Should the Mothers of the Bride and Groom Choose Coordinating Dresses?

Having a dress discussion is still a thing.

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Photo: Abby Jiu Photography

The bride is clearly the star of the wedding, but the mothers of the bride and groom also have a big stake in the day, so it's expected that they'll want to look their very best, too. It's been a tradition for decades for the MOB and MOG to have a friendly chat about their dresses, and for good reason: Unlike the other key players in a wedding, your moms generally get to choose their own attire. To ensure that your moms don't show up in identical or clashing dresses, it's a smart idea for your mothers to coordinate their looks.

Sure, it's not essential that they talk dresses before the big day, but it can make a big difference in how your wedding photos look if they do. Here's what you need to know about getting these two important ladies to choose coordinating-not matching-big-day attire.


First, the MOB should find out from the bride if she has any stipulations.

Her daughter may have a specific color she wants both mothers to wear. It may be a hue that coordinates with the bridesmaids' dresses, or a color she thinks will go best with the overall vibe of the day. She may also have a dress length in mind (cocktail, floor-length) or style (formal, casual). But that's not always the case. The bride may say that she'd rather the moms wear whatever they feel most beautiful in. If you've been givn the latter instructions, it's still important to discuss your attire ideas with the other mom.

The MOB picks out her dress then tells the MOG.

Her choice affects (or should affect) the groom's mother's choice. There's no need for an entirely mathing look-in fact, that's what should be avoided!-but their dresses should complement one another's. For example, if the MOB is wearing a sapphire blue evening gown, the MOG could consider a lighter shade of blue that doesn't clash with sapphire or a contrasting hue like lavender.

The MOG can take the initiative and call her.

No phone call or text from the MOB? Maybe she hasn't gone shopping yet or doesn't know the etiquette. Whatever the reason for her silence, there's no reason the MOG can't contact her instead with friendly phone call or text.

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