When it comes to weddings, all eyes are on the bride, but it's exciting for all family members involved. It's a wonderful moment learning that your son popped the question, and the following weeks are a whirlwind of celebratory dinners, ring flashing, banquet visiting, and deep conversations that center around important questions like "chocolate or red velvet filling?" And as the bride starts her hunt for a wedding dress, you're going to start thinking about your mother of the groom dress. There are so many things to consider when narrowing down your picks for the perfect frock, but instead of it being stressful it can be super fun. You can meet up with the mother of the bride, go on a Sunday brunch of mimosas, and start hitting the boutiques to find just the right pick.
But how do you choose a mother of the groom dress when there are seemingly hundreds of beautiful dresses vying for your attention? Well, it all matters on what your son and his partner whip together in terms of the wedding. Will it be a beach ceremony in front of the sunset and lapping shore? Then leave the ballgown behind and go for a stylish tea length dress. Will it be a garden wedding covered in wildflowers and white paper lanterns? Then maybe a floral dress would be just the right option to blend in with the theme. Or maybe they decided on a black tie affair, complete with champagne and chandeliers. Then you would want to swap out the casual chiffon dress and try a sweeping ballgown on for size. There's so much to consider, but luckily for us there are hundreds of designers that have kept all of these situations in mind and have created a bevvy of lovely mother of the groom dresses that would make the wedding day feel extra special. Check out some selections below to get you started, and bookmark this page to come back to when it's finally time to hit the shops for your mother of the groom gown. We'll narrow down your choices together.
1. Metallic Sequin Gown
Metallic Sequin Gown, $332, Dillard's
This metallic sequin gown is a lovely pick for a mother of the groom dress because it's dressed up enough to make you feel like you're headed to a special occasion, but it also works well with a handful of different venues and themes. Its elegant column silhouette is timeless, making it a great choice for an upscale banquet reception, but it's also inconspicuous enough to work for a more casual restaurant reception. Its pewter color and jewel detailing also give you a festive amount of sparkle, but you won't feel like you're about to go present an Academy Award. It's a chameleon of a dress, ready to blend into any kind of ceremony.
And keeping the venue in mind is an important part of reception dress shopping. "If you take away only one tip, let it be this one: Follow the bride's cues about style, color, and degree of formality," Brides Magazine shared. "She and the groom set the tone for the event, whether that means a casual country wedding complete with cowboy boots or a formal black-tie affair. You're an important member of the wedding party and you'll want to look the part."
This particular dress is from the label Cachet, and they specialize in plus size and straight size evening wear dresses. You can see their full selection of mother of the groom dresses at Dillard's here, in case you would like to see more options to get you thinking.
2. Embroidered Cap Sleeve Gown
Embroidered Cap Sleeve Gown, $333, Dillard's
This silver and gold reception dress number is another workhorse, where it's charming enough for an outdoor wedding complete with mimosas and a cupcake table, but also elegant enough to fit right into a marbled banquet hall. Its silver color is subdued - feeling more pastel than chrome - and the floral appliques grow like wildflowers down the length of the dress. The illusion neckline adds a touch of interest, and the busy neckline means you don't have to worry about picking out necklaces to go with your outfit.
This particular dress is from designer Adrianna Papell, and it runs from sizes 2-16. Papell specializes in upscale and wonderfully flirty evening dresses, meaning you won't find a frumpy, matronly pick in her selection. To see more options from the designer, check out Dillard's reception dress lineup from her here.
When getting ready to spend an afternoon hitting boutiques to find your mother of the groom dress, it would be a good idea to have the mother of the bride tag along - and that's not only because it would be a nice bonding experience.
"Traditionally, the mother of the bride purchases her dress first. Her choice is meant to subtly dictate what the mother of the groom will wear and set the tone of the attire," The Knot shared. "This may seem a bit old-fashioned, but these days, it should be more of a conversation than anything. The mother of the groom should get a sense of what she's wearing (length, color, style), and then find something similar that she's comfortable wearing."
3. Soutache Sheath Dress
Soutache Sheath Dress, $368, Dillard's
Not feeling ballgowns or sweeping hemlines? If a cocktail dress is more your speed, this soutache sheath dress is a beautiful pick. It feels a little more toned down than a ballgown sequin number, but it's still plenty dressed up. Its pencil skirt silhouette is sophisticated, but the soft billowing around the waistline makes it feel a little more casual. This particular option also comes in four different colorways, allowing you to choose the hue that would best fit the wedding theme. You can pick between blush, slate, navy, and black.
According to Martha Stewart, having color options as a mother of the groom is important: "Because the mother of the groom isn't part of the bridal party, she should avoid choosing a dress in the same color as the bridesmaids' attire, the mother of the bride's dress, or the wedding gown. Instead, she should pick a shade that both flatters her and won't clash with the other women's clothing in the photographs."
