10 Mother-of-the-Groom Dress Etiquette Tips

Mother of the Groom Dress Etiquette
Choose a dress that complements the wedding theme and the bride's mother's attire, and consider the time of day and venue. Wear a comfortable dress that flatters your figure and allows you to move. Avoid white or off-white and consider the wedding venue, time, and cultural traditions.

1. Decoding The Dress Code

As the groom’s mother, choose an outfit that complements the wedding’s theme and colors. Tips for choosing an outfit that complements the wedding:

  • Choose an outfit that reflects the wedding theme.
  • The wedding venue can also influence your outfit choice. If the wedding is outdoors in the summertime, choose a lighter fabric or a dress that’s not too formal.
  • A formal gown or dress complements a black-tie wedding, while a cocktail dress is appropriate for a semi-formal wedding.

2. Don’t Forget The Bride’s Mother

groom with his mother and mother-in-law
Groom with his mother and mother-in-law

The mother of the groom and bride plays a significant role in their children’s wedding day. Coordinating outfits can help avoid the embarrassment and discomfort of clashing outfits on the wedding day. 

Tips for communicating and deciding on the color and style of dresses:

  • Start the coordination process early, ideally as soon as the wedding date is set.
  • Share your dress ideas and inspirations. 
  • Be open to compromising on the color and style of your wedding dresses.
  • Consult with your to-be daughter-in-law and son on what family members should wear. 

3. Color Coordination

You are an important figure at the wedding, and selecting the right color scheme for your dress is paramount. Navy is a timeless and classic color that is suitable for any season. It is an excellent choice for an evening wedding and pairs well with many other colors. 

Silver and gold are metallic colors add glamour and sophistication to your outfit. They are perfect for formal weddings and can be paired with neutral colors like black or white.

Blush is a soft and feminine color that can be a beautiful option for a spring or summer wedding. It complements other colors, including navy and gold, and can create a romantic and elegant look.

To choose an appropriate color, consider the wedding’s overall style, the venue, the season, and the mother-of-the-bride dress.

4. Season And Time Of Day

Consider the season, time of day, and fabric when choosing your wedding outfit. You can select an appropriate, comfortable, and stylish outfit by considering these tips:

  • Choose lightweight and breathable fabrics like cotton, linen, and chiffon during spring and summer. 
  • For fall and winter, you can opt for heavier fabrics like wool, velvet, or satin.
  • For daytime weddings, lighter and brighter colors are more appropriate, while darker and richer colors are perfect for evening weddings

5. Comfort Is Key

Choosing an outfit that is comfortable for the wedding party is essential. You’ll want to look your best while moving around easily and avoiding discomfort from wearing uncomfortable clothes and shoes.

Here are some tips on how to choose a comfortable outfit for the wedding day

  • Choose fabrics that are breathable, lightweight, and stretchy. 
  • Opt for an outfit that flatters your body shape and fits you well. Choose comfortable styles, like A-line or shift dresses, and avoid tight-fitting or body-hugging outfits. 
  • Choose shoes that feature soft leather, cushioned insoles, and offer good arch support.
  • Choose accessories that complement your outfit and are comfortable to wear.

6. Avoid White Or Off-White

In Western culture, wearing white or off-white outfits to a wedding is impolite, as these colors are traditionally reserved for the bride. This etiquette rule extends to the groom’s mother, who should avoid wearing white or off-white on the big day.

Tips on alternative colors and fabrics that can complement the wedding colors and theme:

  • Deep, rich jewel tones like emerald, ruby, sapphire, and amethyst are perfect alternatives to white or off-white. 
  • Soft pastels like blush, lavender, and mint are also great options for wedding attire. 
  • If you want to make a statement, wear a bold, bright color like fuchsia, royal blue, or orange. 
  • Floral prints are a classic choice for wedding attire. 

7. Accessorize For Success

When accessorizing for a wedding, consider the level of formality of the event, the time of day, the dress code, and the overall style of your outfit. 

Here are some tips for choosing appropriate accessories:

  • Jewelry: Choose jewelry that compliments your outfit without overpowering it.
  • Bags: Go for a clutch or small purse rather than a large tote or shoulder bag. 
  • Hats: Choose a small fascinator or a wide-brimmed hat in a neutral color if it’s a formal wedding. 
  • Shoes: If you wear a long dress, your shoes won’t be as visible so you can opt for a more comfortable pair. If it’s a casual wedding and you’ll wear a short dress or skirt, choose a pair that complements your outfit and is comfortable.
  • Makeup and Hair: Go for a natural, glowing look with soft curls or a simple updo. 

8. The Venue Matters

The choice of a wedding venue can have a significant impact on your outfit choice. The location, theme, and level of formality of the wedding and your responsibility in the wedding will determine the appropriate attire for the occasion.

Tips on how to choose an outfit appropriate for the wedding venue:

  • If the wedding is in a formal ballroom, choose a dressy outfit. A neutral or metallic shade floor-length gown is a safe choice. 
  • For an outdoor wedding in a garden or country club setting, go for a feminine and romantic dress. Soft pastels, floral prints, and flowing fabrics like chiffon or silk are all good choices. 
  • Choose a lightweight and breathable outfit if the wedding is on a beach. A bright color, bold print sundress, or maxi dress can be festive and fun. A linen or cotton pantsuit can be comfortable and stylish. 
  • Choose a chic and sophisticated outfit for a small or intimate wedding in a city hall or courthouse setting. A tailored suit, knee-length dress, or jumpsuit in a classic color like black, navy, or cream is stylish. 

9. Dress For Your Body Type

Dressing for your body type is the key to feeling confident and comfortable during the wedding. Wearing clothes that flatter your figure will make you look your best and feel more confident.

Tips to help you choose styles and fabrics that flatter your body type:

  • Choose fabrics that drape nicely and don’t cling too much. Soft and flowy fabrics like chiffon, silk, and crepe can be good choices. 
  • Determine which parts of your body you love the most and find ways to accentuate them. Choose dresses that cinch in at the waistline if you have a small waist. If you have great legs, choose a dress with a shorter hemline.
  • The neckline can make a big difference in how a dress looks. If you have a larger bust, consider a v-neck. If you have a smaller bust, consider a high neck.

10. Cultural Considerations

Wearing appropriate attire shows respect for the occasion and helps you blend in with the cultural traditions.

Tips for incorporating traditional elements:

  • Before dress shopping, research the cultural traditions and customs of the wedding you’ll be attending. 
  • Adding traditional accessories is one way to incorporate traditional elements into your outfit. If the wedding has a Hawaiian theme, you could wear a lei or floral hair accessory.
  • If you’re uncomfortable with traditional clothing, you can still show respect by choosing a subtle outfit incorporating traditional elements.


Tabitha is a curious and enthusiastic writer who believes in the power of words and the importance of good manners. Etiquette is her passion, and she enjoys sharing her knowledge with others. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with her family.

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