As a mother of the bride or groom, shopping for the perfect dress can be difficult. That's because you want to (and should) show off your VIP status without upstaging your child or clashing with the overall color palette. While neutral hues are typically a popular choice for mother-of-the-bride or groom dresses, purple is a great option to consider if you’re looking for a more modern ensemble. The rich hue is universally flattering, and with shades ranging from lilac to plum, there are purple dresses to fit every locale, theme, and season.
If you’re looking for something traditional and modest, consider A-line or column silhouettes in a dark purple hue. For a mother of the bride or groom with romantic aesthetics, opt for a pastel purple ensemble with floral or beaded embellishments. Feeling really adventurous? A midi-length number in a vibrant purple hue will immediately pop without being too overwhelming or distracting.
Whether you’re attending a black-tie affair or an intimate courthouse wedding, we’ve sourced some of the best purple mother-of-the-bride or groom dresses from various retailers. Read on to see our favorite looks for every style, season, and budget.
Needle & Thread Victoria Ditsy Ankle Gown
Size: 0-12 | Materials: Tulle | Length: Ankle
If you’re attending a garden-inspired wedding, this whimsical Needle & Thread gown would fit the aesthetic perfectly. With several layers of lavender tulle and light pink floral motifs, this dress is equal parts ethereal and chic. Opt for the mini length that hits right above the knee for a more casual and modern look.
Price at time of publish: $909
Badgley Mischka Ruffle Floor-Length Gown
Size: 0-14 | Materials: Polyester | Length: Floor
You can never go wrong with a strapless evening gown, and this plum Badgley Mischka number would be stunning for any black-tie wedding. The ruffle detail and subtle front slit add a romantic touch to the classic silhouette. Style your look with drop earrings and a gold clutch to emphasize your décolletage and make the deep purple hue pop.
Price at time of publish: $990
For a Courthouse Wedding
Self-Portrait Tiered Lace-Trimmed Embroidered Tulle Midi Dress
Size: 0-10 | Materials: Tulle and lace | Length: Midi
Attending intimate nuptials, like a courthouse wedding, doesn’t mean you can’t dress up. This lilac midi dress would be perfect for a more casual ceremony and features a tiered skirt, lace-trimmed neckline, and floral embroidery for an elegant and stylish ensemble.
Price at time of publish: $555
Sachin & Babi Delilah Gown
Size: 0-22W | Materials: Mikado | Length: Floor
For a more formal option, we recommend this violet Sachin & Babi gown. The twist at the bodice and one cap sleeve create a unique silhouette that feels sophisticated and modern. The best part? It has pockets!
Price at time of publish: $1,095
Mac Duggal Embellished Illusion Flutter Sleeve Mermaid Gown
Size: 6-18 | Materials: Polyester | Length: Floor
Elevate your look with this lilac Mac Duggal gown for ample coverage and style. The mermaid silhouette is accented with beaded embellishments and sheer flutter sleeves for a design that is effortlessly chic and glamorous.
Price at time of publish: $798
For a Spring Wedding
ML Monique Lhuillier Floral-design Embroidered Tulle Maxi Dress
Size: 2-12 | Materials: Tulle | Length: Ankle
With a V-neckline and sequin floral print, this ML Monique Lhuillier dress is made for any spring wedding. The mix of black, white, and purple sequins, set against lilac tulle, makes the dress stand out even more. Dress up the look with silver heels and dangly earrings, or keep it casual in multi-strap sandals and a light jacket.
Price at time of publish: $279
Xscape Off-the-Shoulder Crepe Evening Gown
Size: 4-16 | Materials: Crepe | Length: Floor
Show some skin with this dark purple figure-hugging gown. The thigh-high slit feels sexy, while the folded off-the-shoulder neckline and ruffle detail on the skirt make for an elegant silhouette. It would look great at a formal or black-tie wedding in any season.
Price at time of publish: $248
Sachin & Babi Miranda Dress
Size: 0-22W | Materials: Polyester | Length: Midi
Stun at any cocktail-attire wedding in this bright purple midi dress from Amsale. The dramatic bow embellishment attached to a cape-like sleeve elegantly flows down the back of the dress and brings a trendy element to this form-fitting ensemble.
Price at time of publish: $475
L'Academie Sawyer Midi Dress
Size: XXS-XL | Materials: Satin | Length: Midi
Between the ruched side detail, thigh-high slit, and one-sleeve silhouette, this glamorous L’Academie design would be a fun choice for women with bolder tastes. With such a vibrant hue, all you need are gold pumps and dainty jewelry to accessorize this comfortable and stylish look.
Price at time of publish: $126
Best With Sleeves
Azazie Dion Mother-of-the-Bride Dress
Size: 0-30 | Materials: Chiffon and crepe | Length: Floor
This dark purple frock from Azazie is captivating from the front and the back! The bateau neckline gives the dress an effortlessly elegant look, while the chiffon shawl overlay, which cascades over the shoulders, adds an element of sexiness that beautifully complements the high neckline.
Price at time of publish: $169
For a Casual Wedding
Amsale Marva Gown
Size: 00-32 | Materials: Satin | Length: Midi
Casual weddings call for shorter hemlines, but this violet Amsale dress has the elegance of an evening gown. The satin fabric, midi length, and V-neckline create a feminine silhouette that is simple yet eye-catching.
