inding the right dress to wear when you’re the mother of the bride can be difficult, especially because there are so many things to consider and even more choices to make when it comes to dress style. The process of shopping for the perfect mother-of-the-bride dress might seem like a daunting task, and with such a plethora of options, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. But that doesn’t have to be the case.

When shopping for mother of the bride dresses, there are a handful of things to keep in mind to enable you to make the right choice. From your budget to the dress style and other personal preferences, it’s important to check certain boxes in order to arrive at a stunning result. Remember, although it isn’t your big day, you’re still an important part of it so it’s imperative that you show up and show out. And yes, everyone should know that your daughter got her fine fashion sense from her mama!

Check out 10 essential tips when shopping for mother of the bride dresses…

#1. What is your budget?

Photo: Alexander Mils/Unsplash

If you are shopping for a dress that will be worn only once or twice, it is best to set a realistic budget. Expensive dresses may seem luxurious but can prove to be a burden if you don’t get your money’s worth. If your budget does not allow for something at the higher end, don’t hesitate to pick one worthy of your baby’s big day. As long as you stay within your set spending limits, there are many options available in the market you can choose from.

#2. Do you want something modern or classic?

Photo: Charisse Kenion/Unsplash

Take some time to consider what kind of dress you would like to wear to your daughter’s wedding. You might like a classic look that will never go out of style, or you could be more adventurous and go for something that would fashionably announce your arrival from a distance. It’s a good idea to get a solid hang of your personal style preferences before you begin shopping for mother of the bride dresses. This way you don’t waste time looking at countless dresses that don’t fit into what you’re searching for.

#3. Do you prefer something short or long?

Photo: Roberto Martinez/Unsplash

One of the most common questions brides’ mothers ask when shopping for a dress is whether or not they should choose a short, knee-length dress or a long, floor-length one. It’s completely up to you.

If you have shorter legs and are concerned about making yourself appear taller or slimmer by wearing a long style, then by all means. On the other hand, if you have long legs and want to show them off, consider selecting a knee-length version instead. The choice is all yours.

#4. Which fabric do you like?

Photo: Divazus Fabric Store/Unsplash

Depending on your size, you may want to pick a dress made of chiffon, silk, or another material that properly fits your body. For instance, if you have a slim figure with an even slim back and wish to showcase it further with a fitted dress, choose one made from satin or polyester. Similarly, if you’re somewhat medium in height and would like a dress to lengthen your appearance, choose a flowy fabric like chiffon. However, you will also have to consider the durability of the fabric along with the color and comfort.

#5. Do you need to follow a dress code or wedding theme?

Photo: Leonardo Miranda/Unsplash

Choosing a dress that will fit into your daughter’s wedding theme should be one of your top priorities. It doesn’t matter if you really love a certain style. If it isn’t suitable for her wedding, then it’s not such a great idea to wear it that day. Keep the following questions in mind to get started:

Is there a color scheme in place? If not, are there any colors your daughter wouldn’t want you to wear? What about prints and patterns? Does the dress code or theme include any patterns or prints? If so, do they complement anything in your wardrobe, in terms of accessories? However, if there isn’t a certain theme for the wedding ceremony, you can choose according to your personal preferences, as mentioned in the next section.

#6. What color scheme suits you best?

Photo: Mika Baumeister/Unsplash

Now that you have decided there isn’t any dress theme for the wedding, you can choose a color scheme that suits you best. A common misconception is that there’s a specific color palette that suits every skin tone. While you can use certain colors to flatter your complexion, there are just as many dresses that will clash with your skin tone and make you look pale. When shopping for mother of bride dresses, one of your first steps should be figuring out what colors suit you best.

#7. Should you go custom or ready-made?

seamstress measuring daughters arm for mother of the bride dress
Photo: Beau Lark/iStock

Let’s be realistic, many people aren’t accustomed to dressing up every now and then. There are those who purchase a new outfit and wear it only once before it ends up in a box somewhere in the store or on the back shelves. If you fall into this category, then custom is probably best for you as you’re likely to keep it for a longer time and who knows, your grandkids might just inherit it. But, if you’re like most of us and have been known to clean out your closet on more than one occasion, ready-made dresses may be your safest bet because they are generally more pocket-friendly as opposed to custom options.

#8. How do you want the silhouette?


Dresses for the mother-of-the-bride vary greatly in design and shape. From a fit-and-flare dress to an A-line option or even a ballgown, you’re free to choose any silhouette that flatters your figure. The type of dress you ultimately pick really depends on your body type and how much coverage you intend to have. You will have to think about how important it is to you that “sensitive” parts of your body are tastefully covered, especially in photographs. The choice is completely based on your personal preferences and how comfortable you are.

#9. How important are pockets and convenience features?

Pockets and convenience features are two things you may not have thought about when considering which dress to purchase. But before you go shopping for your dress, decide if having pockets and access to your phone or perhaps some loose facial tissue––for the teary moments––is worth sacrificing a little style. Pockets are especially important if you’re somehow involved with the wedding coordination and will be doing a lot of walking around during your daughter’s wedding day.

Featured image: @damellphotography/Instagram 

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