Shopping for a mother of the bride dress can be tricky. There’s a lot to take into consideration and with the occasion of your daughter’s wedding, also comes a lot of emotions. You’re not just trying to find an outfit that suffices, but something that your daughter approves of, something that is appropriate yet special, something that coordinates with the bridal party, and most importantly, something you feel confident in.
There’s no rule of thumb for mother of the bride dresses when it comes to length. We’ve broken down this post into four sections – short dresses, mid-length dresses, long dresses, and plus-size dresses, so you’re sure to find something that makes you feel the most comfortable. There’s also no rule when it comes to color, but we do suggest getting the bride’s approval on whatever color choice you’re considering. Metallic tones like gold and silver, neutral tones like champagne, black and grey, and deeper colors like navy or burgundy are all appropriate options that tend to work best. If you’re looking for something with a pattern or multiple colors, keep it on the softer and more subtle side.
Shop our list of 40 mother of the bride dresses below to find your favorite.
Best Long Mother of the Bride Dresses
1. Alex Evenings Women’s Long A-Line Rosette Dress
Available in both standard and plus sizing and several gorgeous colors, this dress is perfect for any mother of the bride. While it provides a good amount of coverage both with the skirt length and higher neckline (complete with cap sleeves) it doesn’t feel matronly at all. The rosettes give it a gorgeous textural detail, perfect for a special look. Find this same dress in petite sizing and plus sizing for the perfect fit.
Price: $167.30 – $383.54 depending on size
2. Adrianna Papell Beaded Bodice Taffeta Gown
If you’re worried about the coverage of your dress, this is another lovely option with cap sleeves and a long skirt. The break between the sequin bodice and long taffeta skirt provides a great natural silhouette, drawing attention to the waistline for a slimming appearance. The midnight blue is elegant, sophisticated, and one of our favorite tones for a mother of the bride. Opt for a pair of approachable dress sandals like these, available in both navy blue and silver.
3. Jenny Yoo Women’s Inesse V Neck Gown
You can’t go wrong with a simple, sleek, and sophisticated design like this from Jenny Yoo. While you’ll want to stand out from the crowd, this one skips the bells and whistles for an elegant design that can be made special with accessories. If the bridesmaids are wearing short dresses, this is a great option that will differentiate your look. The lightweight fabric, natural waist, and A-line skirt makes this a cool and comfortable option, great for the summer heat. If this isn’t quite your style, check out these other mother of the bride options from Jenny Yoo.
4. J Kara Sleeveless Scallop Dress With Scarf
While it gives the illusion of being two separate pieces, this beaded bodice top is actually attached to the skirt below, for a unique style for a mother of the bride. The bodice features crystal-clear beads in a flourish design, a scalloped hem, as well as an elegant lightweight chiffon skirt. If this color isn’t what you were looking for, you can shop this dress in celery or turquoise.
5. Tadashi Shoji Sequin & Mesh Three-Quarter Sleeve Gown
This classy dress features just the right amount of sparkle and a number of special features for the mother of the bride. The evening gown has a stunning v-neck design, with a simple chiffon top, serving as the perfect contrast to the shimmering embroidered lace skirt. The interwoven bodice creates a slimming hourglass shape, great for a curvier woman. If this dress isn’t your style, this designer has a number of alternative gowns to choose from. Here are some of our favorites.
6. Ever Pretty Lace Long Sleeve Evening Dress
If you’re looking to save, this highly rated dress is extremely affordable. It’s designed with a figure flattering ruched satin waist and a three-quarter sleeve lace bodice. The v-back offers a subtle sexy touch, while still keeping the look appropriate and tailored. It’s available if several colors if you’re not a fan of the one pictured above. Use the sizing chart found in the photo gallery for the most accurate fit. If this dress isn’t your style, don’t miss out on tons of alternative options from Ever Pretty.
Price: $59.99 – $69.99 depending on size
7. Alex Evenings Women’s Embroidered Dress
Solid dresses can often look boring, and that’s the last thing any mother of the bride wants. Stand out with a unique look like this dress, kept neutral enough with the black and gold fabric. The embroidery is stunning, made with a luminescent silver thread that gives some sparkle and shine to the dress in a sophisticated way. The underlying fabric is high quality and soft, for a dress that can comfortably be worn all day. To avoid hemming, opt for a 3″- 4″ heel, depending on your height. If you’re between sizes, order down for the best fit.
