What should the mother of the bride or groom wear on the big day? Mother of the bride/groom retailers give their outfit advice for upcoming weddings

The wedding party are an important part of the big day, and the mums need to feel their best to enjoy all of the celebrations and photos. Read on for answers to questions commonly asked by mums of the bride and groom, including how to dress for your body shape, which styles are in right now and which shoes and headwear to choose?

Petite mother of the bride or groom dresses

Fiona Wilson from Frox Of Falkirk advises: “Shorter ladies do need to be careful that their outfit doesn’t overpower them (something that also applies to headpieces), but there are lots of styles that will suit you whatever height you are. Our advice is simply to try on a variety of things and see what looks good.

“We offer an alterations service to give you the perfect fit, and we do have designs that can be made in a petite size (or in a longer length for our taller customers).”

Left: Embellished gown in pale pink by Gill Harvey, £POA, Frox Of Falkirk; Right: Tropical-print dress by Irresistible by Veromia, £POA, Frox of Falkirk

Does the groom’s mother have to match her outfit to his tartan?

“Choosing a colour to complement the tartan is often done, but it’s certainly not compulsory,” Fiona explains. “Our style consultants will discuss colour palettes and help you pick the option that suit you best.”

“If you’d like to match with your son’s tartan, we would suggest you bring a fabric swatch with you so we get the correct tones.”

Who should I bring shopping with me?

The choice is yours! Irene Mackie of Bentleys of Banchory suggests: “If you need a second opinion (and most of us do), bring the person you believe is the best judge for you. I’ve seen ladies come in to try on outfits accompanied by two daughters – who’ve given such conflicting comments that their mother is left baffled.

“She ends up saying, ‘I’ll leave it and get my husband’s opinion.’ My advice is, if it’s his point of view you value most, just bring him to begin with!”

Left: Chiffon dress in magenta (style 29870) by Veni Infantino, £639, Bentleys; Right: Arctic blue full-skirted organza dress (style 71135) by Condici, £699, Bentleys

What shoes should mother of the bride/groom wear to the wedding?

Irene explains: “Shops like mine that do the full package (outfit, hats, shoes, bags) will purchase the dresses first, then source shoes and accessories to complement them. I would advise you to do likewise: pick your dream dress then style around it.

“If you can’t get shoes in an exact match, metallic hues are a good option; they never go out of fashion and can easily be worn again.”

What should I bring with me when I go dress shopping?

Irene continues: “One tip when you go to the shops to try on outfits: bring a pair of heels with you (of a similar height to the ones you hope to wear on the day). And don’t bring black shoes unless you’re planning on buying an outfit with black in it; mother-of-the bride/groom dresses tend to be pastel-coloured, and dark heels can kill the overall look.”

What are the most popular mother of the bride/groom styles to wear just now?

Bombshell London has lots of options, as founder Katya Wildman tells us: “We’re loving Bombshell’s full-length outfits this season, and maxi dresses and jumpsuits are very on trend right now. Effortless glamour plus comfort – what’s not to love!

“In terms of style, bust-flattering V-necks continue to reign supreme. Look out for draped sarong shapes which conceal and flatter the tummy in a way that’s reminiscent of 1950s classic tailoring.”

Left: Luxe jersey jumpsuit in dark green, £199, Bombshell London; Right: Confident dress in brilliant blue, £269, Bombshell London

Which dress styles flatter a pear body shape?

“If you carry your weight on your lower half, you’ll want to play around with proportion to make your body look balanced from top to bottom,” says Katya. “Draw attention to your small waist and you’ll create an enviable hourglass figure.”

Which colours are in for 2023 and 2024 weddings?

“Radiant silver is a versatile shade for every season,” advises Christina Sigerson of Mia Bella. “Witness its brilliance under sunlight, candlelight or twinkling fairylights.

“The soft shade of blue on this Veromia dress (below right) complements most skin tones. The design is also extremely flattering, with a V-neck and cinched waist. It has a dipped hem too, which makes for a perfect swoosh around the dancefloor!”

Left: Grey floral dress by Couture-Club, £POA, Mia Bella; Right: Blue floral patterned dress from Veromia, £POA, Mia Bella

How to choose the right wedding headwear

Headwear is a popular piece of wedding attire, especially among mothers of the bride and groom. From fascinators to hats, many people take the ‘bigger is better’ approach, but understandably that’s not for everyone.

Glasgow-based Stephanie Gallen Millinery gives us the lowdown on how to choose the right headpiece for your outfit…

Hat, fascinator or headband – which headwear should I choose?

Stephanie weighs in, saying: “The traditional hat is often a mum’s first thought, while many shy away from considering fascinators – just the word itself is enough to conjure up images of a piece of fluff badly stuck to the side of your head.

“Firstly, I would say hats don’t have to be stuffy or traditional, and fascinators absolutely don’t fit that cliché anymore. My advice is try on everything – even styles that you assume will not be for you. You absolutely don’t know what you’ll look like until you try it.

“More than half of my customers end up leaving with a completely different style to what they originally had in mind.”

What hats are in style for 2023 and 2024?

“For the latest hat styles, look to see what any celebs or royals have been wearing the previous year – that’s what people will start to ask for,” Stephanie tells us.

Left: Coral swirl hat, from £45 to rent, Stephanie Gallen Millinery; Right: Rosa demure angled halo, from £45 to rent, Stephanie Gallen Millinery

Things to consider when buying your wedding headwear

Stephanie continues: “Make sure you’re comfortable wearing the headpiece and that it’s secure so you won’t be nervous moving around. Think about how you’re getting to the venue: will you be in a car? Will you be able to get into the vehicle while wearing it if it’s grand and wide? If not, are you able to put it on yourself at the venue?

“Finally, will you be kissing and hugging guests? A large brim might get in the way. If you feel that’s going to be a problem, consider a narrower style or a fascinator with height.”

Should I buy or rent a wedding hat?

“There are options to suit all budgets,” Stephanie reassures. “If you’re a hat fan and are looking to splurge, why not get a bespoke piece made to suit you and your outfit? Ready-to-wear hats are available in many boutiques also across a range of prices.

“Another budget-friendly option is rental; this allows you to wear showstopping millinery without the high price tag, and is ideal if you’re unlikely to wear the hat again.”

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