two women in wedding dresses

Sukey Murphy is the editor and owner of Dress for the Wedding, a wedding style blog that offers attire ideas for everyone in a wedding. Dress for the Wedding is particularly known for wedding style collages, which offer ideas for what to wear to a wedding: complete with accessories, shoes, and other elements like invitations and florals. Attire and styling ideas for the mothers in the wedding party is a special area of concentration on our site. We find that our readers especially love Teri Jon dresses!

In this three part series we asked Sukey her take on a number of common questions that come up when choosing special occasion dresses and wedding attire for mothers.

In the first part of our series, we ask Sukey about some color dos and don’ts for the Mother of the Bride. We also will tackle fall wedding colors and some questions about which colors are wedding noes.

Q  Should the mothers of the wedding check with the couple to be wed before wearing certain colors?

A  Yes, I think it’s a good idea to talk about the colors the mothers are wearing, no matter if they are vibrant or subtle hues. Since wedding color schemes are important to many couples, it’s good to have a talk about any color or style the mothers and parents in the wedding are wearing.

Mothers should obviously feel free to choose a color and style that suits them, but I think it’s courteous to include both the couple and the other set of parents in your attire choices, especially if you are thinking of a bright or bold color that may not coordinate easily with the wedding party.

Q  We often get asked about mothers matching the bridal party – Sukey, what do you suggest?

A  Hmm. Do you mean mothers matching the bridal party or the bridal party members matching each other? Either way, the mismatched bridesmaid dresses are very common, so if the bridesmaids are mismatched, it may look too busy to have the mothers in vastly different colors or patterns, but in general, I think it’s lovely for mothers to select a hue that complements the range of colors in the wedding color scheme, without aiming for an exact match.

While I think you should take cues from other colors in the wedding, don’t worry too much about exactly matching a dress to the color of the invitations, the men’s ties, the flowers, or the napkins or something – it really won’t matter in the grand scheme of things, and it will be more interest to have a little bit of variation. Aim for a color that works in harmony with the other colors in play.

In fact, the mothers’ outfits can be a great opportunity to bridge colors in a wedding or add a new dimension to the color scheme. Think of choosing a color like adding flowers to bouquet – it gets prettier with a range of hues!

If you aren’t sure what will be cohesive, ask someone with an eye for color, like our friends and stylists at Teri Jon!

Q  If the bridesmaids are wearing navy dresses, what color could the MOB wear to complement this scheme? Is it ok to wear navy blue too?

A  I think color is always a matter of the couple’s opinion, as well as wearer’s personal preference.

In general, navy blue can be a hard shade to match exactly, so my first reaction is it would probably best to select a color that plays well with navy, but isn’t navy blue itself.

Usually, most couples like the mothers to select gowns in slight differently hue than the wedding party. But I can see certain exceptions; perhaps the couple would like the mother (s) to wear a color that is similar or close the bridesmaids as a way of honoring them. Or, if bridal party is wearing mix and match dresses in a range of hues, adding another color or two might make things too jumbled. In those cases, staying within the same family of colors could help give the wedding party some aesthetic unity.

Those special exceptions aside, usually the exact matched color isn’t what is required or even pleasing to the eye, especially since there are so many colors that complement navy blue.

Picking the right shade can vary depending on season and venue, For instance, if it’s a nautical wedding, perhaps lighter shade of blue or a richer cobalt blue or champagne gold is the best choice. If it is a summer wedding and there are touches of pink in florals then perhaps blush or pink is a good way to go. If it’s an autumn wedding then, burgundy, purple, gold or bronze – almost anything except maybe black can be a nice pairing with navy blue.

Q  If the bridesmaids are wearing silver or gray, what color would look best for the MOB dress?

A  Again, it’s the personal preference of those who are deciding on the wedding color scheme, and the wearer of the dress, but it’s nice to consider the other colors in the wedding without striving for an exact match with those elements.

Silver and gray are such great neutral colors, so there are very few colors that will clash with those silver dresses. Rose pink, merlot, navy blue, black, pewter, green, lavender, purple, or a print with a range of shades can all be viable options for MOB dresses.

If you want to coordinate more and stay with a cool tone, choosing a darker color like pewter or gunmetal gray with texture or bit of embellishment that has some silver or charcoal gown can be way to stay with the color scheme, without being excessively matchy-matchy. Or, if you like the look of mixed metals, a champagne gown with some silvery highlights could even work!

Q  Are there any light colors that would look good against blush dresses if this is what the bridesmaids are wearing? What about a champagne color scheme?

A  Absolutely, if the bridesmaids are wearing blush, mothers can select a range of colors from silver, gray, or champagne or gold. Other contrasting colors like soft gray-green, or even a navy blue might suit – again, depending on what the other color elements are in the wedding. Champagne paired with blush is a classic!

If the bridal party is wearing champagne – the mothers dress possibilities are open, too. Again, blush, silver, or other pastels like sage green or soft blue work if the scheme is meant to be light, or darker shades of rose, navy, bronze or black can be used if a striking contrast is what is needed. Embellished metallic gowns are also always a great choice here!

We are honored to be asked to contribute to the Teri Jon blog. We hope this guide to Mother of the Bride dressing and picking colors for wedding attire was helpful! We hope you’ll visit us on Dress for the Wedding for more wedding style ideas!