Price: $153.30 – $219
8. Miranda’s Bridal Scoop Neck Lace Dress
The rule of thumb is to avoid wearing white on the wedding day, but this unique look is stunning and appropriate. If you’re on the hunt for a long gown for your daughter’s wedding, this special look might be the one. Available in the navy/white combination pictured above, as well as an ivory/gold option, this two-toned lace dress features a slimming and structured bowed belt. Snag it while it’s on sale to save over $60.
Price: $106.90 (36 percent off MSRP)
9. Brocade Mother of Bride Dress With Crystal Belt
David’s Bridal isn’t just for the brides. If you’re a mother of the bride looking for something special, don’t miss out on their entire shop to find some really great options for moms. Available in sizes 6-16, this dress stands out with its unique hemline and gorgeous floral fabric. The subtle metallic threads create a special sparkle, contrasting with the more neutral tones. The tea-length hem and crystal belt are both special details that will stand out. With the raised hem in the front, be sure to choose a shoe that you love – gold or metallic would be a great choice.
10. Alex Evenings Long Gown With Lace-Paneled Skirt & Bolero Jacket
It can be tricky to find a dress that provides enough coverage for a religious ceremony, but can then be transformed into a party dress for the reception. Any dress with a bolero, shawl, or jacket solves this problem and this design is one of our favorite. The set features a sleeveless dress with an illusion-neck, a sequined lace skirt, and a coordinating cropped lace bolero jacket. If this dress isn’t quite your style, all of these designs from Alex Evenings come with coordinating bolero jackets.
Price: $101.90 – $239 depending on size
Best Tea-Length Mother of the Bride Dresses
1. Alex Evenings Tea-Length A-Line Dress With Tie Belt
Available in both silver as well as a gold champagne hue, this dress is fun and youthful, perfect for your daughter’s wedding celebration. The modern and trendy silhouette features clean lines, created by the A-line skirt and more form fitting bodice. While the design gives the illusion of two separate pieces, the skirt and bodice are actually attached. The wider A-line skirt is slimming and comfortable, showing just the right amount of leg.
2. Jessica Howard Women’s Illusion Neckline Gown
Many dresses by this designer fall within this moderate price point. If you’re looking to spend under $200 for a really special dress, consider checking out some of their other designs as well. This one is so special and beautiful, with silver metallic embroidered details on both the bodice and skirt. The coordinating satin bow is a festive addition that also draws attention to the waistline for a slimming detail.
3. Alex Evenings Women’s Sequin Lace Mock Dress
Similar to many of the full-length designs above, this dress gives the illusion of being two pieces. The skirt and sleeves are both about three-quarters in length, for a good amount of coverage. The sequin lace bodice adds elegance and a sparkly flare, while the solid organza skirt keeps the look grounded and appropriate for an older woman. The dress is approachable enough that it can certainly be worn again to a formal event down the road, so you don’t have to feel like you’re spending for just the one wear.
4. Adrianna Papell Mid-Length Party Dress With V-Back
Simple, sleek, and tailored, this dress is perfect for any mom who prefers clean lines and traditional cuts. Inspired by Audrey Hepburn, the mid length dress features a fit-and-flare style pleated skirt with pockets, a high boat neckline, and deep v-back. It’s available in eight various colors, including several purple tones, a deep blue, and more neutral colors like black and champagne. Check out these alternative tea-length designs from Adrianna Papell.
Price: $70.79 – $160 depending on size
5. Cynthia Rowley Floral Jacquard Tea Length Dress
Step out of the box with this non-traditional dress that will wow. If you’re a fashion forward mom, consider a design that goes beyond solid fabric for something a bit more visually interesting. The deep colors keep this dress from being too in your face, and the longer skirt keeps it appropriate for a formal affair. If this dress is too much, check out some other special designs from Cynthia Rowley like this sleek and sophisticated black tea-length dress, complete with a stunning bow.
