18 Short Mother of the Bride Dresses for Every Style

From embellished mini dresses to stylish tea-length silhouettes

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MOB dress

 Courtesy of BHLDN

For the mothers of brides and grooms, a beautiful dress to wear on the wedding day is imperative, and often, that means a short dress instead of a formal gown. Whether mom is petite, has a more laid-back style, or doesn't want to wear a floor-sweeping silhouette, a short dress is a great solution that can range from timeless and elegant to sweetly spirited. And, we aren't the only ones who love a leg-bearing moment, either! There continue to be an array of stunning short options on the market from designers who accommodate all types of budgets and aesthetics. We especially love MatchesFashion, Farfetch, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale's, and Net-A-Porter, for a large selection of exquisite pieces that will surely become a treasured investment item in your closet. Or, if you're seeking a budget-friendly piece, check out ASOS, JJ's House, Azazie, or BHLDN for an equally beautiful assortment.

Short mother of the bride dresses come in various silhouettes from mini dresses to knee-length and tea-length styles.

For moms with traditional taste, sheath silhouettes, A-line shapes, and wrap dresses are stunning in pretty prints, solid colors, or elegant fabrics like silk or crepe. We especially love this classic style in timeless hues such as black, champagne, blush, or navy blue. For fashion-centric mothers who want to wear something fresh and of-the-moment, you can be sure they'll be all about unique elements like a one-shoulder, pleated cape sleeves, or an asymmetrical silhouette. Ultra-structured fabrics like satin or even neoprene allow for striking architectural necklines or other avant-garde details that will showcase a fashion-forward style. Then, there are the moms who crave something intricate for such a special occasion, such as pretty lace, polished sequins, or embellishments like a crystal-embellished neckline or beautiful beading. Illusion necklines or sheer long sleeves adorned with embellishment are especially striking for a look that offers the illusion of fine details merely floating on the skin. No matter the style, there is a show-stopping short dress for every mother of the bride-to-be.

Ahead, we've curated the best short mother of the bride dresses for every style, price point, and body type.

Best Embellishment: BHLDN Petaluma Sequin Dress

BHLDN Petaluma Sequin Dress

Courtesy of BHLDN

Size range: 0-18 | Length: Knee-length | Shipping: Shipping rates vary | Return policy: Free returns accepted within 30 days of delivery

You simply can't go wrong with a stunner like this. Featuring intricate beading and striking embellishment, the Petaluma dress effortlessly shimmers throughout its classic silhouette. Plus, it's available in five different colors!

Most Polished: Valentino Crepe Couture Square-Neck Cotton-Blend Dress

Valentino Crepe Couture Square-Neck Cotton-Blend Dress

Courtesy of MatchesFashion

Size range: 0-14 | Length: Midi | Shipping: Free shipping for orders exceeding $250 | Return policy: Free returns accepted within 28 days of purchase

You're chic and sophisticated—and we love it! This bright green Valentino piece simply speaks for itself. Its clean lines and exceptional fit are all you'll need to look and feel your absolute best.

For a Garden Wedding: Borgo De Nor Petra One-Shoulder Ruffled Floral-Print Dress

Borgo De Nor Petra One-Shoulder Ruffled Floral-Print Dress

Courtesy of MatchesFashion

Size range: 6-18 | Length: Midi | Shipping: Free shipping for orders exceeding $250 | Return policy: Free returns accepted within 28 days of purchase

Make a floral statement in this colorful masterpiece! The one-shoulder design and flowy silhouette add a playful yet equally timeless touch to a show-stopping look.

Best A-Line: Amsale Russo Midi Dress

Amsale Russo Midi Dress

Courtesy of BHLDN

Size range: 0-16 | Length: Midi | Shipping: Shipping rates vary | Return policy: Free returns accepted within 30 days of delivery

Universally flattering, comfortable, and beautiful, it's no wonder A-lines are the go-to! This irresistible deep wine-colored dress is certainly no exception.

