Mother of the Bride: Dress Etiquette

I’m sure there are many points of etiquette that I haven’t heard of, and I’ll share one that I just learned, in case it may help you as well! According to Weddings 911 columnist Alene Gamel, the mother of the bride always gets to chose her gown before the mother of the groom. “The reasoning behind this is that the bride’s mother should not be overshadowed by anyone else but the bride.”

Basically, it goes like this. The bride informs everyone about the level of formality, color, and style of her wedding theme. The bride’s mother then has the privilege of choosing a gown first, and then the mother of the groom can shop for hers, keeping in mind that she has to match the bride’s mother in formality and style.

Say, for example, that the wedding colors are navy and white. The bride’s mother choses a floor length, chiffon gown in silver, with elaborate beading on the top. Now if the groom’s mother is following protocol, she must find a floor length dress that looks as dressy as the bride’s mother’s. She must pick a style and color that compliment the white, navy, and silver theme.

So there you have it. Who knew??

Photo credit: Catherines of Partick

Comments

  1. IS IT APPROPRIATE FOR THE MOTHER OF BRIDE TO WEAR A BEIGE OR IVORY AT HER DAUGHTERS WEDDING? IS THE BRIDE THE ONLY ONE TO DRESS IN THESE COLORS?

  2. Annie, I wouldn’t assume anything without asking the bride what she prefers. If she doesn’t mind you wearing those colors, go right ahead! If it would bother her, you would be better off picking a different color and letting the bride stand out in her white gown!

  3. Mary Moser says:

    My daughter wants me to wear a strapless gown, I am 49, is that totally wrong?

  4. The most important thing about choosing your gown is that you feel comfortable in it! If you would like to wear something strapless, go ahead! If it would make you feel uncomfortable or self-conscious, maybe you can find another style that your daughter would still approve of, such as something with wide straps, a higher neckline, or even wearing a wrap or bolero over a strapless gown. Good luck!

  5. Ruth Davis says:

    Is it proper if the bridesmaids will be wearing purple for the mother of the bride to also wear purple? Also what about the bride’s grandmother? Is it proper for her to wear purple? If it isn’t proper what would be good colors to go with purple?