6. Alex Evenings Dress With Embroidered Bodice
It can be challenging for moms to find something that’s sexy and feminine while still looking mother of the bride appropriate. We love the many feminine aspects of this dress that offer subtle hints of sexiness while remaining age appropriate. The t-length dress has a full flowing skirt with illusion sleeves and neckline that peak through to the skin below. The illusion hemline on the skirt also allows you to wear something a bit longer while still revealing some more leg underneath.
7. ERIN erin fetherston Fleur Print Fit-and-Flare Dress
Erin Fetherston hits the nail on the head when it comes to combining sophisticated femininity with fun and unique styles. Like many of her designs, she uses color, pattern, and cut to create dresses that make women feel their best. This stunning dress features a floral rose design that cascades down the front and wraps around the back of the dress. The bolder floral against the stark black background makes it a great choice for any season.
Price: $375 depending on size
8. Jill Stuart Women’s Strapless Stretch-Jacquard Dress
Similar in style to many of the dresses in this section, this flattering cut is great for anyone with a curvier figure or larger hips. The jacquard design and heavier fabric is nice for fall or winter weddings when the temps might be on the cooler side. We love this idea of pairing this dress with a blue or purple statement necklace, drawing out some of the gemstone tones of the dress and adding some festive sparkle.
9. Sangria Women’s Ruched Midi Dress
With many five star reviews, we’re surprised by the affordability of this mother of the bride dress. The gold and navy color combination is special, with a sophisticated and flattering cut that’s great for women of all shapes and sizes. The waistband helps to create an hourglass figure for a look you’ll feel comfortable and confident in. Purchase some gold heels to complete the look.
10. Vera Wang Women’s Chiffon Halter Mid Length Cocktail Dress
When you hear Vera Wang your first thought is probably wedding dresses. Your second thought is probably expensive. While this dress isn’t cheap by any means, it’s a special option for a mother of the bride. You can feel confident knowing you’re purchasing from a designer that knows what she’s doing in the wedding world and it’s worth the investment. The unique neckline and metallic blush pink have a youthful vibe, perfect for a younger mother who appreciates bolder fashion choices. Keep the rest of the look simple with metallic jewelry and heels.
You've selected a wedding dress and now it's time to find an undergarment that will enhance it, flatter your shape, and keep you confident on the big day.Click here to read more
Best Short Mother of the Bride Dresses
1. Adrianna Papell Illusion Neckline Lace Dress
This beautiful dress has a number of special details that make it fitting for a mother of the bride. The lace fabric and illusion neckline is elegant and the cut is form fitting but not too snug – a flattering option for many shapes and sizes. The hem falls just at the knee, which is a great length if you’re going for a shorter dress. It’s available in champagne, black, navy, and charcoal, all of which are great options for a mother of the bride. If this dress is above your budget but you like the style, you can find a similar highly rated style for under $20 here.
Price: $82.99 – $170 depending on size
2. JS Collection Lace Dress With Bolero
Made in a gorgeous true navy tone, this dress comes complete with a matching bolero to complete your look and provide some coverage. Both the dress and bolero are designed with a delicate lace fabric, dotted with subtle sequins throughout for a dress that’s formal without being too glitzy. The straps are on the thinner side so you’ll want to make sure to purchase a strapless bra if you don’t have one already at home.
3. London Times Women’s Scalloped V-Neck Lace Dress
It can be hard to find a formal dress that’s not sleeveless, not form fitting, and not too short. This one checks off all of those boxes and is available in standard sizes 2-16. The dress is flattering for many body types and offers coverage throughout the longer length of the skirt as well as the delicate cap sleeves. The v-neck design makes this a perfect option to wear with a statement necklace. This one is a great choice.
Price: $88.45 – $109 depending on size
4. R&M Richards Scalloped Lace Dress With Long Jacket
We’re absolutely in love with so many features of this dress – from the longer sleeved jacket to the shimmering champagne color, it’s a great choice that can be accessorized in so many ways. The long lace jacket doesn’t close but is a flattering option for those who prefer to conceal their mid-section. The three quarter sleeved jacket is a perfect length for all seasons and the fabric is lightweight. The dress is designed with a scalloped hem for a special feminine touch. If you choose to take off the jacket later in the evening, you’ll notice an illusion in the dress. What looks like two pieces is actually one, another figure flattering feature.
