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Elegance is key when it comes to choosing a wedding day outfit as the mother of the bride (or groom).

Follow MANNING CARETLL’s lead with classic pieces that look the part.

If you’re the mother of the bride (MOTB) or mother of the groom (MOTG) at upcoming nuptials – congratulations!

Weddings are a special day for all involved. And choosing the right outfit is one part of ensuring celebrations go smoothly.

When it comes to wedding guest style, the most important rule is to follow the couples’ lead. You will be able to tell a lot about the theme and style of the occasion based on the invitation, dress code and location. And if you’re in the wedding party or a parent to the bride or groom, you will have insider access to their preferences. Finding a dress that makes everyone feel happy is the key to nailing mother of the bride (or groom) style.

Why do the parents of the bride and groom have a specific outfit?

Like a lot of wedding day do’s and don'ts, the outfit choice for parents of the happy couple stems from tradition. Thankfully, matronly mother of the bride dresses that were once tradition have begun to fade away as modern brides choose more minimal gowns themselves and encourage a relaxed atmosphere for their guests. An outfit that coordinates with the bridal party or denotes you as a special figure is the best way to make your position in the wedding clear. If your son or daughter ask you to wear a specific colour or type of dress, it is respectful to take their preferences into consideration. Comfortable silhouettes in flattering colours will give you the most confidence and help you enjoy the day.


What should the MOTB or MOTG wear?

As wedding day etiquette continues to evolve, MOTB and MOTG outfits are less restrictive. You should choose something that you feel comfortable wearing – but that doesn’t mean it has to be ultra conservative or bathed in beige tones. If the theme of the wedding is black tie, you would look for a floor-length gown and choose accessories that match the mood. For cocktail or garden party dress codes, adding a pop of colour or subtle print could be a good choice.

There are three main outfit formulas to follow: finding a dress that you both love, choosing a coordinating top and skirt (that mimics a dress but makes you feel comfortable) or opting for a tailored pantsuit. This is where the dress code and the bride and groom’s own personal style will help you decipher the best choice. In general, it is common to choose longer hemlines for dresses and skirts (you don’t have to go for a maxi, a beautiful midi can be the right silhouette depending on the details). If you prefer to wear a pair of pants, choosing a blouse that balances the structure is a great way to soften your look. Feminine details like lace, embroidery or ruffles will come into play here.

How to choose an outfit

Let the bride lead

The bride is the best guide when it comes to working out what to wear. If she has a strong feeling towards colour, cut or length, make sure you have a conversation about what you would like to wear. Finding an outfit that makes you both feel comfortable will be the obvious choice. Consider any cultural or religious requirements too, especially if they differ from your own background.

Incorporate colour from the decor

While you don’t want to match the decor exactly, the wedding colour scheme can help guide outfit choices for guests and family members. For example, if there is a strong penchant for soft pinks or pastel hues, this is a good starting point for planning. It's probably best to steer clear of anything too bold or bright as not to take the spotlight off the happy couple in photos or on the day – but again, they can help guide your choice. Think about your hair and skin colour within the chosen palette and find the right shade so don’t want to look washed-out.

Consider the venue

As with any event, considering the venue and the plan for the day is important when it comes to getting dressed. Shoes are always a topic of debate because you want something stylish but comfortable. If the ceremony is at a church or religious venue, you should dress accordingly (usually it's best to cover your shoulders and think about the length of your hem). For outside occasions, make sure you take sun protection into consideration. A lovely wrap or even a hat can be both fashionable and functional additions to your outfit.

Communicate your choice

Traditionally the MOTB chooses her dress first and then shares this with the MOTG so that she can plan accordingly. All family dynamics are different but it can be fun to gather together for a day of shopping and to find outfits that everyone feels comfortable in. Making a choice a few months before the wedding day gives the chance for any tailoring or alterations, as well as the opportunity to find the right accessories.

Rememberthe glam

While you don’t want to outshine the bride, it is important to still dress the part. Hair and makeup is an important part of the whole look (especially when it comes to photos) but jewellery and accessories make an impact to. You might choose to wear something sentimental (a pair of earrings from your own wedding, the shoes you and your daughter bought on holiday etc.) or you might see this outfit as an opportunity to collect items that could one day be passed along.


Like any special occasion, the key to looking your best is remembering to relax and enjoy the day.

MANNING CARTELL’s signature pieces exude elegance and offer a modern sense of style.