How to Find the Perfect Mother of Bride Dress

May 17, 2019
How to Find the Perfect Mother of Bride Dress

Weddings are not only a special moment for the soon-to-be married couple but also their families. While planning, it can be very easy to overlook details about important people who will be part of your big day like the mother of the bride. After you’ve found the wedding dress of your dreams for your “here comes the bride” moment and selected the perfect bridesmaid color palette, it’s time to focus the attention to your mom.

While many brides and their moms have no trouble selecting an outfit for the big day, sometimes this issue can lead to disagreements. That why we’ve teamed up with one of Macy’s top stylists, Kimberly James at Macy’s Cherry Creek, for a Q&A to help you navigate the shopping experience when picking out the perfect mother of the bride outfit.


1. Are there color restrictions for the mother of the bride?

Traditionally the mother of the bride should try to avoid white, ivory, champagne, and other similar colors. However, we have seen this tradition broken on many occasions. For instance, if the color palette for the bridesmaids is champagne and white inspired dresses, then the bride may opt to have her mother match the wedding party too. Or, the bride may no preference but for her mother to feel her absolute best, too!

It all boils down to a conversation between the bride and her mother. Having open communication will ensure the mother of the bride feels confident in her outfit and the bride is happy with the selection and doesn’t feel overshadowed by her mother wearing a similar color.

2. Should the mother of the bride match the bridesmaids’ color scheme?

Communication is critical in this situation because there is no protocol or etiquette regarding whether or not the mother of the bride should coordinate with the wedding party. If the wedding party is wearing navy, the bride may not want anyone else to clash. If this is the case, the bride must communicate as soon as she selects her color palette.

3. Is there etiquette surrounding selecting a mother of the bride’s dress?

Tradition says yes. According to traditional wedding etiquette, the mother of the bride first purchases her outfit and then she needs to inform the mother of the groom. Why? Well, you simply don’t want to have clashing colors. Traditionally the mother of the bride gets the first choice. But, we’re all about making sure everyone feels confident and no feelings are hurt, so again, open communication is key to ensuring everyone feels included and happy.

4. How “sexy” can a mother of the bride dress be? 

We want the mother of the bride to be as fabulous as the bride wants her to be. If the bride is supportive of “sexy” such as a strapless ball gown, a lot of cleavage, then let’s sizzle and shine!

5. What are your suggestions if the mother of the bride does not want to opt for a traditional dress?

While traditionally a mother of the bride has always worn a dress, times and trends are changing. While it’s important the mother of the bride doesn’t stick out, as the bride is the focal point of the day, it’s also important your mom feels confident in her attire. A few options we’re loving are wide-leg chiffon pantsuits or even a jumpsuit! What’s great about a non-traditional mother of the bride dress is the outfits can be worn again.

This is another scenario when open communication is vital. Forcing the mother of the bride to wear a dress that just isn’t her will show in photos. If a traditional dress just doesn’t feel right for the mother of the bride, work with a Macy’s stylist to find outfits that fit her body type and style while still sticking to the color palette and theme of the wedding.

6. How involved should the bride be in selecting the gown?

Everything starts and ends with the bride. But, this can vary based on the involvement of the mother of the bride. If the mother of the bride is paying for everything this can dictate how much influence the bride has on her outfit. Most brides know their mother’s style and choose to leave the selection up to her. It’s truly up to the bride and her mom.

7. Do you have any advice for a bride providing honest feedback on the mother of the bride’s outfit selection?

It’s all about what the bride wants. However, while the bride needs to be honest if an outfit selected is not what she had envisioned for her wedding day, it comes down to be kind, thoughtful and considerate in your approach. While we all agree the bride should be the most beautiful on her wedding day, the mother of the bride’s feelings are just as important. And, he should feel beautiful too!

If there are some disagreements, a Macy’s stylist will be able to assist you in navigating these tough selections. By first talking with the bride about her vision, color palette, and wedding wishes, the stylist can then work directly with the mother of the bride to help hand-pick outfits that match her style and body to ensure she feels confident in the fit and feel too!

At the end of the day, it’s important that not only the mother of the bride feels good but that the bride is happy in the selection. While open communication will solve many of your shopping dilemmas, if you need another opinion, Macy’s stylists are the perfect referee!

To shop Mother of the Bride looks, visit Macy’s Wedding Shop. Or, book a one-on-one appointment with one of their stylists!

Mother of the Bride Outfits: Macy's
The Bride’s Planning Guide to a perfect Rocky Mountain Wedding
  • The Bride’s Planning Guide to a perfect Rocky Mountain Wedding

On Sale Now! Rocky Mountain Bride

Find The Best Wedding Venues

Rocky Mountain Bride
©2024 Rocky Mountain BrideTM   All Rights Reserved  |  Privacy  |  Terms  |  Site by Spitfiregirl