5 Tips for Finding Your Perfect Mother of the Bride Dress!

How To Find The Perfect Mother Of The Bride Dress

Finding mother of the bride and mother of the groom dresses for a wedding can either be a really pleasant experience or…not. There are so many things to consider.  You want to look beautiful but so many of the options out there can either look too “matronly” or like you’re headed to Coachella! Finding a great dress that’s elegant and chic can be a challenge. Below, I’m sharing a few tips to help you get through the process with as little stress as possible! Plus, I’ve picked a couple of great options for the MOB or MOG. At the very least, these can give you inspiration!

Looking for the perfect wedding guest dress? Make sure you check out this post!

How To Find The Perfect Mother Of The Bride Dress

Keep scrolling to find more details on each of the dresses above. But first…here are a few tips to help you find the perfect mother-of-the-bride dress! There are a lot of traditions, rules, and social faux pas associated with weddings. The best thing for everyone involved is to have open communication between the bride, groom, MOB, and MOG!

Tip #1 | Don’t Procrastinate

You should never wait to shop for any event that’s important. But especially your MOB/MOG dress! Waiting causes anxiety and you end up picking something you don’t really love because you feel like you’re running out of time.

Another tip: Traditionally, it’s very kind of the MOG to wait until the MOB has her dress picked out first. Make sure you give her plenty of time! But if it’s really coming down to the wire, make sure you’re taking care of yourself too! 😉

Tip #2 | Discuss “The Vision” with the Bride

I know mother-daughter dynamics are different for everyone and can be fragile. Before you start shopping, ask the bride what she’s envisioning so that you’re both on the same page. If your mother-daughter relationship is tricky, try to make dress shopping together something fun. Plan a day that the two of you will get brunch, have a drink, talk about what you both want, share Pinterest inspiration, and then go shopping together!

Another option: Order a bunch of dresses online, try them on at home, pick your favorite (with the bride) and return the ones that didn’t work!

Tip #3 | Color Coordination

There are traditions that some people follow regarding color coordination with the wedding party. Some people say that the MOB dress should be either one shade darker or one shade lighter than the bridesmaid dresses. Some brides care about this and some don’t…but you need to ask! If you want to follow the traditional rules, color coordinating is something to keep in mind and might make your shopping experience even easier because the color is already decided for you!

Tip #4 | Be Nice!

This tip is for the bride AND the MOB…

To The MOB: If you’re not used to shopping for special occasion dresses, you’re not where you want to be with your weight goals, or you’re just nervous about finding the right dress, that’s completely normal! This might be a stressful shopping experience for you, but make sure you remain calm, patient, and open to feedback. If you find yourself getting frustrated while you’re shopping/trying on, take a break. Don’t take any frustration out on the bride.
To The Bride: Some moms hate shopping. Especially for special event dresses. And finding a dress for your mom is just as important to her as it was for you to find yours. Be supportive and offer your more filtered feedback. Your mom is a superhero and does everything for you…be nice to her!

Tip #5 | Timing

You should try to time your shopping trip right. If the wedding is in the spring, spring styles won’t be out until after the holidays (at the earliest). If the wedding is in the fall, you’ll probably be able to find a few fall styles by the end of August. Which doesn’t give much time for alterations, finding accessories, and giving the MOG time too! So make sure you either shop early OR go for something classic that doesn’t need to be “in season.”

Bonus Tip | Plan for Alterations

With many special occasion dresses, the fit is not going to be perfect. The hemline might be too long, the neckline might be too low cut, or a certain part of the dress may fit perfectly while another part is too big or small. You can get all of that fixed! Make sure you factor alternations into your dress budget and for timing.

Are there any helpful tips you have for future mothers shopping for MOB and MOG dresses? Please share in the comments below!

To get blog posts delivered directly to your inbox, along with some incredible style resources, be sure to sign up for the newsletter here.
Thank you for stopping by!

erin signature


Gorgeous Green

This minty green color is on-trend for this year and beautiful on most skin tones. The surplice V-neckline and flutter cap sleeves are VERY flattering. There’s also a pretty, built-in metallic element at the waist for added definition and beads and sequins throughout the fabric which looks so luxe! This dress also comes in a stunning copper color as well.

Pretty in Purple

Lavender is another popular color right now. This Halston dress is for the MOB or MOG that likes a little drama! The one-shoulder silhouette is sophisticated with its long, draped sleeve. Then the front twist hits right at the sweet spot under the bust and the deep front slit will show a little leg, but not too much!

Romantic Floral

I love that this column dress is a bit unexpected and different. The muted floral design is feminine and elegant, and the thick blush ribbon will highlight your waist.

Basic Beauty

This next dress is not only a more affordable option at under $250, but it also comes in 9 colors and Standard and Plus sizing. It has an A-line fit, an empire waistline, and flutter sleeves if you want to keep your arms covered. If the deep V-neck is too much for you, a tailor could easily add a hook and eye closure at the bust.

Wear Again For Real!

This next dress by Zimmerman has a classic wrap silhouette which is very flattering on most body types. The petal pink color is just gorgeous and the shawl collar, blouson sleeves, and ruched cuffs are such elegant details. With the shorter length, this could work for a slightly less formal wedding and is even a dress you could consider wearing again…really!

Metallic Yet Classic

Metallics are really on-trend this year and this silvery taupe dress really speaks to me! It has all-over sequined embellishments and a pretty V-back. I also like that it has short sleeves and a defined waist.

