The Top 4 Mistakes Mothers of the Bride Are Making When Dress Shopping

Avoid these errors to find a look you'll absolutely love wearing on the big day.

bride helping her daughter into her wedding dress

Photo by Kaley from Kansas

While a wedding is meant to celebrate the union of two people, there's no denying that the journey down the aisle takes a village. A love story is rarely two-dimensional and typically encompasses a group of family and friends who, over the years, have played a major role in a couple's life. And for many, there is one quintessential character in every story that stands out among the rest—that is, the mother of the bride.

According to tradition, the mother of the bride is responsible for providing support during wedding dress shopping, wrangling bridesmaids, assisting with the guest list, and helping the bride get ready on the big day. What's more, all eyes will be on this guest of honor at various parts of the celebration, so finding a perfect look is important to live up to such a distinction.

Before selecting a wedding-day look, though, there are a few factors every mother of the bride should know prior to shopping. With the expert help of Mark Badgley and James Mischka, the design duo behind Badgley Mischka, here are the top four mistakes most mothers of the bride are making when shopping for their attire. Avoid these errors to ensure a memorable and stress-free wedding experience.

Not Following the Dress Code

A dress code is designated by the couple as a way to establish the level of formality they'd like to see at their wedding. Thus, one of the biggest wedding fashion mistakes anyone can make is not following the style rules of the event. As it pertains to the mother of the bride, sticking to the dress code (or dressing slightly fancier), is not only important but required. "It’s never a good idea to play against the prescribed dress code," shares Mark and James.

If the invite states formal or black tie attire, do not show up in a casual dress, and vice versa. You will also want to avoid wearing a look that is too formal, as it could potentially upstage the bride. When in doubt, ask your daughter for help when deciding on what you'd like to wear.

Buying Dresses Outside of Their Comfort Zones

A wedding is a day of celebration, and the last thing you want to feel is uncomfortable. The Badgley Mischka designers note that mothers of the bride should look for dresses they are comfortable wearing all day, and all night, long. Between the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception, the last thing you ever want to worry about is how your dress fits, or not liking the style you selected on the day of the wedding. To avoid this, we recommend sticking to dress silhouettes and fabrics you have previously worn to other events. Trust us, your daughter's wedding is not the time to step outside of the box and try something completely new.

Not Adhering to the Bride's Color Request

While there are many mothers who love to embrace their individuality, a wedding isn't the best place to express your own fashion vision. If you've been asked to wear a specific color—most likely to match the color palette of the wedding party—it's best to follow that recommendation. "If there is something that you want to wear that falls outside of the bride’s request, you can have a discussion, but the bride always has the last say here," shares Mark and James. And if you truly do not like the color that has been selected by your daughter, see if she's okay with you wearing a similar shade. While it's important to feel comfortable and look your best, it's also important to remember that this is ultimately the bride's special day.

Buying a White Dress

Unless it's an all-white wedding, the bride requests you wear white, "or if you don’t want your daughter to speak with you again," adds Mark and James, the mother of the bride should never wear a white dress. We're sure this goes without saying, but white is reserved for the bride (or couple), and wearing this hue to a wedding is a fashion faux pas for any guest. This is also the case for white dresses with prints and patterns. There are so many colorful and modern outfits available for mothers of the bride today, so we're confident you can find a non-white option that you'll absolutely love.


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