what style or dress code, look for something that shows off your style and will make you feel confident.
Who Picks Out The Mother Of The Groom & Bride Dress?
While you (the mom) will ultimately be responsible for picking out your mother-of-the-groom or mother-of-the-bride outfit, you are the one wearing it, after all, it is always a good idea to have a conversation about attire with the bride and groom-to-be before your shopping trip. Some brides and grooms have strict wedding dress code guidelines or want family members to wear a certain color or style, while some brides and grooms may not care what color dress or outfit their moms choose to wear on the wedding day. In general, you will probably want the brides’ or groom's blessing with your wedding day attire so have a quick conversation about expectations to ensure everyone is on the same page for wedding day fashion.
As mother of the groom, you will also be responsible for paying for your own wedding day outfit. The same is true for mothers of the bride. Depending on a couple’s budget, some may offer to buy their moms’ dresses for the wedding day, but don’t assume this is the case unless they specifically tell you this. Be smart and set a budget before you go shopping for a wedding day outfit so you don’t overspend.
Another great tip is to take photos of you in your top two or three dresses or outfits and send them to the couple for their approval or input. This is especially helpful if you are nervous your choice may clash with the wedding's theme or the rest of the wedding party’s attire. This is just an extra step to ensure everyone will be happy with the final decision as you head toward the wedding day. It will also give you an idea of how the fabric and style will photograph on wedding day, as you will have your photo taken many times throughout the wedding day.
Photo by: Lovisa Photo
What Color Outfit Should The Mother Of The Groom Or Bride Wear?
Now that you are ready to begin shopping for your wedding day dress or outfit, you might be wondering what color you should be looking for. If you have already had a conversation about the theme and style of the wedding, that should give you a head start on what color dress or suit to choose. A mother of the groom or bride should wear colors that will complement her and the wedding colors. Of course, this does not mean that you need to wear the wedding theme colors - you want to still stand out and not blend into the background.
If you're unsure where to start with finding the right color for you and your event, don't worry. Our wedding fashion expert at Lovella, Nayri, says her favorite colors for moms are "navy blue, burgundy, champagne, gray, blush pink and pastel blue." She adds, "there are some really pretty fabrics in nice metallic brown colors too.”
Remember before we mentioned coordinating attire? The wedding couple might want their family to coordinate with the wedding party colors. "I've seen couples have all the important guests wear the same color, which looks lovely and helps make everyone look cohesive," Nayri says. Have this conversation before shopping so the process is easier for everyone involved. (Plus, it'll narrow down dress options for you too.)
You might be wondering about staple colors like black and white. Depending on the theme and dress code, a mother of the groom wearing black is acceptable, especially if there is a black-tie wedding dress code. White on the other hand, unless the bride specifically approves you wearing white, mothers of the groom should steer clear of white and even other neutral hues that may look white on camera.
Should The Mother Of The Bride & Groom Match Outfits?
Unless specifically requested by the bride and groom, the mothers do not need to match their outfits, styles or looks on the wedding day. The moms should be encouraged to wear an outfit that represents their own personal style and makes them feel their best. If you, or the bride and groom, decide they would like complimentary outfits, aim for colors and or silhouettes that look nice together. Remember that bold patterns and bright colors can clash, especially when in the same photos. If you are coordinating, you will want to avoid mismatched colors and levels of formality. Remember that moms, or anyone, can always differentiate your look with accessories like jewelry and hair pieces.
Shopping for any wedding outfit can be challenging and it can be especially difficult for mothers of the bride and mothers of the groom to find that perfect outfit for the wedding day. Nayri reminds mothers to not get discouraged while shopping for their wedding outfits.
"The mother-of-the-bride and mother-of-the-groom dresses are often the most challenging to shop for. Primarily because of the inventory and options available. So, try not to put too much emphasis on matching a theme or style. It's okay for things to be different and complement one another," Nayri says.
Photo by: Ryan Greenleaf Photography
What Does The Mother Of The Groom Or Bride Wear To The Rehearsal Dinner?
In addition to your wedding day attire, mothers of the bride and the groom don’t forget about a rehearsal dinner outfit or wedding welcome party. Some of the same rules apply here for these wedding related events as when the moms are shopping for your wedding day dress.