Bring On The Drama!

If you love pink as much as I do, this might be the dress for you. It has the most beautiful draping and while it’s difficult to see in the graphic, a sliver of beading down both sides of the deep V-neck. The balloon sleeves are on-trend and appropriate for church or outdoor weddings.

Pretty Pleats

I had to include another pink dress because well…it’s pink! The pleating throughout is so special. If you are looking to keep (mostly) covered up and not show a ton of skin, this dress would be a beautiful option.


Navy tends to be a popular option for MOB and MOG dresses because it looks so great on most women and it’s such a classic choice. This dress really has it all… V-neckline, a flattering, body-skimming fit, sheer sleeves, beading, and sequins. And, you can wear a regular bra!

Classic Navy

This is another classic navy option that gives me Jacky O vibes. It’s simple, elegant, and the halter style will show off your shoulders. It has a seamed waist, a small train, and a pretty tear-shaped cutout in the back. It also comes in black and a beautiful pink.

Fluted Skirt

If you want a classic black dress with a twist, this dress is the one! The cutout at the shoulder is a lovely detail and your decolletage is covered so you won’t feel exposed. The skirt is slightly fluted and has a contrasting lining that’s just a little extra. So pretty!

Chic Cocktail Dress

This next black lace dress is another classic silhouette with the prettiest lace overlay. The sheerness at the sleeves and waist is very chic. It’s not a full-length gown so if you’ve been looking for more of a midi-length, this statement dress would be a pretty option for you. It would also be a great wedding guest dress!
Join the Conversation

13 thoughts on “5 Tips for Finding Your Perfect Mother of the Bride Dress!

  1. I need a semiformal dress for a wedding I’m attending on 6/3! I have to stay below $250. Would love just below knee or midi length. Large bust at a church. Please help!

    1. Here’s some more ideas specific to your shopping needs, Laura!
      Flutter Sleeve Faux Wrap Dress |
      Asymmetrical Lace Dress |
      Flutter Sleeve Midi |
      Cotton Eyelet Midi Dress |
      Floral Long Sleeve High Low |
      Hope this helps on your search! ~Team Busbee

  2. This article is spot on! And timely given our son’s upcoming wedding in the Fall. Excellent choices on these dress options, too! You found the gems, I would be happy with any one of these 12 beauties.

    1. I’m so glad this is helpful for you as you plan for your son’s wedding this fall, Megan! Thanks so much for reading. ~Erin xo

  3. I love your ideas and style!!! I met you last summer by the falls when you were taking photos. I work at telluride academy in the summer a few weeks every summer. will you Please give some ideas on cute hiking outfits? i always feel so plain and boring while i am teaching. My son is getting married in August at the peaks, so I will be looking closely at your ideas of possible dresses.
    I hope to run into you again…..thank you

    1. Yes… I’ve been wanting to do some hiking options. Great idea… and i hope to bump into you again too!! Erin xo

  4. Well the limelight is always on the Bride and right so it should be, and then there are the Bridesmaids but the mother of the bride is somehow sidelined :P. The dresses in the blog are going to bring the glamour for The Mother of the Bride”.

  5. Five years ago, I was the MOB, and did the traditional shopping in stores. I loved my dress (a black carmen marc valvo gown) but it was $1100 from saks, not including alterations. This year I am the mother of the groom, and i used the internet. i ordered ten dresses from 5 different retailers (after checking their return policies). once they all arrived, I tried them all on in the comfort of my own home. i took selfies, sent to my daughters for their opinions (my son said “whatever you like is fine!). And i found my perfect dress! a dark blue Tahari gown. and the best part? only $97!!! from saks off 5th. gotta love online shopping!!!

  6. Hi there! My dayghter was married at the end of December and i found 6 BEAUTIFUL gowns at Lord and Taylor that were much cheaoer than some of your options here. Most less than $200 and many of the styles you are highlight Were available. I wore #8 in Emerald green velvet and felt wonderful.

    I question the very light beige dresses on this list. I would think i was competing with the bride’s look.

    Great advice here!

  7. Although it has been a few years nOw i remember shopping for my dress for my son’s wedding. My #1 tip Hands down is don’t go into a store/shop asking for a mob or mog dress. What i was shown was so old and matrOnLy looking. I found my perfect dress in The bridesmaid seCtion. I feLt beautiful and sTylish!

    1. Aww Sandy I can soooo relate to your comment. Exact same experience here. I shopped every bridal shop and department store and all I found toooo were dresses that would be wonderful for my Grandmother And the size….all for larger women. I was 69 at the time of my son’s wedding. I started looking online and i found my dress at new york dress company…beautiful Gown…, the customer service was amazing and I received a Ton of compliments ..even was told “I should be a model” ( that made my day ). Now, the only problem i have now is what should I do with it? Any ideas? It is a total shame to wear it once and what? I
      I totally enjoy allllll of Erin’s blogs…thank you for listening..

Explore More

explore more
View All Posts

5 Summer Staples to Have in Your Closet to Make Getting Dressed Everyday Easier

Do you have your summer basics covered and feel a sense of ease every time…
Read + Shop
For Less Friday

Can The Cargo Trend Be Chic? You Bet It Can – For Less Friday

Sharing the chicest designer cargo jumpsuit and an affordable option to try the trend!
Read Post

22 Non-Cringey Gifts for Your Favorite High School Grad

Need a graduation gift? We’ve put together a list of 22 non-cringey gifts for your…
Read Post