Our Favorite Mother-of-the-Bride Dresses from Real Weddings

Style inspiration from real moms who looked AH-mazing on their daughters' big days

Updated 11/15/13

 Photo by Shannon Moffit Photography

Don't sacrifice your personal style just because it's your daughter's wedding day. Mothers of the bride everywhere know how important it is to help their daughter pick out a flattering wedding dress, but choosing one for themselves isn't always as high of a priority. Gone are the days that mothers are resigned to more demure looks; it's perfectly acceptable and appropriate to look as fun and festive as the rest of the bridal party! We love the stylish options available for moms, whether they need a gown for a formal, black-tie wedding, or something more casual for a bohemian affair. Mother-of-the-bride dresses come in all shapes (A-line! Ball gown!), lengths (Floor-length! Knee-length!), and fabrics (Chiffon! Lace!), not to mention in different colors. We rounded up our favorites, from all different types of weddings and for all different types of mothers.

New England mothers celebrating their daughters at a preppy wedding will love a tweedy skirt suit, while moms who miss the mod 60s will flip over a knee-length, bright pink shift dress. From a flowing, polka-dotted dress for a beach wedding, to a white pantsuit for a hippie-style Northern California ceremony, to a knockout gold sequined gown for a blowout New York City bash, we guarantee that mothers everywhere will find something to suit their taste.

Matt Blum Photography

This navy blue gown by Angel Sanchez is polished, stylish and elegant — the perfect choice for a mother-of-the-bride look for Elizabeth and Jarett's Italian-inspired wedding at a villa in Upstate New York.

Lane Dittoe Fine Art Wedding Photography

"Our vision was...a very intimate party with touches of our favorite things. Our goal was to make our wedding really fun and a big celebration of love," Kilian says of her wedding to Fitz. Shades of orange and pink gave the day a romantic West Coast vibe. Kilian's mother's bright pink shift dress with lace detailing and matching shoes (along with the flower in her hair) was the ideal choice for the wedding at the Ritz-Carlton in Dana Point, California.

Chloe Murdoch Photography

A beach in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica, was the picturesque setting for Sven and Theresa's intimate destination wedding. The relaxed, outdoor occasion was the perfect opportunity for Theresa's mother to don this gray dress with youthful polka dots and a stylish illusion neckline.

Oh, Darling! Photography

Anna and Akshay got married in a Bronx Zoo celebration that was full of jewel tones and Indian-inspired details. They strove to make their wedding "feel elegant and special but still relaxed and comfortable—kind of like the zoo itself," Anna says. Fittingly, Anna's mother wore a deep aqua lace dress. The knee-length hem and short sleeves were event-appropriate and flattering.

Sarah Peet Photography

San Francisco's Asian Art Museum was the home of Danielle and Jonathon's sophisticated wedding reception, while the historic Mission Dolores Catholic Church hosted their ceremony. For the entirely elegant affair, Danielle's mom donned a pale blue tweed dress and jacket trimmed with beige chiffon.

Kate Webber Photography

Dare and Garrick's formal "California casual-meets-Old South" wedding took place at the Carneros Inn in Napa, California. The mothers of the bride and groom posed for this adorable photo in their festive, tiered dresses and shawls. The mother-of-the-bride's vibrant coral dress was purchased from Wilkes Bashford boutique in San Francisco.

Ashley Camper

Jessica and Matthew jetted off to Hawaii for their romantic destination wedding at the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea. Both of the bride's parents escorted her down the aisle for the outdoor ceremony, and the mother of the bride's green Donald Deal dress with its blue shawl was a subtle call-out to the colors of the surrounding Pacific Ocean.

Alison Conklin Photography

Mallorie and Dan got married in a classic black-tie wedding at New York City's Essex House. The July affair in the beaux arts setting required glamorous attire, and Mallorie's mother's gold-sequined, floor-length gown with its tulle shoulder covering fit the bill. Though the dress was luxe, the bride's tulle Monique Lhuillier ball gown still took center stage.

Shelly Kroeger Photography

Champagne is a classic mother-of-the-bride dress color, and Jonie's mom chose an ultra-flattering off-the-shoulder number in the hue from Talbots. Jonie married husband Brad in a romantic outdoor wedding ceremony in California.

Laura Murray Photography

Karine and Carl's remote wedding in the Colorado Rockies featured refined rustic details, fur shrugs and kilts for all male guests. Karine's mother celebrated the romantic mountainside wedding in a purple gown with tartan detailing to match the kilts.

Hayley Bray

For her formal wedding in the English countryside to fiancé Michael, bride Lauren looked to the Royal Wedding for inspiration. A crystal headpiece and tulle wedding dress helped her fit that vision, while she fashioned her mother's elegant gold sequin gown to look both regal and stylish.

Jason Walker and Shannen Norman of Ira Lippke Studios

Sarah and Scott held a timeless fall wedding at the opulent University Club in New York City. Sarah's mother's formal black dress received dramatic flair from the accompanying sheer shawl.

Laura Grier of Beautiful Day Photography

Karin and Billy got married in an elegant, formal spring wedding in Ojai, California. Karin's mother marked the occasion in a tiered champagne dress with a matching jacket.

Noah Hawthorne Photography

A wine-meets-surfboard wedding like the one held by Besse and Michael calls for laid-back, breezy attire. Besse's mother selected a casual white pantsuit that she spiced up with a magenta shell, decorative necklace, and a flower in her hair. Her mom has a history of good wedding style: Besse wore a shortened version of her mother's wedding dress, which was purchased from Saks Fifth Avenue in 1979, for the wedding reception.

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