Of all the dresses involved in a wedding, the bride's gown is obviously the most significant. But your grandchild's wedding day is also a special moment for you to celebrate, and that means putting on your nicest frock. No matter how large or small the ceremony is going to be, you deserve to look and feel your best for this momentous occasion. After all, as the matriarch of the family, you're a true guest of honor!
From sleek eye-catching designs to formal jumpsuits and classic floor-length gowns, we've researched a slew of stylish outfits well-suited for a front seat at the ceremony. We've narrowed down the best dresses available by taking materials, size range, style, budget, and overall quality into consideration. For something simple and sweet, we love the M.M. LaFleur The Emily Dress and the Azazie Cornish Dress. For an utterly elegant ensemble, our favorite find is the Tadashi Shoji Odette Sequin Dress.
Read on for the best dresses for the grandmother of the bride or groom.
Alex Evenings Beaded Dress & Jacket
Size Range: 14W-24W | Materials: Polyester, spandex | Length: Tea-Length | Shipping: Free standard shipping | Return Policy: Returns are on a case-by-case basis
If you want something that feels subtle but polished, this matching dress and jacket with delicate beading takes the cake. The scoop neckline and midi-length hemline are flattering, to boot.
Price at time of publish: $259
Teri Jon by Rickie Freeman Floral Jacquard Gown
Size Range: 4-12 | Materials: Polyester | Length: | Floor-length | Shipping: Free standard shipping | Return Policy: Full refund within 30 days
The luminous jacquard pattern takes this shirtdress to a whole new level as does the bold sash around the waist. The versatility of this dress would work well year-round but we can't help but picture it at a spring black-tie wedding.
Price at time of publish: $860
Best Pant and Jacket Set
RM Richards Ribbed Metallic Pantsuit with Necklace
Size Range: Missy: 6-18, Plus: 14W-24W | Materials: Metallic, polyester | Length: Ankle-length | Shipping: Shipping rates vary based on order value; free shipping on orders over $120 | Return policy: Full refund within 7 days
You can never go wrong with a coordinating set—especially in this gorgeous shade of mauve. The sheer jacket sleeves add a touch of playfulness while the sparkly metallic fabric adds some glamour. Plus, this set comes with the pictured necklace to complete your look!
Price at time of publish: $140-$160
Pisarro Nights Beaded Mesh Dress
Size Range: 2-16 | Materials: Rayon | Length: Ankle-length | Shipping: Free standard shipping | Return Policy: Returns are on a case-by-case basis
If the grandmother of the bride has a glamorous flair about her, this sparkling option is a top-notch pick. Thanks to the twinkling beadwork, you'll be sure to shimmer and shine all the way from the aisle to the dance floor. Style it with metallic shoes to complete your look.
Price at time of publish: $268
For a Winter Wedding
Jenny Yoo Ryland Velvet Maxi Dress
Size Range: Standard: 0-19, Plus: 20-26 | Materials: Polyester, spandex | Length: Floor-length | Shipping: $4.95-$10.95 standard shipping | Return policy: Full refund within 30 days
We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again: velvet reigns supreme. This striking style in sumptuous blue velvet features long sleeves, a flattering ruched bodice, and an alluring deep-V neckline. Take your look to the next level with eye-catching accessories like drop earrings and a tennis necklace.
Price at time of publish: $295
Oleg Cassini Embroidered Sheath Dress with Chiffon Jacket
Size Range: 2-16 | Materials: Polyester | Length: Mid-length | Shipping: Shipping rates vary based on order value; free shipping on orders over $120 | Return policy: Full refund within 7 days
There’s something so enduringly elegant about a matching set, which is why this dusty blue sheath tank dress and light chiffon jacket are a perfect pairing for a grandmother of the bride. The dress is embroidered with a floral design making it a fitting choice for a spring or summer wedding.
Price at time of publish: $150
Amsale Pryce Off-Shoulder Satin Column Gown
Size Range: 0-16 | Materials: Polyester| Length: Floor-length | Shipping: $4.95-$10.95 standard shipping | Return policy: Full refund within 30 days
For formal occasions, consider this silky stunner from Amsale. The one-shoulder neckline is sophisticated and the deep emerald green is regal—the perfect combination for a very important wedding guest!
Price at time of publish: $495
M.M. LaFleur The Emily Dress
Size Range: 0P-16 | Materials: Polyester, spandex | Length: Above the knee | Shipping: Free shipping on orders more than $150; $10 flat rate on orders less than $150 | Return Policy: Full refund within 21 days
If the ceremony is on the casual side, a simple-yet-sleek dress like this flattering option from M.M. LaFleur is a smart option. What's more, you'll get plenty of mileage out of this dress as it can easily be worn for a number of occasions. Add in a string of pearls and kitten heels for good measure.
Price at time of publish: $225
For a Festive Affair
Tadashi Shoji Odette Sequin Dress
Size Range: 0-18 | Materials: Cotton, nylon, sequins; full stretch polyester lining | Length: Floor-length | Shipping: $4.95-$10.95 standard shipping | Return policy: Full refund within 30 days
What better way to celebrate than in a floor-length sparkling gown? This shimmering metallic dress is destined for the dance floor and is an especially fitting choice for a New Year's Eve wedding. For a polished and festive look, style yours with shoulder-grazing earrings and a matching silver clutch.
