What are the basics in mother-of-the-bride fashion etiquette?

August 16, 2017

Dear PB Pro,

My mom is stressing out about finally being a mother-of-the-bride. Mainly what to wear and how or if she should coordinate with my fiancé’s mom and my stepmom. What are the basics in mother-of-the-bride fashion etiquette? I love my mom to pieces and want to make this as easy as possible for her!

– Love My Mother-of-the-Bride

Dear Love My Mother-of-the-Bride,

It’s normal for moms to feel a little pressure on their daughter’s big day. They usually play a huge role, and want to feel stylish and confident — just like you! Tradition works in your mom’s favor, as the etiquette has always been that the mother-of-the-bride chooses her ensemble first, then the mother-of-the-groom and any other caregivers (such as your stepmom) go from there. You may very well be the only line of communication between these three important women in your life, so be open and honest from the start. If you want to stick with tradition, tell your fiancé’s mom and your stepmom that you will let them know once your mother has made her selection so that they can shop accordingly.

Yes, the three of them should absolutely coordinate their outfits, given that they will likely be in some photos together. They might consider dressing in your wedding colors, or in various shades of a nice neutral. Imagine the bigger picture — the moms lined up next to you, your bridal party, and each other — and urge them to dress in styles that work together. That’s not to say everyone has to be in a dress, but the vibe and taste level should match.

If your mom is particularly stressed due to any body confidence issues, reassure her that options are endless these days and tailoring can work like magic. Visit local shops or department stores staffed with professionals that can help suggest items she might not have considered: an elegant wrap or jacket, a skirt and blouse combination, or a polished suit.

— The PB Pro

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