For a Winter Wedding: Isabel Marant Melyo Jacquard-Lamé Belted Mini Dress

Isabel Marant Melyo Jacquard-Lamé Belted Mini Dress

Courtesy of MatchesFashion

Size range: 2-12 | Length: Mini | Shipping: Free shipping for orders exceeding $250 | Return policy: Free returns accepted within 28 days of purchase

This long-sleeved beauty is ideal for intimate yet elevated winter nuptials. We especially love the metallic finish of the textured jacquard fabric. Talk about the perfect amount of glimmer!

Best Budget: ASOS Maya Ruffle Wrap Dress

ASOS Maya Ruffle Wrap Dress

Courtesy of ASOS

Size range: 14-24 | Length: Midi | Shipping: Shipping rates vary | Return policy: Free returns accepted

For a spring or summer wedding, this muted-blush-colored dress is so romantic. It’s sophisticated and fresh for a traditional ceremony. We love the ruffle wrap detail for a universally flattering cut.

For the Elegant MOB: Tadashi Shoji Ordina V-Neck Dress

Tadashi Shoji Ordina V-Neck Dress

Courtesy of BHLDN

Size range: 0-16 | Length: Midi | Shipping: Shipping rates vary | Return policy: Free returns accepted within 30 days of delivery

Lace is a timeless option that exudes elegance, romance, and femininity. The dark hue to this intricate midi adds an extra sophisticated and timeless touch.

Best Fabric: Saloni Rina Dress

Saloni Rina Dress

Courtesy of Shopbop

Size range: 0-14 | Length: Mini | Shipping: Free shipping | Return policy: Free returns accepted

How beautiful is this lightweight jacquard fabric?! The soft blue hue completes the mesmerizing look, but we think a statement earring and block heel certainly wouldn't hurt either.

For the Effortless MOB: Self Portrait Mesh Midi Dress

Self Portrait Beaded Mesh Midi Dress

Courtesy of Shopbop

Size range: 0-12 | Length: Midi | Shipping: Free shipping | Return policy: Free returns accepted

For an easy and effortless piece, opt for this pale gray midi. Featuring an accordion skirt and portrait neckline, this gorgeous chiffon fabric will have you gliding around the dance floor all night.

Best Ruched Style: Norma Kamali Diana Gown

Norma Kamali Diana Gown

Courtesy of Shopbop

Size range: XXS-XL | Length: Midi | Shipping: Free shipping | Return policy: Free returns accepted

This one-shoulder fitted midi may just be the definition of pretty in pink! The ruching allows for the most comfortable and elongating fit. Plus, it will hug those curves oh-so-beautifully!

For a Summer Wedding: Amanda Uprichard Venezia Midi Dress

Amanda Uprichard Venezia Midi Dress

Courtesy of Shopbop

Size range: XS-L | Length: Midi | Shipping: Free shipping | Return policy: Free returns accepted

Whether it's seaside, in a garden, or at an estate wedding, this off-the-shoulder mini is perfect for a summer affair. We are obsessed with this eye-catching print in the softest shade of blue.

Best LBD: Saloni Rachel Crystal-Embellished Crepe Dress

Saloni Rachel Crystal-Embellished Crepe Dress

Courtesy of MatchesFashion

Size range: 0-12 | Length: Midi | Shipping: Free shipping for orders exceeding $250 | Return policy: Free returns accepted within 28 days of purchase

Hello, LBD! This gorgeous black dress features a timeless cut and fabric with intentionally placed sparkle to frame your face. We promise—you'll never stop pulling it out of your closet.

For a Holiday Wedding: Alberta Ferretti Silk-Blend Red Mini Dress

Alberta Ferretti Silk-Blend Red Mini Dress

Courtesy of Farfetch

Size range: IT 38-IT 48 | Length: Mini | Shipping: Shipping rates vary | Return policy: Free returns accepted within guidelines

Red is nothing short of bright, bold, and beautiful! This luxurious silk-blend fabric instantly elevates the look for a chic and sophisticated ensemble that is subtly festive for a holiday-themed affair.

Best Embroidery: Adrianna Papell Metallic Floral Embroidered Cocktail Sheath Dress

Adrianna Papell Metallic Floral Embroidered Cocktail Sheath Dress

Courtesy of Nordstrom

Size range: 2-14 | Length: Knee-length | Shipping: Free shipping | Return policy: Free returns accepted

This Adrianna Papell dress is adorned with the most unforgettable metallic embroidery. The sheer cap sleeves and straight neckline add another soft yet striking touch.