Price: $72.70 – $119 depending on size
5. Adrianna Papell Short Sequin Lace Dress With Arcadia Skirt
Petite women should consider a design like this, available in all standard petite sizes. The gorgeous color is soft and inviting – a silver grey with undertones of blue. The bodice of the dress is its best feature, with a beautiful soft lace and sparkly sequins throughout. It transitions at the waist to a simple arcadia skirt with a gorgeous silk sash to complete the look.
Price: $113.16 – $295
6. Donna Morgan Georgina Strapless Dior Dress
Hitting just below the knee, this dress might actually be closer to tea-length, depending on your height. Either way, it’s a fabulous option for any woman, and has a fun and youthful vibe to it – especially with the built in pockets. The cut and fit of the top stays in place, even for larger chested women. Many women can get away without wearing a bra underneath due to the thicker fabric. Both the midnight navy and the silver color (pictured above) are our favorite choices for a mother of the bride, but it’s also available in a peach and a pink color if you’re looking for something a little bit brighter.
Price: $61.22 – $220 depending on size
7. Alex Evenings Women’s Short Embroidered Cap Sleeve Dress
If you’re having trouble choosing between a solid and a pattern, the subtle embroidery in this dress gives you the best of both worlds. The short dress features tones of gold, silver, and blush pink and reflects a little bit of light to break up the solid dress. The pattern is subtle enough that the dress remains mainly neutral. If the bridesmaids are wearing blush, champagne, gold, or silver, this dress is a great coordinating option for the mother of the bride.
8. Connected Apparel Sequin Drape Neck Dress
Available in both silver and navy blue, this slimming dress is relatively affordable and something you might actually wear again to another formal affair. The fabric mix consists of 60 percent nylon, 39 percent polyester, and 1 percent spandex giving it a little bit of stretch that will hug the body in the right places. The sequined lace is great for hiding imperfections but if you’re worried about the fit, purchase a pair of slimming control top Spanx for an even smoother fit.
Price: $69.30 – $176.97 depending on size
9. Adrianna Papell Floral Embroidered Peplum Dress
This dress is one of our favorite choices in the short dress section of this post. The gorgeous celadon color and the peplum cut both make it stand out among the rest. While you might think that peplum would be a poor choice for concealing the belly, it actually helps to slim and creates the hourglass shape many women are trying to achieve. The gorgeous color is neutral, but a step outside of the traditional choices of navy, silver, gold, and black, for a unique choice that will stand out. Accessorize with this celadon clutch and some silver dress sandals.
Price: $79.99 – $160 depending on size
10. Eliza J Women’s Fitted Dress With Beaded Neckline
You’ll barely need accessories with this dress, featuring a beaded neckline and a crisscross bodice that add texture, elegance, and shine to an otherwise simple silhouette. The gorgeous champagne color is one of our go-to options for a mother of the bride, complementing the bride’s ivory or white dress. If this dress isn’t quite your style, Eliza J has many great options for mothers of the bride.
Originating from an Old English rhyme, brides traditionally carry something blue as a token of luck, love, and purity. Shop 10 unique and creative options here.Click here to read more
Best Plus Size Mother of the Bride Dresses
1. Alex Evenings Plus Size Rosette Shift Dress
If you’re finding it challenging to find a plus size dress that’s affordable, feminine, and figure flattering, this highly rated dress should definitely be in the consideration set. Reviewers suggest ordering one size down if you’re in between sizes. Available in both champagne and navy, this dress features sequined rosettes and can be machine washed for easy care between wears. Since the dress already has a lot going on in terms of texture and sparkle, we recommend ditching the necklace and opting for simple gold earrings instead.