Moms will want to follow the theme and dress code for the rehearsal dinner, just like the wedding. The couple will likely have attire-related information on their wedding website or rehearsal dinner invitation, but don’t be afraid to check in with the bride or groom if you need input or clarification on what to wear. For example, the wedding welcome party or the rehearsal dinner might be on a beach or have a BBQ theme and this will give the moms a good indication of the style of dress that would be appropriate for the wedding events.
Mother-Of-The-Groom & Mother-Of-The-Bride Dress Differences
We’ve covered the basic etiquette questions when it comes to mother-of-the-groom and the mother-of-the-bride wedding day dresses and outfits in general because their are many similarities. However, there are a few differences when it comes to mother-of-the-groom and mother-of-the-bride outfits that we want to be sure you are prepared for so you don’t step on any toes. These difference in mom wedding outfits include how the gowns or suits are selected when the outfits are bought, and what colors to choose.
Traditionally, the mother of the bride will select her dress first. She should then tell the mother of the groom what style she has chosen so the mother of the groom can pick accordingly. In this case, the mother of the groom will want to choose something that will work in harmony with the mother of the bride’s dress. If anyone is concerned about coordinating outfits, you could always suggest a fun dress-shopping trip together! This could be a perfect opportunity to bond with each other before the wedding day and will ensure your wedding day outfits don’t clash.
When Should Mothers Of The Bride & Groom Order or Purchase Their Dress?
The bride will be ordering her wedding dress nine months to a year before the wedding day. We've talked about when brides should order their wedding dress many times before on the blog, so if you need more information, be sure to check that out.
Mothers of the brides and grooms don’t need to purchase their wedding day attire quite that early before the wedding, but it’s not a bad idea to at least begin looking at that stage. Your mother of the bride or groom wedding attire will be less elaborate than a bride's wedding gown, so even if you are special ordering a dress, it should not take quite as long to arrive.
We suggest that the moms go shopping at least six months early before the wedding. This timing is so that you can ensure you find something you love and still have plenty of time for any alterations, if necessary. Why add any stress to your life as you are helping with final wedding day preparations?
Keep The Seasons In Mind
Do keep in mind the season that the wedding will be taking place when the moms are shopping for a wedding outfit. For instance, if it is a summer wedding, you aren’t going to see summer outfits in retailers until next spring. If you are searching for a specific color or style, you may have to coordinate when you shop for your wedding day outfit based on timing and seasonality. However, more classic styles in black or navy are typically available year-round. It all comes down to your personal preference, as long as you coordinate with the wedding theme and dress code.
About The Bridesmaids
When it comes to color, the mother of the bride or the bride can allow the bridesmaids' dresses to influence her wedding day outfit. Depending on what the couple wants, she can even choose the same color as the bridesmaids or one that is similar. Mothers of the groom however should look to the overall wedding color scheme for their outfit inspiration, rather than that strictly of the wedding party.
Embrace The Tradition, But Keep It Light
Keep in mind that these rules and etiquette tips for what the mothers of the bride and groom should or should not wear to the wedding are not steadfast. It may seem overwhelming to keep all of these rules and guidelines in mind when shopping for a wedding day outfit.
Shopping for any wedding day dress, especially the mothers, should be enjoyable - remember this is a happy time! Don’t let all of the traditional aspects weigh you down.
Every wedding is different and unique, so be sure to have an open discussion about what the bride and groom expect and you will be sure to find a great wedding day outfit. "Don't overthink it! Have some fun and enjoy the process. Turn your stress and anxiety about shopping into action to reduce your stress," Nayri advises.
If you're shopping for your perfect wedding dress, come visit us at Lovella Bridal in Glendale, CA. We carry wedding dresses in all sizes and styles, including plus-size bridal gowns and a full selection of veils and accessories. Lovella Bridal is the premier, luxury bridal wedding dress shopping boutique located in Los Angeles, California. Lovella features couture, feminine, modern and chic bridal gowns in all sizes from the best wedding dress designers. Schedule an appointment to find the wedding dress of your dreams at Lovella Bridal. We can't wait to help you!
About Wedding Fashion Expert
Our wedding dress shopping tips and advice are from Nayri, Lovella's own, in-house wedding fashion expert. Nayri is truly the expert when it comes to bridal fashion and wedding style. As the Wedding Fashion Expert, Nayri is the top bridal fashion stylist and the best-selling author of the book "I'm Getting Married And I Have Nothing To Wear," the ultimate guide to helping brides find their wedding day style and their perfect wedding dress. You can subscribe to her YouTube channel or listen to her podcast for more helpful and practical advice on wedding dress shopping.