For a Spring Wedding: Mac Duggal Angelica Midi Dress

Mac Duggal Angelica Midi Dress

Courtesy of BHLDN

Size range: 0-16 | Length: Midi | Shipping: Shipping rates vary | Return policy: Free returns accepted within 30 days of delivery

You can never go wrong with florals for a spring wedding. Soft, romantic, and delicate, we could go on and on! This whimsical long-sleeve midi just may be one of our favorites.

Most Classic: JJ's House Short Satin and Lace Mother of the Bride Dress

JJ's House Short Satin and Lace Mother of the Bride Dress

Courtesy of JJ's House

Size range: 0-26 | Length: Knee-length | Shipping: Shipping rates vary | Return policy: Free returns accepted for standard sizes within 14 days of purchase and custom sizes are final sale

Featuring satin and sequin-embellished lace, this pretty little number is a classic. It's not only available in a wide array of colors and sizes, but it's easy on the budget, too!

Best Sparkle: Mac Duggal Embellished A-Line Dress

Mac Duggal Embellished A-Line Dress

Courtesy of Blomingdale's

Size range: 0-16 | Length: Midi | Shipping: Shipping rates vary | Return policy: Free returns accepted

Shimmer the night away in this incredibly elegant and show-stopping piece. The illusion long sleeves allow the details to appear as if the embellishment is merely floating on your skin.

For the Bright and Bold MOB: Erdem Eva N-Neck Floral-Print Satin Midi Dress

Erdem Eva N-Neck Floral-Print Satin Midi Dress

Courtesy of MatchesFashion

Size range: 2-18 | Length: Midi | Shipping: Free shipping for orders exceeding $250 | Return policy: Free returns accepted within 28 days of purchase

For the MOB who isn't afraid of a little pop of color—we've got you! This floral midi feels like sunshine with it's cheery hue, cinched sleeve detail, and flowy skirt.

What to Look for in a Short Mother of the Bride Dress

So, you've decided on a short dress—great choice! But, not all short mother of the bride dresses are the same. From mini to knee-length or midi or tea-length, there's a variety of hems that are ideal for each woman's height, proportions, and overall style. It's also important to keep the formality of the nuptials in mind, too. As for the shortest of the lengths, the mini is an instant show stopper! This length hits above the knee, creating a fun and slightly flirtatious look. The style is ideal for a cocktail, semi-formal, or more relaxed wedding. Due to its leg-bearing nature, it's usually best for petite women with shorter proportions as it lengthens their legs. On the flip side, midi or tea-length dresses hit below the knee at the mid-calf or ankle. A naturally more sophisticated and elegant look, this style is beautiful for a more formal affair. We recommend this length for taller women with lengthy features. Seeking a look that achieves both? We've got you! Opt for a knee-length dress or even a high-low hem. No matter which short dress you ultimately choose, you simply can't forget the most important accessory—shoes! Unlike floor-sweeping gowns, your footwear has the opportunity to take center stage. Opt for a statement shoe that will complete the ensemble. Don't be afraid to have some fun with it!

FAQ
  • What is a short mother of the bride dress?

    Mother of the bride dresses come in a myriad of lengths, from mini dresses that hit above the knee to midi dresses that hit just below the calf.

  • Can the mother of the bride wear a short dress?

    Of course! A short mother of the bride dress is entirely appropriate to wear to a wedding, especially if you're attending a spring or summer wedding.

  • What colors should a mother of the bride avoid wearing?

    Unless specifically approved by the bride, it's generally a good rule of thumb to avoid wearing white or any color that might resemble the bride’s wedding outfit.

Why Trust Us / About the Author

Laura Lajiness Kaupke is a writer and editor with expertise in bridal fashion, accessories, and fine jewelry for both men and women. She formerly served as the senior fashion editor at The Zoe Report and POPSUGAR. Her work has been featured in ELLE, InStyle, Glamour, Refinery29, Well+Good, and Barneys New York.

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