2. Adrianna Papell Plus-Size Short Sleeve Beaded Cocktail Dress
With a soft muted color and gorgeous feminine details, we love this dress for a mother of the bride. The color is called stone and is a blend between a brown-grey and a mauve, a warm tone that would complement many skin tones. The dress features metallic embroidered sheer layer, that hangs loosely over the dress for an illusion neckline and hem, giving the dress a soft sweet look. The dress is available in sizes 14 plus – 22 plus, accommodating many sizes.
Price: $166.79 – $279 depending on size
3. Maya Brooke Plus Size Sheer Duster & Dress Set
The gorgeous, elegant, and simplistic design on this dress makes it hard to believe that it costs so little. The simple polyester dress comes complete with a coordinating lightweight jacket, great for covering up during the ceremony and easy to ditch during the reception. The material easily expands and stretches for comfortable all day wear and the neckline features an embellished design so accessorizing can be kept to a minimum.
4. Kiyonna Women’s Plus Size Screen Siren Lace Gown
If you’re on the hunt for a longer gown, this dress (along with many of the other designs from this designer) are made for a curvier woman. Available in several gemstone hues, the dress is made with 75 percent stretch nylon and 25 percent rayon for a comfortable fit that will move with you instead of constricting you like so many dresses can tend to do. The banded waistline offers support and also helps to create an hourglass silhouette. The illusion neckline is a sexy and feminine touch that will keep you feeling confident.
5. Adrianna Papell Plus Size Cap Sleeve Gown
This dress has five star reviews all around. You can browse some photos of past purchasers wearing this dress in the photo gallery to see how stunning the dress is, even without a model in the equation. The gown is made with precision and attention to detail – with stunning beading throughout the floor length dress. The slip is charcoal grey with a bronze beaded slip that creates a slimming effect. Complete the look with metallic tassel earrings and simple metallic shoes.
Price: $227.03 – $295 depending on size
6. Alex Evenings Women’s Plus Size Line Ballgown Dress
This special dress is quite the find. It’s elegant and formal, and while it provides coverage both on the bodice and skirt, it’s the furthest thing from frumpy. The bodice features sequin details, with a dramatic and full ball gown skirt, suitable for a mother of the bride. The bow draws attention to the waistline. Paired with the fuller skirt and form fitting bodice, it creates the perfect shape. If you’re not a fan of high heels, the longer skirt makes it easy to get away with a kitten heeled sandal like these.
7. Le Bos Women’s Plus-Size Sequin Trim Duster Jacket & Dress
With just a touch of sparkle, this simple dress is sleek and tailored, draping away from the body. The price is reasonable, especially given that the set comes with both the dress and coordinating jacket. The duster hangs open and has sequin panels both on the sleeve hems and across the bodice. The dress itself is sweet and understated, with a simple high shine belt at the waist. If you’re not a fan of this style or color, check out some alternative plus size options from Le Bos.
8. Adrianna Papell Cap Sleeve Beaded Gown
If your daughter’s wedding is a very formal affair, you’ll need to keep that in mind when purchasing a dress. Adrianna Papell knows what she’s doing it when it comes to designing formalwear for a woman’s body, especially for plus size women. This one is made with a slimming beaded design that adds texture and visual interest to this floor length gown. If this dress isn’t your style, we highly recommend browsing some of her other designs as we’re confident you’ll find one that works for you.
Price: $106.49 – $248.62 depending on size
9. Chetta B Women’s Plus Size Lace Peplum Gown
While many mothers wish to avoid black on the wedding day, it’s actually one of the best choices when it comes to mother of the bride dresses. It’s neutral and will match with just about any other color in the wedding theme, it’s figure flattering and slimming, and is something you’ll definitely be able to wear again to another formal affair. The peplum top and satin sash are both design tricks that help create an hourglass shape.
Price: $144.89 – $158 depending on size
10. Alex Evenings Plus Size Off Shoulder Dress
If you’re looking to wow with some color and a stunning dress, this dress is a great mother of the bride dress. It’s classic, simple, and has a bright blue color, great for a spring or summer wedding. The off the shoulder dress has an all over stretch from the fabric, hugging your body in all the right places. The beaded waist detail creates a natural waistline and the flared skirt helps make the dress even more flattering. If you love the idea of incorporating some color, shop these alternative blue plus size dresses.