Not sure how to do that? Regina Ellis, Creative Director of John Charles, recommends going in the color family of the bride's colors. "Work to complement the weddings colour palette, not match it. Look at the colour scheme of the bridal party. If the bridesmaids are in lilac, go for a rich, deep purple accent."
This dress definitely has the potential to compliment anything the wedding party decides to don, and the people who have already worn it to ceremonies and receptions found it a great pick. "LOVE this dress. It fit perfectly. I wore it to a wedding and received lots of compliments. Great value," one reviewer shared.
3. One Shoulder Bow Crepe Gown
One Shoulder Bow Crepe Gown, $530, Dillard's
If you're a couple of months into the planning stages of the wedding and know that your son has settled on a black tie affair, then that's when the fun really begins: it's time to buy an elegant gown! It's not everyday that we get to dress up in sweeping frocks that make you feel like eating underneath chandeliers is an everyday thing, so why not have fun with it? Choose a dress that's truly special and makes you want to high-five yourself in the mirror.
This one-shouldered dress is a beautiful pick because not only is it black and sleek - fitting the black tie requirement and blending easily with the rest of the wedding party - but it's also modern in a classic way. The color-blocked black and white hues and one short sleeve give it an artistic touch, and the column silhouette looks like you could have seen this same design in the archives of Dior during the mid-century. Meaning if you look back at photos of the wedding day in 30 years, you won't laugh at the trendy frock you wore.
Quality is also key. While you should set a budget, investing in a well made mother of the groom dress that might cost a smidge more than you were hoping could still be a good investment. "Choosing a quality outfit will not only give you a great silhouette, you’ll also have an outfit that will last a lifetime," Ellis shared with Hitched.
The reviews on this particular one are glowing, where shoppers loved the way they felt in the gown all evening long. "I LOVE this dress; it is absolutely gorgeous and so classy! I felt amazing in it. I love the way the material feels," one reviewer posted.
4. Ribbed Stretch Dress
Ribbed Stretch Dress, $467, Dillard's
On the flip side, if your son is throwing a more casual wedding or a small, intimate reception, then a flattering cocktail dress would do the trick. Featuring long sleeves and a flirty hi-low ruffle hemline, it will make you feel dolled up without taking the styling overboard. Plus, if you want to add a little more pizzazz to the simple mother of the groom frock, you can dress it up with the help of accessories like jewelry, belts, and statement making shoes.
This particular dress is from label Tadashi Shoji, which makes a wide range of different formal dresses. You can find everything from simple cocktail dresses, elaborate gala gowns, sweet tea length dresses, and everything in between that a mother of the groom might be looking for. You can check out their full selection at Dillard's here in case you want to see more dress options.
5. Belted Sheath Dress
3/4-Sleeve Belted Sheath Dress, $233, Dillard's
Another short dress option is this belted sheath dress from Alex Evenings, which caters to a wide selection of mother of the groom dresses. You can find everything from bolero-topped cocktail dresses to sequin ballgown explosions.
This one has scalloped edge detailing at the neck and 3/4 illusion sleeves, adding a touch of sophistication without being too flashy. And shoppers agreed that it's a great special occasion dress, where one reviewer wrote, "I got this dress to wear to a very special cocktail party. The invitation specifically said, "ladies in chic dresses" and this dress fit the bill perfectly. It was absolute perfection! The color, the style, the fit. I couldn't have asked for a better choice. I just need to find more occasions to wear it!"
6. Illusion 3/4 Sleeve Midi Dress
Illusion 3/4 Sleeve Midi Dress, $357, Dillard's
Just because something is a cocktail dress doesn't mean it can't be suitable for a more upscale event. The midi dress has plenty of class thanks to its soutache embroidery, illusion paneling, and classic boat neckline. And many other mothers of the bride and groom agree.
"Wearing this to my daughters afternoon wedding and evening reception. Very comfortable dress with stretch in the fabric," a reviewer shared. "I wore to my son's wedding. Received so many comments about how beautiful I looked. The dress is gorgeous!!" another posted.
This particular dress is from JS Collections, which plays around a lot with lace and embroidered dresses. If you like this look and want to see more dresses in similar styles, check out their full line up here.
7. Cap Sleeve Dress
Cap Sleeve Dress, $280, Anthropologie
This is another lovely pick for a dress that looks both upscale and causal at the same time. Featuring clean lines and sleek contours, this cap-sleeve mother of the groom dress skims just the right places and then flairs out at the knee. It's the perfect pick for the woman who likes a minimalist aesthetic.
From garden wedding picks to gala-like ballgowns, as mother of the groom you have so many wonderful dresses to pick from. Now go try them on!
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