The Mother of the Bride has a very special part to play in her daughter’s big day; and dressing for the occasion can be fraught with worry, especially when it comes to colours and styles.
What should a Mother of the Bride wear to an Afternoon Wedding?
Most weddings are in the afternoon, so the clear question is “what should the mother of the bride wear to an afternoon wedding?”.
However, there’s more to that isn’t there? What happens if you are hosting a brunch with guests before the wedding, you will want to wear something appropriate for the wedding itself, but not the actual dress you choose for the afternoon’s special occasion!
There are various factors including the season and the venue; however, once you know these facts it is such an exciting experience, and one that needn’t cause anxiety.
Most weddings are held in the afternoon and carry on late into the evening, of course there are exceptions, but let’s assume your daughter has chosen to marry her gorgeous groom in the afternoon.
Now, you have congratulated her, hugged her and let her guide you with how much she’d like you to be part of the organisation…what next? Your dress, that’s what.
Seasonal Weddings – What should the Mother of Bride Wear?
Of course it depends what time of year, Spring Wedding, Summer Wedding, Autumn Wedding or a Winter Wedding that helps decide what we wear on any occasion.
Each of these seasons dictate a different requirement, and probably a different colour palette, but overall being able to answer a few of these questions might help guide you:
Where is the Venue for the Wedding?
Knowing the location and venue for your daughter’s big day will be able to guide your shopping ideas!
The wedding venue (together with the season) can be useful when you are deciding on your outfit. If your daughter is going for a marquee summer wedding, then a simple floral dress will be perfect with some pretty shoes (remember, you’ll be walking and dancing!), but if it’s a chic affair held in a castle, then go for tailoring, heels and jewellery all the way.
Imagine your daughter and her groom have decided upon an expensive hotel with ornate and glitzy interiors, it’s a lovely idea to fit in with your surroundings, but don’t forget you will be outside milling around in the late afternoon before you sit down to dinner, very possibly outside if the weather still permits.
Choosing the entire outfit with a shawl, dress coat or wrap is so important rather than panicking at the last minute and throwing something random over your shoulders. This day is important for you too, so take time to invest in a whole attire that makes you feel confident.
If the venue is abroad, and post lockdown (let’s face it, there are going to be some fun overseas weddings); do think about the country, the weather, the beach, the mountains – what would you feel comfortable, yet glamorous wearing?
You want to feel special, elegant and proud, so again, plan ahead, think about your hair, your skin tone, your make-up and talk to your daughter about any concerns you have. You want to look beautiful but it’s your daughter’s day, so supporting her is number one on your list.
The number one question before you decide on the Mother of the Bride dress is:
What colour dress is the Bride wearing?
Yes! What is your daughter wearing? The shade of white, cream, red etc! Whatever colour she decides upon will impact the shades of the colour dress the Mother of the Bride should wear.
Remember, it’s your daughter’s special day and colour perfection from clothes, shoes, flowers and interiors will impact the whole day.
Here’s one of our classic dresses that is not only unique, but gives that chic and shapely style that is perfect for almost any shape: it’s our “Edge of the Shoulder” Bombshell dress. Effortless whilst complementing almost any wedding dress.
This one is navy and white, but there are so many variants of colour to choose from.
What Season is the Afternoon Wedding Being Held In?
A late spring, early summer wedding can enjoy the longer daylight so a lighter feel, often if outside in a marquee, needs to match your attire. Might it rain, but still feel warm? Never forget the dress coat, which adds style and class to any mother of the bride dress.
How about an autumn wedding? There are so many beautiful warm colours to work with in this season, with the leaves carpeting lawns in glorious golden waves, you can match your make-up and jewellery to any dress to show off autumnal tones.
There’s something a little magical about a winter wedding and the playfulness of the hats, shoes and jewellery to adorn extravagant mother of the bride dresses.
Just because it’s winter, doesn’t diminish the vibrancy. Brides who opt for winter weddings often love the season for a number of reasons, and whether or not they choose a sultry grey, a delicious gentle pink, a pure white or something else that they fall in love with, remember to check their chosen colour before you delve into your dress colour.
Should Mothers of the Bride and Groom Match?
Wouldn’t it be awful if you turned up wearing the same dress as the Mother of the Groom?
Your respective children are getting married to each other and their ceremony is a great way to chat about the wedding day, and also to gauge what the other’s style and fashion are. Once you know the “theme” for the wedding from your daughter, the blushing bride, you’ll be able to ascertain colours and preferences.
Depending on how well you know each other, you can always ask what their favourite shops are or style; you both want to feel elegant therefore working on complementing each other works out for everyone.
Don’t want to feel matronly as the Mother of the Bride?
A question we often get asked here at Bombshell HQ is,
“What dresses are there for the Mother of the Bride that aren’t frumpy?”
It’s a genuine fear and often a concern that mums don’t want to let down their daughters. It doesn’t matter what size you are, what height, what age, if you take time to understand which parts of your body you’d prefer “hidden” you’re already halfway there.
Often the most stunningly versatile dresses for Mother of the Bride are below the knee; either in the style of our Confident Dress (very Audrey Hepburn) with a capped sleeve and an hourglass feel.
Wearing shapewear to give you extra confidence is every woman’s secret!
If you’d like to cover up your upper arms then we’d recommend a Grace Kelly style dress that is absolutely beautiful. We have this in Pacific Blue, as well as Emerald Green.
To conclude our recommendations for what a Mother of the Bride should wear for an afternoon wedding we would remind you to:
- Check with your daughter about colours and her style first;
- Check the out the venue, or if too far away, Google it;
- Think about the seasons and which country it’s being celebrated, if not the UK;
- Communicate with the Mother of the Groom;
- Understand your body shape and ask for help with fittings! You might surprise yourself;
- Think about the shoes! It’s a long day…..
- Buy a complementary dress coat or shawl that befits the dress you will shine in.
Enjoy every minute!