I’m the Mother, What should I wear? (Color and Length)

color 300x113  I’m the Mother, What should I wear? (Color and Length)

I think the questions asked most frequently are what color should I wear and what length gown should I wear.  Let’s talk about those items first.

I often tell the Mother of the Bride that she should wear the color in which she feels most confident , and the color that makes her feel pretty.  If a woman feels pretty, then she is usually pretty confident.  I tell the Mother of the Groom the exact same thing, but I also tell her to be prepared with a 2nd color choice if the Brides mother is wearing her 1st color choice.

As Official hostess of the wedding festivities, the Mother of the bride has 1st choice of color and length of gown.  The color should be chosen with the a-fore mentioned things in mind, and also with the color of the bridal party in mind.  As the hostess, she  should choose to wear a gown in keeping with the mood of the wedding.  If it is to be a formal service, then a formal gown is in order.  If it is more casual, garden event, then the dress should be chosen with that in mind.  Mothers are not bridesmaids.  Therefore, choose a color that is complimentary to the bridesmaid’s color, but not the same.  Choose your color, or color family and the length of the gown you will wear as early as possible.  Then tell the Groom’s mom your preference and she can begin her search for a gown.  So often I’ve had the Mother of the Groom come in, only a few weeks before the wedding, desperate for a gown.  She only just learned the color the bride’s mother is wearing and she has been waiting.  This makes for a nervous Mother of the Groom and doesn’t help to create good vibes between the two moms.

The Mother of the Groom is an honored guest at the wedding, is given  seating equal to that of the brides’ mother, so she must look very special as well.  She should choose to wear the length of gown established by the bride’s mother, and a color that is not that of the bridal party, or the bride’s mother.  A color that would compliment either or both of those colors would be wonderful, IF that is one that will make the Groom’s mother feel pretty and confident.

The step-mother of the bride or groom is a guest at the wedding.  The step-mother chooses her dress after the Mothers of the Bride and Groom.  She should not wear the colors that either of the Mothers have selected.  If the Mothers are planning for long , formal gowns, then you may choose to wear that length as well, but the length is you choice.  If the Mothers have chosen to wear short or tea length gowns, the you should not wear a long gown.  Follow the rules that we’ve previously discussed to the Mothers when making selections.  You should simply ask your step child what their preferences are regarding your attire, and the follow any suggestions given as you so choose.  You certainly need to feel comfortable and secure in your choice.  After all, you are a family member, this is a happy occasion, and you want to feel and look beautiful and enjoy the event.

The Grandmothers of the couple may choose to wear long gowns if the Mothers are wearing long gowns.  If the Grandmothers prefer to wear a different length gown, it is perfectly fine to do so.  They are guest of the wedding, not a member of the wedding party, so it is their choice.

If you have questions, or comments, please leave them for me.  If you have suggestions for other Mothers, or an experience that you wish to share, please go to the bottom of the entry where it says “Speak Your Mind” and fill out the info, hit the submit button and tell me.  I will then share it with other Mothers.  Together, we will lick this age old problem of what do I wear?


  1. Thanks for this information. I really wanted to wear long gown and the grooms mom was wearing short. But I’m sticking to what I wanted to wear on this special day this article made me feel better.

  2. Hello,
    My question is: If the bridesmaid are wearing short dresses, does that mean I, the mother of the bride, should also wear short?

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