Mothers of the Bride & Groom Outfits: Your Style Advice from the Experts

As ‘The Big Day’ approaches, you may feel apprehensive and emotional at the very thought of sending your precious son or daughter off into the world of married life.

Choosing an elegant and appropriate, yet modern and stylish, mother of the bride outfit can often be overwhelming due to the endless options to choose from – talk about spoiled for choice! The same goes for mothers of the groom too.

The special occasion will be one of the most memorable events in your lifetime, so naturally you want to look and feel amazing.

So, what should the mother of the bride wear?

Put your slippers on and take the weight off your feet, as we guide you through the process with our essential style advice from some top UK wedding bloggers.

Stick to your personal style

Although it is easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of formal dress shopping and go off the beaten track with styles you have never dared to try before, it’s important to keep your own individuality in your mother of the bride outfit.

We spoke to wedding experts from One Fab Day, a top online wedding magazine based in London and Dublin, who told us:

“Gone are the days when a mother has to wear a formal dress and coat ensemble with a hat or a fascinator, mums are getting more chic and individual in their looks, and reflecting their personal style.”

They continued:

“Generally the mother of a bride or groom should be dressed subtly, they’re not there to upstage the couple, but that said, they should still wear something that makes them look and feel great.”

Donna Sharpe, founder of the blog Pasties and Petticoats, agrees with wholeheartedly being yourself. She says, “focus on is finding an outfit that flatters my shape and suits my individual style – I want to feel like me, not a falsely dolled up version of myself.”

Neutral colours are a mother’s best friend

Neutral or earthy tones are perfect for a classy mother of the bride or groom look.

You may be wondering where to start choosing a colour scheme for your wedding outfit. It’s usually an essential rule to not wear white or ivory on the day, but neutral tones are a big “I do”.

The wedding pros over at One Fab Day say neutral colour palettes and those that are in the same general tone as the wedding theme are recommended and sure to keep you looking sophisticated:

“A neutral colour is always stylish; nude, cream or grey are always popular – while black or any very bright tones or loud patterns should generally be avoided, unless you know it’s suitable for the couple and the style of their day.”

A low-key colour scheme reduces the risk of colour clashing – and of course taking away any attention from the beautiful bride!

The bride is your ultimate guide

Speak to the bride or groom about the style, formality and dress code of the wedding so that you can look the part in all the photos.

Whether it’s black tie, semi-formal or a beach wedding, our One Fab Day experts told us:

“The dress code will generally dictate the style and length of a mother’s outfit, but generally full-length is more suitable for more formal weddings, and below the knee for a more relaxed affair.”

Claire Gould from The English Wedding Blog suggested to go for a more traditional mother of the bride or groom outfit if the wedding is set in a grand stately home or hotel, but then stated “for a tipi wedding or a festival style occasion, consider a floatier, bohemian look.”

Why not ask your son or daughter to come shopping with you to find your mother of the bride or groom outfit? Louise Baltruschat Hollis, the founder and director of the Whimsical Wonderland Weddings blog, recommended making the trip “a part of the whole wedding experience.”

Rules are only a simple guideline

 Break the rules. As long as you feel confident, we know you’ll look beautiful!

Although style rules are good as a starting point, there are no wedding fashion police that will tell you off if you want to wear something unique or outside the box. Claire Gould made the point that “rules and etiquette are far less important these days than they used to be.”

Louise Baltruschat Hollis reinforces this ‘no-rule’ attitude, revealing:

“There are no set rules when it comes to styles or fashion choices, decide on something in which you feel fabulous and it will shine through on the day.”

Weddings are often seen as classic affairs, but you shouldn’t feel too restricted by tradition. The stylish people at One Fab Day suggest that your mother of the bride outfit does not have to be a conventional dress – “trouser suits and jumpsuits are also a more modern choice.”

Comfort & confidence is key

Although you may feel the need to go all-out on an extravagant outfit and daring high heels, it may not be the most sensible decision after a few hours in on the day.

Our One Fab Day fashion gurus advised us to wear comfortable shoes, or bring a change of flats so you can get moving on the dancefloor! They said, “Heels might look glamorous, but they won’t feel it after posing for family portraits for 20 minutes!”

However, the piece of advice that most struck a chord with us was to “wear something you feel comfortable and confident in!”

Claire Gould agreed, and told us that we need to perhaps worry less about what is ‘expected’ and instead “choose something you feel beautiful in.”

So go on, treat yourself

 Why not treat yourself? Get your nails done or change up your hair to make you feel as great as you look.

In the hustle and bustle of wedding preparations, you may forget to give yourself some me-time.

The lovely people over at One Fab Day proposed:

“Invest in some pre-wedding pampering of your own – there’s nothing like a fresh mani or some faux lashes to make you feel fabulous!”

They continued, saying that it may also be useful to buy some good underwear and consider getting your chosen outfit professionally tailored as: “it will make all the difference to your final look.”

Mums should stick together!

You might be wondering if mothers of the bride and groom should follow different style guidelines – according to our experts, the answer is no.

The One Fab Day professionals told us that etiquette remains the same and suggests that both mums should have a chat about their outfits to avoid clashing in those once-in-a-lifetime  wedding photos, or even end up wearing the same outfit – yikes!

Enjoy the big day!

Weddings are often very sentimental experiences, especially as a mother of the bride or groom.

Donna Sharp reminds us that this is completely normal for any mum, saying:

“To be honest I already get a bit weepy at the prospect of my boys getting married. I know I’ll be bursting with love and pride when that day comes, and what I wear for the occasion will be hugely important to me.”

Louise Baltruschat Hollis gave us one extra piece of essential advice – “be sure to remember a handkerchief!”

From everyone at The Edinburgh Woollen Mill, we’d like to say a big thanks to all the wedding experts and bloggers that gave us some great advice for mothers awaiting their big day.

If you feel confident in your own skin, that’s all that matters – as the One Fine Day experts told us, “As long as you don’t rock up in a wedding dress, you’ll look great, whatever you wear!”

Shop women’s dresses, jackets and accessories at The Edinburgh Woollen Mill today.