7 Short Mother of the Bride Dresses for Every Style

We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more.
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 dress 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

Adrianna Papell Petaluma Sequin Dress

MOG Dress


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!

Price at time of publish: $250

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.

Price at time of publish: $150

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.

Price at time of publish: $68

For the Elegant MOB

Tadashi Shoji Orinda V-Neck Dress

black 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.

Price at time of publish: $220

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.

Price at time of publish: $510

Best Ruched Style

Norma Kamali Women's Diana Gown

Norma Kamali Women's Diana Gown


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!

Price at time of publish: $215

For a Summer Wedding

Amanda Uprichard Venezia Midi Dress

floral 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.

Price at time of publish: $268

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—the perfect shoes for the mother of the bride! 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!

  • 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.

Related Stories