Rhode Island Wedding Guide

Dressing the Mother of the Bride (or Groom!): A Style Guide

Wedding season is upon us and while the Bride is busy finalizing all the details of her big day, there’s one important woman in her life that still has some important shopping to do. Yes, it's the Mother of the Bride or Groom, who, often, is running around last minute to get her dress.  We’re sure it’s because she’s been busy helping her daughter or future daughter-in-law tie up all the loose ends of her wedding.  But she deserves to look every bit as fabulous as the Bride.

But don’t despair, Mother of the Bride and Grooms, we have great tips about style and trends for your dress.  Once again, we went to an expert, Donna Holland of Party Dress Express, New England’s #1 retailer for wedding and special occasion. 

“We absolutely love helping Mothers find their dresses. It’s something I completely relate to because it was only a year and a half ago that I attended my daughter’s wedding. You would think that because I own my own store, I would have my eye on a dress for months!  But you truly get so busy helping with the wedding that you can often forget yourself. That’s what a lot of Moms are feeling, so we like to reassure them that we can help them look beautiful on their daughter or sons big day.”

Effortless Style: Holland continues, “I always listen to the key words a mother is saying when she is describing her perfect dress.  For instance, if she says words to me like “effortless,” then I think of fabrics that are flowy and romantic and have movement.  Here are some of my favorite ‘effortless’ styles.”

Goodbye to Stodgy Suits: Mother of the Bride and Groom dresses used to be stiff and stodgy.  Holland reassures us, “But not anymore.  The designers have really caught up with the trends.  One of my favorite updates is the classic ‘suit’ dress.  This is perfect for a mom who is looking for a sophisticated dress that she can wear again and again.”  Even better, this style can be worn long or short.  And by taking the jacket or bolero off, you can completely transform your look!

Sexy Mamas: “I love dressing confident Moms.  Designers now know Mother of the Brides and Grooms want to look gorgeous… dare I say, sexy, too.  ‘Sexy’ never has to mean over the top, it’s about showing a little skin, perhaps with a one shoulder dress or a strapless dress.  They often come with a wrap and some even with a little bolero jacket if you are feeling modest.”

Glamour Goddess: “I love when a mother tells me she is going to a formal wedding or even one held at night,” Holland continues.  “Fabric choices and colors can be more rich and bold and that leads to a lot of fun picking out a dress.”  Whether it’s the addition of feather accents, intricate beading or ruching detail, a dress with these details is sure to wow your guests.

We asked Holland if she had any quick words of advice for Moms on the last minute dress hunt.  Holland told us, “When in doubt about color, I tell Moms to go with champagne, not only does it compliment most skin tones (so you’ll look great in photos!), but it transcends seasons.  Plus, it looks gorgeous in photos next to the Bride’s gown.”  Any other tips?  “If you have some time, check out what a dress shop has in store, online. This can really help when you come in store and say, ‘I loved the silhouette of this design.’  Then the dress consultant can pick out four or five choices of something similar. My last bit of advice would be to come see us at Party Dress Express! We really have so much experience helping Moms, at the last minute, find the perfect dress!”

Find a Rhode Island Bridal Shop

Bridal Gowns:
Bridal Gowns
Keyhole Backs
The Right Style Gown
Bridal Gown Coverups
Add Color to your Gown
Find more gown articles >

Groom's Fashions:
Suits & Tuxedos: 5 Trends
Beyond the Boutonniere
Grooming Tips
Groom's Accessories
Find more groom articles >

Hair & Makeup:
Spring/Summer Hair
To Veil or Not?
Bridal Beauty Schedule
Getting a Glow
Sunless Tanning
Find more beauty articles >

Misc Articles:
Bridesmaids' Dress Trends
Bridal Purses
Rehearsal Dinner Dress
Wedding Bands
Find more misc articles >

Download a free copy of our wedding handbook when you sign up for our weekly e-newsletter. Find helpful articles, budget worksheets, vendor questionnaires and more.