Price at time of publish: $430
Pisarro Nights Cold Shoulder Ankle-Length Beaded Plus Size Dress
Size Range: 14W-24W | Materials: Rayon | Length: Floor-length | Shipping: Shipping rates vary based on order value; free shipping on orders over $120 | Return policy: Full refund within 7 days
For the grandmother who desires a glitzy look, this beaded dress set checks off all the boxes for an elegant wedding outfit. With beading reminiscent of Art Deco design, this shimmering frock is for those who love a vintage-inspired style.
Price at time of publish: $84
Best for Cold Weather
Oleg Cassini Three-Quarter Sleeve Velvet Sheath Dress
Size Range: Missy: 2-16, Plus: 14W-24W | Materials: Polyester, spandex | Length: Knee-length | Shipping: Shipping rates vary based on order value; free shipping on orders over $120 | Return policy: Full refund within 7 days
If the wedding in question is happening during the cooler months of the year, a long-sleeve velvet dress is ideal. Plus, the draping on this deep blue iteration is to die for and is beyond figure-flattering.
Price at time of publish: $42
Best Bright Color
Emilia Wickstead Switzy Cape-Effect Crepe Midi Dress
Size Range: UK 6-UK 16 | Materials: Polyester, elastane | Length: Mid-length | Shipping: Shipping rates vary | Return policy: Full refund within 28 days
For a touch of drama, go with this baby-pink midi dress. The cape-effect sleeves, elongating padded shoulders, and body-skimming silhouette all come together for a true wow moment. It pairs beautifully with both colorful and metallic accessories.
Price at time of publish: $1,113
Best 3/4 Sleeve
J Kara 3/4 Sleeve Beaded Mock 2 Piece Dress
Size Range: 4-24+ | Materials: Polyester | Length: Floor-length | Shipping: Shipping rates vary | Return policy: Return policy varies
The beaded overlay on this dress elevates the entire aesthetic—add in some sparkling earrings and low heels to complete your look. Available in an array of gorgeous colors, this gown is fit for all kinds of formal weddings.
Price at time of publish: $65
Azazie Cornish Mother of the Bride Dress
Size Range: Custom size, 0-30 | Materials: Chiffon, lace | Length: Floor-length | Shipping: Free shipping for special occasion dresses; free standard shipping on orders $120+ | Return policy: Returns are available for standard sizes within 30 days. Custom sizes are final sale.
A neutral-hued matching set with old-world elegance—you can’t go wrong with this classic combination. Plus, a corsage will contrast the versatile color beautifully. This style is available in a wide selection of sizes and colors that range from subtle neutrals to bold hues.
Price at time of publish: $179
Oscar de la Renta Belted Embellished Tulle-Trimmed Stretch-Silk Crepe Maxi Dress
Size Range: XS-XL | Materials: Silk, elastane | Length: Floor-length | Shipping: Shipping rates vary | Return policy: Full refund within 28 days
Although it's the happy couple's big day, it's also a big day for you, so, why not splurge on a designer dress? This Oscar de la Renta gown is the epitome of sophistication and elegance and would be a smart and stylish addition to anyone's formal wardrobe.
Price at time of publish: $4,990
Sachin & Babi Chelsea One-Shoulder Georgette Bias Gown
Size Range: 0-14 | Materials: Crinkle georgette polyester | Length: Floor-length | Shipping: $4.95-$10.95 standard shipping | Return policy: Full refund within 30 days
A classic floor-length gown is one of those silhouettes that transcend time and trends—it’s always in style and it works for everyone. This one-shoulder number from Sachin & Babi embodies Old Hollywood glam and is the perfect pick for a wedding guest, particularly a chic grandma.
Price at time of publish: $285
What to Look for in a Grandmother of the Bride or Groom Outfit
Venue and season
When shopping for your grandmother of the bride or groom dress, first consider the wedding venue, season, and formality. Black-tie events call for floor-length gowns and embellished fabrics—we love the Tadashi Shoji Odette Off-Shoulder Sequin Mesh Column Gown and the Oscar de la Renta Belted Embellished Tulle-Trimmed Maxi Dress. On the other hand, tea-length dresses in light and airy prints are more suited for an outdoor spring ceremony, such as the Oleg Cassini Embroidered Sheath Dress.
Color scheme and Silhouette
While you should embrace your personal style, it's worth thinking about the wedding's color scheme and aesthetic. Not sure what dress silhouette will work best for you? We recommend experimenting with universally flattering silhouettes like A-line, fit-to-flare, and wrap dresses to find your perfect fit
What are some popular choices for grandmother of the groom or bride outfits?
Some popular choices for grandmothers are two-piece sets, pantsuits, sheath dresses, tea-length frocks, long-sleeve silhouettes, embellished gowns, and cocktail dresses.
What colors should I avoid wearing?
If the bride is wearing white, it’s best to avoid wearing white or any color that closely resembles white–such as cream, ivory, or beige. If you're unsure about your dress choice, run it by the couple before purchasing.
What are some of the most comfortable grandmother of the groom or bride outfits?
The most comfortable outfit for you will mostly depend on your body type. Certain silhouettes like sheath and A-line are flattering and easy to wear while pantsuits and two-piece sets can offer more freedom and flexibility. Keep in mind that you'll be sitting down for the ceremony and dancing at the reception, so make sure your outfit feels just as comfortable sitting as it does standing.
Why Trust Us
Nicole Kliest is a fashion, travel, and food & wine writer based in New York City. With over nine years of experience in the digital publishing industry, her work has appeared on sites including Who What Wear, The Zoe Report, Cools, Popsugar, Harper's Bazaar, Elle.