Price at time of publish: $290
Marchesa Lace Mermaid Gown
Size: 0-18 | Materials: Lace and velvet | Length: Floor
If you’re looking for a trendy yet timeless mother-of-the-bride dress, look no further than this amethyst Marchesa gown. It has plenty of feminine details, from the lace overlay to the velvet belt and dark purple rosettes. Pair the romantic look with gold accessories to complement the beige underlay.
Price at time of publish: $556
Tadashi Shoji Vienna Draped Metallic Lamè Gown
Size: XS-XXL | Materials: Metallic jersey lamé | Length: Floor
Modest doesn’t have to mean boring, especially when it comes to this head-turning metallic gown from Tadashi Shoji. The violet hue pops even more in this shimmering fabric, and the draped silhouette makes it flattering for all figures.
Price at time of publish: $334
Marchesa Notte Floral-Appliqué Ombré-Effect Gown
Size: 4-14 | Materials: Tulle | Length: High-low
While mother-of-the-bride dresses typically come in one shade, this Marchesa Notte gown stands out with its purple ombré skirt. The high-low cut provides a modern silhouette, while the floral appliqués and off-the-shoulder neckline bring a sense of playful youthfulness to the ensemble.
Price at time of publish: $1,135
For a Black-Tie Wedding
Badgley Mischka Draped Mikado Gown
Size: 2-10 | Materials: Mikado | Length: Ankle
We love how this Badgley Mischka dress modernizes the ball gown silhouette with its slightly cropped length and draped bodice. Combined with the flared skirt and V-neckline, this timeless gown is fit for any black-tie wedding or formal rehearsal dinner.
Price at time of publish: $466
Amsale Draped Satin One Shoulder Dress
Size: 0-18 | Materials: Satin | Length: Floor
For mothers of the bride or groom looking for a contemporary dress, consider this Amsale gown in a gorgeous amethyst hue. Between the asymmetrical one-shoulder neckline and the draped bodice, this fashion-forward gown will easily transition from ceremony to reception.
Price at time of publish: $495
For a Winter Wedding
Revelry Aurora Velvet Dress
Size: 0-32 | Materials: Velvet | Length: Floor
Keep it festive for a winter wedding with this one-sleeve velvet gown from Revelry in a dark purple hue. With sewn-in bra cups and vertical boning, you’ll have added support for a comfortable and romantic mother-of-the-bride look. This dress also comes in a dusty purple color if you want a more subtle ensemble.
Price at time of publish: $189
Best Long Sleeve
Ronny Kobo Estelle Wrap-Effect Satin-Jacquard Midi Dress
Size: XS-XL | Materials: Satin | Length: Midi
Add some drama to your look with these puff sleeves and leopard-print fabric. Paired with an asymmetric hem, front slit, and a pleated bodice, this Ronny Kobo dress makes for a playful and unique mother-of-the-bride or groom look.
Price at time of publish: $295
For Cocktail Attire
Mac Duggal Blouson Sleeve Sequined Surplice Midi Dress
Size: 2-16| Materials: Polyester | Length: Midi
We love the stunning pastel purple color of this cocktail dress that perfectly suits a springtime wedding. With a faux-wrap bodice, blouson sleeves, and sequin embellishments, this is an ethereal and glamorous option for any locale.
Price at time of publish: $398
Best High Neckline
Oleg Cassini Floral Embroidered Chiffon Gown With Shawl
Size: 2-16 | Materials: Chiffon | Length: Floor
A contemporary spin on the jacket dress favored by many women, this lavender gown from Oleg Cassini comes with a delicate sheer shawl. The floral embroidery on the bodice and short cap sleeves add a fashion-forward feel to this classic and modern silhouette.
Price at time of publish: $219
What to Look for When Searching for a Purple Mother-of-the-Bride or Groom Dress
There are so many options to choose from when it comes to purple mother-of-the-bride or groom dresses, and it can be hard to narrow them down. As you start the shopping process, the first thing to consider is the season. While darker shades of purple, like plum or violet, are great for fall and winter weddings, pastel purple hues are more suitable for a spring or summer nuptial. Additionally, keep the dress code in mind, whether it’s casual, formal, or cocktail attire. Casual or cocktail attire calls for midi or tea-length silhouettes, while floor-length gowns—in a satin, crepe, or Mikado fabric—suit more formal affairs. If you’re drawn to more glamorous designs, look for a dress with sequins, embroidery, or a metallic sheen. Lastly, once you have an idea of the dress you’re shopping for, consult with the to-be-weds to ensure you’re headed in the right direction with your ensemble.
How do you style a purple mother-of-the-bride dress?
You can accessorize your look based on your taste and chosen dress color. For lighter shades of purple, consider silver jewelry and neutral-colored heels. With a darker purple dress, opt for black or gold accessories to emphasize the deeper hue. If you’re going for more of a statement look, we recommend emerald or purple accessories to really make the color of your gown pop.
Should a mother-of-the-bride dress match the bridesmaid dresses?
Not necessarily! Follow the direction of the bride when it comes to coordinating with the rest of the bridal party. If a bride asks you to coordinate with the wedding party, though, it's best to choose a color that’s one or two shades lighter or darker than their ensembles in order to stand out.
Where can I buy a purple mother-of-the-bride dress?
You can find a dress at almost every major retailer that sells formalwear. Some of our favorites include Amsale, Sachin & Babi, David’s Bridal, and Revelry.
About the Author
Ariana Quihuiz is a freelance writer for Brides. She was previously the content manager for wedding gown brand Lyra Vega Bridal, covering bridal fashion, bridal beauty, wedding trends, and more. Her work has been featured in People and E! Online.